Valentine: Talk of Japan ambassadorship is 'just speculation'

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Valentine: Talk of Japan ambassadorship is 'just speculation'

It’s been four days since rumors arose that Bobby Valentine could be named U.S. ambassador to Japan, but President-elect Donald Trump has not yet made an official announcement.

And Valentine's playing it close to the vest.

"All this talk about Japan is just speculation as far as I’m concerned," the ex-Rangers, Mets and Red Sox manager -- and current executive director of athletics at Sacred Heart in Fairfield, Conn. -- told CSNNE.com "but it’s an honor to even be in the conversation.

"That being said, I’m extremely happy at Sacred Heart University. It’s growing rapidly and is a very dynamic, exciting place to be."

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Valentine has been at Sacred Heart since 2013. The school plans to build the Bobby Valentine Athletic and Recreation Center in his honor.

Valentine spent 1995, and then 2004-09 in Japan, managing the Chiba Lotte Marines in the Nippon Professional Baseball League. His friend and fellow University of Southern California alum, Shinzo Abe, is the Japanese Prime Minister.

Did Matt Barnes deserve 4 games for throwing at Manny Machado?

Did Matt Barnes deserve 4 games for throwing at Manny Machado?

Bob Ryan and Lou Merloni react to Matt Barnes being handed a 4-game suspension for throwing at Manny Machado, and whether he deserved it.

Matt Barnes gets 4-game suspension for throwing at Manny Machado

Matt Barnes gets 4-game suspension for throwing at Manny Machado

MLB has suspended and fined Boston Red Sox reliever Matt Barnes for throwing at the head of Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado. Barnes' suspension will last four games. His fine is an undisclosed amount.

Barnes has elected to appeal, and so his suspension will be postponed until the appeal process has finished.

Barnes' throw at Machado appeared to be a response to the Orioles third baseman's decision to slide cleats up into Pedroia, who left the game and has missed the two games that followed. He's still day-to-day. However, Pedroia vocally disapproved of Barnes' decision.