Valentine seeing what he has in Iglesias

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Valentine seeing what he has in Iglesias

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Until he arrived in Florida last month, manager Bobby Valentine said he never watched shortstop prospect Jose Iglesias play in person.

In the last few days, Valentine has had an opportunity to watch Iglesias play a few games, hitting him in the leadoff spot to give the flashy infielder additional plate appearances.

There's little dispute about Iglesias's defensive aptitude, but his offense needs work.

"(The at-bats) have been OK," said Valentine Monday before Iglesias hit leadoff again against the Minnesota Twins Monday night at Hammond Stadium. "I don't think his technique is what he needs it to be, but his at-bats have been good.

"We start adding a little more technique, a little more rhythm, something to give him the ability to recognize the pitch a little earlier so he can time it when it gets to the plate, I think he might be close."

Valentine termed Iglesias "outstanding," when it comes to willingness to learn and improve.

Valentine has already noted that Iglesias is skilled at tracking popups, referencing two running catches the shortstop made in a game against the Twins last Thursday.

"He has a special tracking device on fly balls," Valentine said, "unique to very few. And he has a special ability to transfer the ball from glove to hand. That's all I've gotten to see. I don't know about the specialness of moving off the bat and range and game-awareness -- those things.

"But I can tell you that he can transfer the ball (from glove to hand) from a longer distance than just about anybody I've ever seen. And he has the GPS in his mind. He can really track pop-ups. I dare say that no one (else) in this camp (could have made those plays last week). Very few others -- Ozzie (Smith), Rey Ordonez could do that."

According to Fortune, Theo's the greatest . . . in the world, not just baseball

According to Fortune, Theo's the greatest . . . in the world, not just baseball

Apparently, the Red Sox couldn’t hold onto the best leader in the world. And the best leader in the world has no idea how to housebreak his puppy.

Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein was given the top spot on a list of “The World’s 50 Greatest Leaders," published by Fortune on Thursday morning.

The potential for silly takeaways from Epstein’s placement on the list -- and his response to it in a text to ESPN’s Buster Olney -- are amusing, if not astounding.

Wait, Epstein doesn’t think baseball is the most important thing in the world?

"Um, I can't even get my dog to stop peeing in the house," Epstein told Olney. "That is ridiculous. The whole thing is patently ridiculous. It's baseball -- a pastime involving a lot of chance. If [Ben] Zobrist’s ball is three inches farther off the line, I'm on the hot seat for a failed five-year plan. And I'm not even the best leader in our organization; our players are."

Zobrist, of course, had the go-ahead hit in the 10th inning of Game 7 of the World Series against the Indians.

As Fortune described it, the list of leaders is meant to include those “transforming the world and inspiring others to do the same” across business, government, philanthropy and the arts.

Epstein certainly did help transform the baseball world.

“In the fall of 2016, as partisan distrust and division reached abysmal depths, fascination with the Chicago Cubs became that all-too-rare phenomenon that united America,” his blurb on the list begins.

That’s fair. But, if you scroll down the list: Pope Francis is No. 3. Angela Merkel is No. 10 and LeBron James is No. 11.

5 things to know heading into Bruins' do-or-die stretch run

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5 things to know heading into Bruins' do-or-die stretch run

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