Bobby Valentine brings boxing gloves to radio show, plans to manage Red Sox in 2013 “and beyond”

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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.

Seattle Mariners to make a “full-court press” for Shohei Ohtani

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Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto said in a team-sponsored podcast the other day that the M’s will make a “full-court press” for Shohei Ohtani. To that end, Dipoto said that the M’s would be willing to let the two-way star to pitch and to hit, which is something Ohtani is interested in doing in the United States. Not all clubs are likely to let him do this, with most likely seeing him as a starting pitcher only.

Ohtani, who is expected to be posted by his Japanese team, the Nippon Ham Fighters, possibly as early as today, can sign with anyone he wants. He is, however, subject to the international bonus pool caps, so the bids on him will be somewhat limited. The Texas Rangers and New York Yankees have the most money available: $3.535 million for the Rangers and $3.5 million for the Yankees. The Twins ($3.245 million), Pirates ($2.266 million), Marlins ($1.74 million) and Mariners ($1.57 million) are the only other teams with more than $1 million left. Twelve teams — including the Dodgers, Cubs, Cardinals and Astros — are limited to a maximum of $300,000, having met or exceeded their caps for this signing period already.

Ohtani, however, is said to be less motivated by money than he is by finding the right situation. While a lot of guys say that, the fact that Ohtani is coming over to the U.S. now, when his financial prospects are limited, as opposed to waiting for two years when he is not subject to the bonus caps and could sign for nine figures, suggests that he is telling the truth. As such, a team like the Mariners that is willing to allow him to hit and pitch could make up for the couple of million less they have in bonus money to spend.

As for how that might work logistically, Dipoto said that the team would be willing to play DH Nelson Cruz a few days in the outfield to accommodate Ohtani, allowing him to DH on the days he’s not pitching. That might be . . . interesting to see, but given how badly the Mariners could use a good starting pitcher, they have an incentive to be creative.

Ohtani, 23, suffered some injuries in 2017, limiting him to just five starts and 65 games as a hitter. In 2016, however, he hit .289/.356/.547 with 22 homers in 342 at-bats and went 11-3 with a 3.24 ERA, and a K/BB ratio of 146/51 in 133.1 innings as a starter.

Five clubs have more money to spend on Ohtani than the Mariners do. None of those teams are on the west coast, which some Asian players have said in the past they preferred due to faster travel back home. The Mariners, owned for a long time by a Japanese company which still retains a minority interest in the club, and long the home for high-profile Japanese players such as Ichiro and Hisashi Iwakuma, likely have a better media and marketing reach in Japan than most other teams as well, which might be a factor in his decision making process. Is all that enough to sway Ohtani?

We’ll find out over the next couple of weeks.