Beckett scratched from All-Star Game

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Beckett scratched from All-Star Game

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam
PHOENIX -- Josh Beckett, who was scheduled to work the second inning of the All-Star Game Tuesday night, decided not to pitch when he felt some tenderness in his left knee during his warmup session in the bullpen.

Beckett had hyperextended the knee last Friday against Baltimore and left after five innings.

"I was warming up and I didn't feel 100 percent, said Beckett of the knee. "I told Tito Francona when I left that if I feel it at all, I'll speak up. It wasn't something I was comfortable going out and messing with.

"I don't think I really hurt it further. But I still definitely have got some inflammation.

That said, he still thinks he'll make his scheduled start Sunday.

"I think it's really a strong possibility," he said. "At worst, we might push it back a day or two."

Beckett spoke by phone with both Terry Francona and trainer Mike Reinold. Neither was terribly concerned about the knee.

Beckett said American League manager Ron Washington was "great when Beckett told him he couldn't go. Beckett said Washington had vowed that players would be returned to their teams in the same physical condition as when they arrived in Phoenix.

New York Yankees reliever David Robertson pitched the second and was given extra time to warm up since he hadn't anticipated coming into the game that early.

"I could have pitched, said Beckett. "But I'm just not comfortable going out to pitch in an All-Star game and then costing myself starts in the second half.

"This game does mean a lot with the home-field advantage in the World Series hinging on the outcome, but there are things ahead in the regular season that are a little more important.

Beckett decided to stop throwing when he had "about 10 pitches left in his bullpen session.

"I think I would have pitched if it had been a regular-season game, he said. "It wasn't one pitch. It just progressively got a little stiffer. I think I did the right thing here.

Just hours earlier, Beckett said his knee felt fine and he planned to have a "light side session Friday in St. Petersburg in anticipation of making his first second-half start Sunday night against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam.

Youkilis weighs in on Valentine possibly being Japan ambassador

Youkilis weighs in on Valentine possibly being Japan ambassador

Among the reactions to the news that Bobby Valentine was possibly being considered to be the US amassador to Japan in President Donald Trump’s administration was this beauty from Kevin Youkilis. 

Valentine famously called out Youkilis early in his stormy tenure as Red Sox manager in 2012. Remember? "I don't think he's as physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past for some reason," Bobby V said of Youk at the time. 

The Red Sox traded Youkilis to the White Sox for two not-future Hall of Famers, outfielder Brent Lillibridge and right-hander Zach Stewart, later that season.

Youkilis, now Tom Brady’s brother-in-law by the way, had a 21-game stint playing in Japan in 2014 before retiring from baseball. 

 

Report: Bobby Valentine could be Trump’s US ambassador to Japan

Report: Bobby Valentine could be Trump’s US ambassador to Japan

Major league manager. Inventor of the wrap sandwich. Champion ballroom dancer.  And…

US ambassador to Japan?

Bobby Valentine is on the short list for that position in President Donald Trump’s administration, according to a WEEI.com report.

The former Red Sox manager (fired after a 69-93 season and last-place finish in 2012), and ex-New York Mets and Texas Rangers, skipper, also managed the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan’s Pacific League for six seasons. 

When asked by the New York Daily News if he's being considered for the post, Valentine responded: "I haven't been contacted by anyone on Trump's team." 

Would he be interested?

"I don't like to deal in hypotheticals," Valentine told the Daily News.

Valentine, 66, has known the President-elect and Trump's brother Bob since the 1980s, is close to others on Trump’s transition team and has had preliminary discussions about the ambassador position, sources told WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford. 

Valentine, currently the athletic director of Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn., is also friendly with current Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who, like Valentine, attended the University of Southern California.