Terry Francona

Terry Francona will be at the Fenway 100th Anniversary celebration after all

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Old conventional wisdom: Thank goodness Terry Francona won’t be at the Fenway Park 100th Anniversary celebration because it would be too much of a distraction.

New conventional wisdom: Thank goodness Terry Francona will be at the Fenway Park 100th Anniversary celebration because, man, with the way things are going, we need a distraction!

Former Boston Red Sox manager and current ESPN analyst Terry Francona has changed his mind and says he will be attending the Red Sox’s 100th anniversary celebration of Fenway Park on Friday afternoon.

Francona had originally said he would not attend because of the way things ended between him and the Red Sox after the collapse of 2011.

Actually, I’d like to think that he’s going to be there to gloat.  That he’ll soak in the cheers of the fans as cameramen are all over Bobby Valentine and team brass as they try to act like nearly 40,000 people aren’t cheering their heads off and wishing desperately that Tito was still in charge.

Josh Johnson retires from baseball

PEORIA, AZ - FEBRUARY 21: Josh Johnson #55 of the San Diego Padres poses during Picture Day on February 21, 2014 at the Peoria Sports Complex in Peoria, Arizona. (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)
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Oft-injured pitcher Josh Johnson is retiring from baseball, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick is reporting.

Johnson, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2013. The right-hander underwent his third Tommy John surgery in September 2015 but wasn’t able to bounce back.

Johnson spent most of his career with the Marlins, but also pitched for the Blue Jays in the big leagues, as well as the Padres in the minors. He retires with a career 3.40 ERA, 915 strikeouts across 998 innings in the majors, and two All-Star nominations. Johnson led the National League with a 2.30 ERA in 2010, finishing fifth in NL Cy Young Award balloting. One wonders what he could have accomplished if he was able to stay healthy.

Report: Angels close to a multi-year deal with Luis Valbuena

HOUSTON, TX - JULY 08:  Luis Valbuena #18 of the Houston Astros hits a three run walkoff home run in the ninth inning to defeat the Oakland Athletics 10-9 at Minute Maid Park on July 8, 2016 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
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The Angels are nearing a multi-year deal with free agent third baseman Luis Valbuena, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. It’s believed to be a two-year contract with a third-year option.

Valbuena, 31, hit .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances in 2016. He missed most of the second half with a hamstring injury, for which he underwent surgery in late August.

Valbuena has played a majority of his career at third base, but also has extensive experience at second base and has racked up innings at first base and shortstop as well. He won’t play every day for the Angels, as Yunel Escobar lays claim to third base and C.J. Cron first base, but he will give them flexibility and a left-handed bat off the bench.