Bobby Valentine, U.S. Ambassador to Japan?
It's possible, as WEEI.com's Rob Bradford reports Valentine is being considered for the position by President-Elect Donald Trump. The report says Valentine has discussed the opening with Trump's transition team.
Valentine is currently the athletic director at Sacred Heart University after a life in baseball that included a stint as a very successful manager in Japan. In fact, it was two stints. He managed the Chiba Lotte Marines in 1995 and then went back to helm them from 2004-09. In 2005, he became the first American-born manager to win the Japan Series.
Valentine is friendly with current Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who, like the former All-American, attended the University of Southern California.
A few other elements that may help Valentine's case include Japan prioritizing bringing baseball back for the 2020 Summer Olympics, along with the athletic director's familiarity with SoftBank Hawks owner Masayoshi Son. Son recently announced after a meeting with Trump that SoftBank would be investing $50 billion in America's technology sector.
Valentine is 66. His interest in the job at this point is unknown.
And now for a humorous spin, let's check in on Kevin Youkilis:
Looks like I won't be allowed to visit Japan for the next 4 years. 😂😂😂 https://t.co/BCGnvpFWLh— Kevin Youkilis (@KYouk_2036) December 9, 2016
One might recall that in 2012, Valentine was managing the Red Sox and had a strained relationship with Youkilis, due at least in part to Valentine early in the season saying Youk wasn't "physically or emotionally" as into baseball as he had been in past years. Youkilis was furious and had meetings with Valentine and upper management afterward. Later, he was traded to the White Sox, paving the way for Will Middlebrooks at third base in Boston.