Notes: Pap saves 200th; Girardi criticizes Papi


Notes: Pap saves 200th; Girardi criticizes Papi

By SeanMcAdam

NEW YORK -- Jonathan Papelbon's save Tuesday night wasn't any ordinary save.

It was the 200th of his career, making the Red Sox' closer the fastest to 200 in history.

Papelbon allowed a run in the ninth, but closed out the Sox' 6-4 win when he struck out Alex Rodriguez with a 97 mph fastball with a runner in scoring position.

It came in Papelbon's 359th career appearance. Previously, Mariano Rivera had held the record, reaching his 200th save in appearance No. 382.

"This game will definitely hold a little special something in my heart,'' said Papelbon, who notched his 12th save of the season. "It's something that's obviously very special. But for me, right now, after it's all said and done, I'll think about it a little bit tonight and tomorrow, move forward and keep doing what I'm doing.''

Papelbon said getting pregame news of his three-game suspension for bumping umpire Tony Randazzo Saturday was not disruptive.

"Not one bit,'' he said.

Papelbon said he'll save the lineup card and ball from the occasion.

Getting the record in front of Rivera, Papelbon acknowledged, was special.

"I've always called him the Godfather,'' said Papelbon. "He's the one who's made this role closer what it is today, and there's no ifs, ands or buts about it. This role has become what it is today because of that one man.

"I feel like I have a special relationship with Rivera because of the simple fact that I'm here today because of what he did. It doesn't matter that I did it in front of him; that's kind of out of the equation. But I don't think I would do it without him making this role what it is.''

The Sox lost set-up man Bobby Jenks in the seventh inning, but the reliever hopes it won't be for long.

After going 3-and-0 to Jorge Posada, Jenks felt something grab in his upper back, just below his left shoulder.

"It's an injury that happened years and years ago,'' said Jenks. "Unfortunately, it still gives me fits every now and then. Everything's fine once I cool down and the muscle starts relaxing. It will be all right. Should be just a day or two.''

Just to be sure, Jenks plans to have an MRI performed Wednesday morning.

"It's a small muscle that I tore years ago,'' said Jenks. "It heals itself. The last time was a year or two ago. I felt it during warmups. I was hoping it was cramping, but today, it just locked up pretty good. It got real tight and took my breath away a little bit.''

Matt Albers came in and replaced Jenks and, after throwing ball four to walk Posada, got Alex Rodriguez on a flyout and got Robinson Cano on an inning-ending double-play.

New York manager Joe Giradi made a point of saying that he ''didn't really care for'' David Ortiz's celebratory bat flip in the fifth when he smashed a two-run homer to right.

Ortiz didn't seem bothered by Girardi's reaction.

"That's Papi style,'' said Ortiz. "You've seen that before . . . It's not my first time, it's not going to be my last. Big deal. I'm a home-run hitter. That's all I can tell you.

"I've done that before. It's not like I do it all the time. It's part of the excitement. What can I tell you? I just went deep. It's just another homer for Papi, you know what I mean?''

Jed Lowrie was replaced by the just-activated Marco Scutaro at shortstop because his left shoulder is still sore, more than a weekafter a collision with teammate Mike Cameron. Lowrie said the pain is a"dull ache,'' and he plans to undergo an MRI soon on the shoulder.

Sean McAdam can be reached at 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 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’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.