Boston Red Sox fans probably don’t have the fondest memories of Bobby Valentine.
But the man who lasted only one season as the Red Sox’s manager might end up being a high-ranking United States diplomat.
Valentine is on a short list of candidates whom president-elect Donald Trump is considering for U.S. Ambassador to Japan, WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford reported Thursday night, citing multiple sources.
You’re probably wonder how on Earth a guy who once did this is qualified to represent our country in foreign diplomacy, but Valentine actually has some pretty strong ties to Japan. The 66-year-old managed the Chiba Lottes Marines for seven seasons in Japan’s Pacific League, becoming the first U.S.-born manager to win a Japan Series championship in 2005.
As a result, Valentine still is pretty popular in Japan, and he’s also friendly with Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe, who coincidentally also took classes at the University of Southern California, Valentine’s alma mater.
Bradford also points out that Valentine, currently the athletic director at Sacred Heart University, has known Trump since the 1980s and is close with Anthony Scaramucci, a member of the presidential transition team executive committee, and newly appointed head of the U.S. Small Business Administration Linda McMahon, who is on Sacred Heart’s board of trustees.
New Jersey governor Chris Christie first suggested Valentine for the position, per Bradford.