The new United States Ambassador to Japan could be Bobby Valentine, a former baseball manager.
Rumors are floating around that Bobby Valentine, a former major league manager is in the running to become the new Ambassador to Japan.
Valentine had stints as the manager for the major league clubs, Rangers, Mets and Red Sox as well as the Japan team, Chiba Lotte Marines for 6 years. Apparently New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who has known Bobby for years, is behind the push to see Valentine representing the United States in Japan.
Although Bobby Valentine is known for some crazy antics as a manager (fun fact: I once had beers at a bar that had his name on it in Connecticut with an old friend), and considered a “little off” by many (he once wore a set of fake glasses with a fake nose and mustache in the dugout after he got tossed from a game), he may not be a bad choice at all as he has some strong ties to the Japanese country. He went to the same University as the Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, and has known him for years as baseball is huge in Japan and Valentine was successful there.
One of the projects that he and Shinzo Abe could work on is getting baseball into the Olympics as soon as soon as 2020. Whether that is an important project or not, it would be good for USA and Japan relations and the Ambassadorship is largely responsible for maintaining good relations with their corresponding country. The two alums from the University of Southern California pulling that off would be good for the sport of baseball as well as for the Olympics as well.
As the Ambassador to Japan, Bobby Valentine would have to do a fair amount of jetsetting between countries as living in Japan, although he did it for 6 years, full time is probably not in the cards.
At 66 years old he is young enough to handle the travel as he is in excellent health.
Aside from Christie thinking he would be a good fit, odds are that the president elect and his brother, Bob, would be on board as well in that they have had a relationship since the 1980s and Valentine is also close with a member of the transition team’s Executive Committee, Anthony Scaramucci.
Despite being known as a loon in some circles, Valentine would do an excellent job at being the face of the USA at the various parties, meetings and banquets as he is a very likable man and liked by the majority of Japanese people from his time as a baseball manager there.
When it comes to things like military or trade issues between the two countries there may be a bit of a learning curve as there is no history of him being one with that experience. He should be able to navigate his way around though as he is smart and knows both cultures.
I’m sure he will have staff to write the reports needed as well as some that are well versed in areas that he may not have experience.
So, if you see a guy in a baseball cap show up at a meeting with the Prime Minister of Japan, you’ll know that Bobby Valentine was appointed Ambassador to Japan.