Notes: Ortiz claims DH RBI record

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Notes: Ortiz claims DH RBI record

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Not all the news was bad for the Red Sox Saturday night.

David Ortiz blasted his second homer in as many games with a two-run shot in the second, and in his next at-bat, drove in another run with a groundout to the right side.

The three RBI gave Ortiz 1,004 in his career as a DH, topping the previous record held by Edgar Martinez at 1,003.

"When they mention your name with guys the caliber of Edgar Martinez,'' said Ortiz, "it makes you feel good. I don't think about it now when I'm playing. One day, I'll sit down and look at the numbers; right now, the focus is trying to win a game.''

Jessica Camerato's interview with David Ortiz

Last season, Ortiz didn't hit his second homer until April 30. The year before, it was June before he hit No. 1.

"That's good because I think it will help him relax,'' said Terry Francona. "I know how much he was pointing toward April. Let him him get his legs under him and hopefully he'll whack a few more.''

"You play the game and things happen,'' said Ortiz. "It's not like I tried to start the season slow the last two years. I think I got all the attention because of the player I've been as long as I've been here, and people expect me to do well. There's nothing wrong with that. It's just sometimes, things don't work out the way you expect and you have to keep fighting.''

Adrian Gonzalez continued his torrid start with three more hits -- two singles and a double -- giving him five in his first two games as a member of the Red Sox.

Carl Crawford wasn't so fortunate. After going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts in his debut Friday, Crawford was 0-for-3, though he finally reached base with a walk in his final plate appearance.

"Once he gets on base a few times and creates some havoc, he'll be OK,'' predicted Francona. "He's trying too hard.''

Francona said he would stay with Jarrod Saltalamacchia behind the plate Sunday in the series finale. There had been some thought that he would go with Jason Varitek -- the lone position player not to get into a game yet -- in a day game after a night game, but Francona stuck with Saltalamacchia.

"I want to get him going here a little bit,'' said Francona.

The manager believes in getting players into games quickly, so they can get acclimated and feel part of the roster early.

His decision is complicated by the fact that the Sox have an off-day Monday in Cleveland and bad weather if forecast for the three-game series with the Indians, which begins Tuesday.

"We'll see - I've got a lot of 'eitherors,' '' Francona said. "It goes both ways. You want regulars to get into a rhythm and bench guys to get at-bats.''

A club source confirmed that the Sox have released Jason Place, the team's first-round pick in 2006. Place was one of the few early-round draft busts in the Theo Epstein era.

Place, 22, selected 27th overall in 2006, had a hitch in his swing that he never could correct. Last season he played in just 38 games because of injuries and hit .134. with 4 homers and 14 RBI.

In five minor-league seasons, Place hit .234 and had a history of not getting along with teammates.

His release was first reported by MLBTradeRumors.com

Clay Buchholz pitched an inning less than his fellow starters in his final Florida tuneup, but that doesn't necessarily mean he'll be limited when he makes his first start of the season Sunday in the series finale.

"He had one inning less than everybody else,'' noted Francona. "But he might end up throwing a complete game.''

Francona said the Sox will be monitoring "effort'' -- how hard he has to work -- rather than innings or actual pitch count.

Counting Friday's opener, lefty specialist Dennys Reyes had walked the leadoff hitter in three consecutive outings, cause for at least some concern.

Reyes came into Friday's game with one out in the seventh to face lefty-hitting Josh Hamilton and immediately walked him.

"It's better than the ball leaving the ballpark,'' said Francona. "Then again, there will be times when he pitches longer than that because I think he needs to. It's hard to ask guys to throw strikes if you're facing one hitter.''

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.