The Red Sox displayed a range of emotional reactions to Tuesday night's win over the Orioles. There was nervousness with a tinge of relief from David Ortiz, who explained that, if he's still a member of the Red Sox in the future, he hopes they don't have to go through this again.
"I hope, if I'm still here next year, we make it easier," he said with a smile. "It wears you out. You know what I'm saying? We're playing like it's the playoffs already. It's fun, but at the same time, you're against the ropes."
Jarrod Saltalamacchia expressed optimism, especially with Jon Lester taking the ball Wednesday night to start in game No. 162.
"Expect Lester to go out there and do what he does," Saltalamacchia said. "He's pitched well against these guys. We're gonna go out there and pitch his game."
Jonathan Papelbon was so fired up after the game, it was as if he never stepped off the field.
"In this game, man, if you ain't hustling, you getting hustled," he said. "If you ain't grinding, you ain't shining. Only the strong will survive. The weak will fall by the wayside. OK? End of story."
With that, he walked off, with game No. 161 behind him and the final page of the Red Sox turbulent regular season yet to be written.
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.