Ryan Lavarnway to start; Lowrie to bat cleanup


Ryan Lavarnway to start; Lowrie to bat cleanup

BALTIMORE -- The lineup for the Red Sox' critical game against the Baltimore Orioles tonight was released, and there are two surprises.

Jed Lowrie is hitting cleanup, and rookie Ryan Lavarnway is catching.

Lowrie, who is hitting .158 in the month of September, has never batted cleanup in his career. But Baltimore is starting a left-hander, Zack Britton, and Lowrie is hitting .340 with 4 home runs and 22 RBI in 106 at-bats against lefties this year, with a .901 OPS (.363 OBP, .538 slugging).

Lavarnway has played in 15 games and has hit .233 with 4 RBI for the Red Sox after being called up from Triple-A Pawtucket. He's starting because of injuries to Jason Varitek (knee) and Jarrod Saltalamacchia (shoulder).

The lineup:

Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
David Ortiz DH
Jed Lowrie 3B
Adrian Gonzalez 1B
Ryan Lavarnway C
Darnell McDonald RF
Carl Crawford LF
Marco Scutaro SS

Manager Terry Francona said Crawford will return to the No. 2 spot in the order on Wednesday.

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.