WASHINGTON – U.S. President-elect Donald Trump is considering Bobby Valentine, former manager of the Chiba Lotte Marines and other baseball clubs, to be the next U.S. ambassador to Japan, U.S. sports radio station WEEI reported on its website on Friday. The report is gaining attention in the U.S. media as it would be another unusual appointment by Trump.
According to the report, Valentine has already been contacted by Trump’s transition team and there have been talks. The 66-year-old former player and manager of the New York Mets is a longtime acquaintance of Trump, from his connection to the city where the president-elect has his business base.
Valentine told The Yomiuri Shimbun that the report is nothing more than speculation, but he feels honored.
Valentine served as manager of the Chiba Lotte Marines in 1995 and from 2004 through 2009.
Current U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy, whose father was U.S. President John. F. Kennedy (1917-1963), is scheduled to resign her post when U.S. President Barack Obama leaves office.