By Sean McAdam
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Sensing that Carl Crawford was pressing a little too much in his first week with the Red Sox, Terry Francona dropped the outfielder from third in the batting order to seventh Sunday.
"Looking at him, it's kind of obvious he's trying too hard,'' said Francona. "Especially with a lefty (Texas starter Matt Harrison) going today, we'll just kind of let him sit down there (in the order). As soon as he gets on base, the real Carl will come out. In the meantime, we'll take a little heat off him.
"He's a great kid; he's just trying too hard. I think it's an admirable quality. But we're two games in and he's not had real good at-bats. I just want to let him relax a little bit and play.''
Crawford wasn't the only change in the order. Francona also sat J.D. Drew with Darnell McDonald playing in right field and Jed Lowrie playing short over Marco Scutaro.
"I think Mac matches up good against (Harrison) and then we've got J.D. sitting over there if we get into the bullpen,'' said Francona. "And Jed (a switch-hitter), especially right-handed, I wanted to get him in a game.''
With McDonald and Lowrie in the lineup, Jason Varitek is the only position player to not be in the starting lineup or make an appearance.
Sunday's starter Clay Buchholz was 8-3 in 13 starts following a Red Sox defeat in 2010... David Ortiz is the first Red Sox hitter to homer in each of the first two games of a season since Mike Greenwell homered in each of Boston's first three games in 1989...Ortiz's homer Saturday night was No. 351 of his career, moving him past Pawtucket hitting coach Chili Davis into a tie for 80th all time, tying him with Dick Allen.
Sean McAdam can be reached at email@example.com. 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.