A Boston radio station is reporting former Major League Baseball manager Bobby Valentine -- once referred to “as the most hated man in Boston since King George” -- is under consideration by President-elect Donald Trump to become the next ambassador to Japan. WEEI radio says Valentine is on a list of candidates being considered by the Trump team for the ambassadorship. And the station reports, citing multiple sources, Valentine has been involved in a preliminary discussion with Trump’s transition team about the post.

Valentine reviled in Boston for disastrous year

Valentine, who is currently the athletic director for Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut, has managed three major league baseball teams.

He led the 2000 New York Mets to a National League championship, but he’s more widely remembered for a disastrous year as the manager of the Boston Red Sox in 2012. During that year, which was marked by his public disagreements with some of Boston’s most admired players, the Red Sox finished in last place.

With the high expectations of the team going into the season that year, and the Red Sox only a few years removed from two World Series championships, as the season slid into a baseball abyss, the unforgiving Boston media coined the “most hated” reference in describing Valentine. He was fired a day after the season ended.

Valentine very popular in Japan

Though naming a former baseball manager to become an ambassador would be considered unorthodox, WEEI says the 66-year-old Valentine has known Trump for more than two decades, and that he’s very popular in Japan.

Valentine was manager of the Chiba Lotte Marines baseball team for seven seasons, where he became the first U.S.-born manager to lead a Japanese team to a championship, clinching the Japan Series in 2005. Valentine is also friendly with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

When contacted by WEEI about their report, the station says Valentine declined to comment.

He later told the New York Daily News that he had not been contacted by anyone on the Trump team.

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