Bobby Valentine on Nishioka
FORT MYERS, Fla. — New Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine had some interesting things to say about infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka today.
Valentine was Nishioka’s manager in Japan for six years (2004-09) with the Chiba Lotte Marines.
Here’s what he had to say about Nishioka, who struggled in his first season with the Twins last year, as he played in just 68 games because of injuries, including a broken left leg suffered on April 7 when Nick Swisher tried to break up a double play at second base:
“You know, I had him as a baby in Japan. I had him where he was one of the worst players on the field and had him when he was one of the best players on the field. And sometimes it was in the same season.
“I came to Fort Myers last year to have dinner with him, to tell him they were going to try and break his leg and show him how to try and get out of the way, because he didn’t do that in Japan when he played second base for me his first year. I actually got up and showed him where he had to be on that double play because in Japan you don’t have to worry about the inside side slide, only the outside slide. A guy comes inside and rolls he had to be out of the way and he gave me the old – as he did as a player for me – yeah, yeah, yeah, I understand. I understand. I understand. And he broke his leg.”