Valentine has been on the Red Sox’ radar for some time

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It sure seemed like a change in plans when it was revealed that the Red Sox were talking to Bobby Valentine yesterday. But as Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald reports, this is not a new development:

Bobby Valentine has been a candidate for the Red Sox manager job from the early stages of the team’s search process, a club source said yesterday. Valentine was one of the first people interviewed by general manager Ben Cherington

This is less important from the perspective of Bobby Valentine’s status, I think, than it is from a team philosophy perspective.  Because if it had been the case that Ben Cherington had been interviewing guys like Dale Sveum and Pete Mackanin, and then ownership swooped in and injected Bobby V. into the discussion, it would have told a story of a new GM being undermined and organizational incoherence. But if Valentine was always in the running and if Cherington has been part of that process all along, well, then it’s not a big deal.

I will ask one question, though:  If Bobby Valentine has been a candidate for several weeks, is anyone surprised that word of it hadn’t gotten out before yesterday?  He’s so recognizable. And last year, when he was being connected to several teams, we heard about it almost immediately, often from people close to Valentine, as opposed to the team.

I have no reason to doubt the report that the Sox have been on Valentine for a while, but I am kinda surprised that no one leaked word of it before now.

Bryce Harper finally gets his first spring training hit with Phillies

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Phillies outfielder Bryce Harper hasn’t had the best spring training showing. After a delayed start because he didn’t officially sign until early this month, Harper made his Phillies debut on March 9. Then Harper had an injury scare when he was hit in the ankle by a pitch on March 15. Harper returned on Sunday and finally registered his first hit of the spring on Wednesday — a line drive up the middle.

Harper finished 1-for-2 with a walk on the afternoon. In 10 official at-bats, Harper is batting .100/.438/.100. As you can see, five total walks are helping that on-base percentage. Spring stats are largely meaningless, though, so no one should be worried about Harper with the start of the regular season just a week away.