Ex-baseball players go on to all sorts of careers. Some go into coaching or managing, some go into the business world, and others take up a career in broadcasting. And yet a few others do something different, like go into politics.
Bobby Valentine might be entering into that last category. The 66-year-old former player and manager of the New York Mets and Boston Red Sox is reportedly on the short list to be the Ambassador to Japan, according to WEEI.com. Valentine is currently serving as Sacred Heart University’s athletic director.
This isn’t completely out of the blue. Valentine managed the Chiba Lotte Marines of the Japan Pacific League in 1995 (after which he was fired), and then returned to manage them in 2004 for five years after he was fired as the Mets manager in 2002. Valentine led the Marines to their first championship in 31 years in 2005, sweeping the Hanshin Tigers in the Japan Series. He was the first American born manager to win the Japan Series. Valentine’s time with the Tigers ended after the 2009 season due to a contract standoff, and two years later he would return stateside to manage the Boston Red Sox for one season (during which he was unceremoniously fired). Valentine is still beloved in Japan.
Valentine definitely has ties to Japan, but then again, so does Charlie Manuel, who played in Japan for five years and hit 189 homers for three different Japanese teams, earning the nickname “Aka-Oni” (Red Devil). So why is Valentine being considered for this position? WEEI had a little insight.
The former Red Sox manager has known both Trump and his brother, Bob, since the early 1980’s. He is also very close to Anthony Scaramucci, who is part of the Presidential Transition Team Executive Committee. And it was New Jersey governor Chris Christie who, according to a source, first surfaced Valentine’s name for the position.
If he’s eventually passed over for the job, it’s not known at this time if Valentine will attempt to re-apply for the position while wearing a fake mustache and glasses.
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