By Sean McAdam
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Matt Albers, in relief of starter Jon Lester, retired all five hittershe faced Monday in the Red Sox' 4-1 loss to the Phillies. In 10 innings this spring, he's allowed just two runs.
"Hisfastball through the zone has had a lot of life,'' said Terry Francona."We've been trying to tighten up his breaking ball a little bit. Whenhe's gotten hit, it seems like it's been on the breaking ball. Buthis fastball's got a lot of life. You're going to see a lot of groundballs.''
In all likelihood, however, Albers will pitchelsewhere.
A talent evaluator from a National League club Monday saidthe Sox had made calls earlier this month to determine interest inAlbers and will likely re-start those conversations in the next fewdays. Albers is out of options and once the Sox signed Dan Wheeler --another right-hander with a tough sinking fastball --- he becamesomewhat redundant.
Sean McAdam can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam
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.
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.