Former Mets manager Bobby Valentine, who managed one of the greatest games in team history and also found success in Japanese baseball, is on the shortlist for Donald Trump's ambassador to Japan.
According to WEEI in Boston, Valentine has "engaged in preliminary discussions" about the position with the President-elect's transition team. In a sign that perhaps his political star hasn't been completely snuffed out, Valentine was apparently first pitched by frequent Boomer and Carton guest host/New Jersey governor Chris Christie.
Valentine remains popular in Japan, based on his time as a successful manager with the Chiba Lotte Marines, staying on with the team for six seasons and leading them to a Japan Series victory in 2005.
He's also friendly with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, which could work in Valentine's favor. And for what it's worth, Valentine also has government experience, having previously served as the director of public health and safety in Stamford, Connecticut.
On the other hand, Valentine has a prickly personality, and was fired from his Mets, Marines and Red Sox managing jobs amid public feuds with general managers, reporters and even players. His time as director of public health and safety didn't end in a blowout though. Valentine is also well-suited for any potential espionage duties that the Trump administration might ask of him, having shown that he's a master of disguise during his time as Mets manager:
While a potential Valentine ambassadorship is certainly unconventional, it shouldn't be confused or lumped in Trump's other allegedly "unconventional" appointments like WWE CEO Linda McMahon as the head of the Small Business Administration or Carl's Jr. CEO Andy Puzder as Secretary of Labor, who were given their jobs because they're rich people contemptuous of organized labor. That, after all, is an extremely conventional G.O.P. view.