Gonzalez hopes to see game action next week

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Gonzalez hopes to see game action next week

By MaureenMullen
CSNNE.com

FORT MYERS, Fla. All spring Adrian Gonzalez has maintained he has no timetable for his first Grapefruit League game. That changed Tuesday morning when, after taking batting practice on the field for the second time, Gonzalez said he hopes to get into his first game in a Red Sox uniform next week.

Wednesday I'll hit again on the field if everything feels good, he said. And see how it responds hitting back-to-back days. Right now, the plan is to take it easy on Thursday. I don't think I'm going to be off, but I'm going to back off and give it a rest so I can start planning out for some kind of game action next week sometime -- maybe even earlier, I don't know. Maybe next week some time."

Gonzalez said he has no plans to hit off a pitcher on the back field or at the minor-league complex, preferring to progress directly from BP to a game. He had surgery in October to clean up the labrum in his right (non-throwing) shoulder, originally injured when diving for a foul ball in May in Houston.

He said batting is not a concern, but diving for balls is.

"The biggest plan is for me to be able to dive after a ball on defense," he said. "That's the biggest thing, because I could hit last year, no problem. But I was limited in diving. That's the biggest reason I had it. It wasn't for my hitting. After I dove three or four times and everything flared up, it wasn't feeling good. You teach yourself to stop diving."

Manager Terry Francona is cautiously optimistic of seeing his new first baseman in a game soon.

I would say thats probably about right, yeah, he said. We always make the lineup up about three or four days ahead of time. Well look at it. Again, I dont want to start pushing. The last thing we want to do is play him too quick. When the medical people say he can play, then if he wants to play or he says hes ready, then well sit down and figure it out.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter athttp:twitter.commaureenamullen

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.