Kevin Youkilis has been all class since the Red Sox traded him away to Chicago. Bobby Valentine, well, not so much.
Taking questions Sunday before Youkilis’ return visit to Boston this week, Valentine said: “The comment I made early, he made a big deal of. And I don’t think he ever wanted to get over it.”
Well, of course he didn’t. His brand new manager decided to go spouting off to the media about his commitment to his team and his job as a whole.
What Valentine said back in April was that, “I don’t think he’s as physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past for some reason.”
Even if Valentine was right about that, blabbing about it was hardly the smart approach. Although it seems Valentine eventually got his way; Youkilis was traded for a very modest return last month.
As for what has happened since, Valentine said he expected Youkilis to produce for his new team.
“I haven’t seen him play,’’ he said. “He’s gotten a lot of hits, played a lot of games. It seems like he’s healthier.’’
Asked if he was surprised that Youkilis appeared healthier, Valentine responded: “Not surprised. As a matter of fact, Maggs (hitting coach Dave Magadan) said he had no doubt if he went somewhere else he’d play better.’’
The Diamondbacks announced on Tuesday afternoon that former major leaguer Dan Haren has been named the organization’s new pitching strategist. The role will include working with the front office, the major league coaching staff, and the analytics department.
Haren, 36, ended his 13-year playing career after the 2015 season. He finished with a 153-131 record and a 3.75 ERA across 2,419 2/3 innings.
Since retiring, Haren has been one of the more enjoyable players to follow on Twitter. He promised to teach his disciples how to tweet as part of his new responsibilities.
For a guy who won a World Series MVP Award and has been to a couple of All-Star Games, it’s amazing how many stories have been written about Pablo Sandoval‘s off-the-field exploits compared to his on-the-field exploits. Specifically, stories about his conditioning. Or lack of conditioning. Of him getting into shape, falling out of shape and getting back into shape again. It’s been this way since he emerged as an everyday player in 2009.
And it continues anew:
There is no claim here that Sandoval is, in fact, in The Best Shape of His Life. However, longtime BSOHL fans know that the claim is not about the magic words being used. The idea is that, in the offseason, players with something to prove will routinely make an effort to create the impression that they are a new man. Often it is from claiming that one is in The Best Shape of His Life. Often it comes from surrogates talking about how many pounds of fat one has lost or pounds of pure muscle one has added. Sometimes — as here — it comes in the form of showing post-workout photos.
Whatever the purpose of the photo, Sandoval is certainly looking good compared to where he was last spring:
Or at the end of the 2015 season:
Even if this is part of a plan to get Sandoval some good press heading into the 2017 season, I’m happy to see that he appears to be recovered from shoulder surgery and appears to be taking good care of himself and is thinking about his baseball futrue.
Either way, expect the Panda Weight Watch to continue at Red Sox spring training come February.