Last week Bobby Valentine made headlines for saying he wanted to punch WEEI radio host Glenn Ordway following what the Red Sox manager thought was an obnoxious question.
Valentine was back on WEEI and Ordway’s show this afternoon and jokingly brought boxing gloves to the studio.
In addition to proving (or at least attempting to show) that he’s a good sport Valentine also said he plans to manage the Red Sox in 2013 “and beyond” amid speculation that he’ll be fired after the season.
Here’s the full quote, via Paul Flannery of WEEI.com:
It’s not up to me, but I think I will be, yeah. And beyond. Why would I say that I want to be here for 2013 as though that’s going to be the end of something? That will be the continuation and hopefully the beginning of something really special. Why would I think it’s going to be a year’s job?
Well, for starters because Valentine’s contract has one more year on it. But whatever.
He was also asked about Kevin Youkilis being traded to the White Sox following a reported feud with Valentine and noted that Youkilis’ batting average hasn’t risen since the deal, saying: “I just want to point out that I’m not the reason he was batting .238.”
That’s technically true. Youkils had a .233 batting average for the Red Sox and has a .234 batting average for the White Sox. Of course, his OPS has risen 100 points since the trade and he’s homered 12 times in 61 games for Chicago.
There’s more potentially quotable stuff from the radio interview, but I’m just about Valentine’d out.
The Cubs wrapped up a four-game series against the Reds at Wrigley Field on Thursday afternoon, suffering a 13-10 loss to split the set. They’ll match up again against the Reds next week for a three-game series in Cincinnati. That’s good news for Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant, because that means he’ll get to see Reds first baseman Joey Votto some more.
As CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney reports, Bryant has grown quite fond of Votto. Bryant has already won a World Series ring, a Rookie of the Year Award, and an MVP Award, but he still looks up to Votto. According to Bryant, Votto is “the best player ever.” He added, ““He’s my favorite player. I love watching him. I love talking to him, just picking his brain. He gets a lot of (heat) about his walks and working at-bats and some people want him to swing at more pitches. But, gosh, I mean, he does an unbelievable job. You know that he’s going to give you a great at-bat every time he goes up there. It’s definitely a guy that I look up to and I can learn from.”
Bryant said that Votto is “a future Hall of Famer, that’s for sure.”
Bryant also explained how his approach changed by watching Votto. He said that in his rookie season, he was “swinging at everything.” Votto, however, is “aggressive, but he’s not going to swing at a pitch until he wants it.”
Indeed, in Bryant’s rookie season, he struck out in nearly 31 percent of his 650 plate appearances. This season, he has struck out in only 19 percent of his PA. His walk rate has also increased by more than 2.5 percent since his rookie campaign. Compared to last year, Bryant is down in HR and RBI, but his average is the same, his on-base percentage is markedly better, and his slugging percentage is only down by a minute amount.
Diamondbacks second baseman Daniel Descalso hit his team’s third inside-the-park home run of the season during Thursday’s 4-0 win over the Astros. In the top of the fourth inning, with the score 1-0 and the bases empty, Descalso ripped a 1-0, 83 MPH change-up to right-center field. The ball caromed off the wall, heading towards left field, which sent center Jake Marisnick on the chase. Marisnick tried to pick up the ball with his glove, but dropped it, which sealed Descalso’s destiny for an inside-the-parker.
It had only been five days since the Diamondbacks’ last inside-the-park home run. David Peralta hit one against the Cubs on August 12. Ketel Marte legged out his club’s first ITPHR on July 26 against the Braves.
As ESPN Stats & Info notes, the Diamondbacks have three as a team, which is amazing because the other 29 teams have hit seven combined.