Red Sox Manager Bobby Valentine Already Tweaking The Yankees

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — Bobby Valentine has only been wearing a Boston Red Sox uniform for about two weeks and he’s already taking a few jabs at the archrival New York Yankees.

Many thought that the outspoken manager’s arrival in Boston could add even more spice to one of the most heated rivalries in professional sports, and it hasn’t taken long for that to hold true.

In one fell swoop on Tuesday, Valentine said Derek Jeter didn’t need to make the flip-to-home relay that stands as one of the most celebrated plays in Yankees lore and fondly recalled when retired Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek “beat up Alex” Rodriguez in 2004.

The Red Sox were working on relay throws at spring training on Tuesday and Valentine was asked about one of the most famous relay plays in all of baseball in Game 3 of the 2001 ALDS between the Yankees and Athletics.

Down 2-0 in the series and with a 1-0 lead in the seventh inning, Yankees right fielder Shane Spencer missed the cutoff man on a double by Terrence Long. That’s when Derek Jeter seemingly came out of nowhere to grab the overthrow in foul territory near the first baseline and flipped the ball home to get Jeremy Giambi at the plate.

The Yankees hung on in the game, and rallied to win the series.

“We’ll never practice that,” Valentine said. “And I think (Jeter) was out of position and I think the ball gets (Giambi) out if he doesn’t touch it, personally.”

Most observers credit Jeter’s hustle and instincts with turning around the series in the Yankees’ favor. And several Yankees have said that Jeter would practice that play in spring training, which drew a scoff from Valentine.

“That was amazing that he was there,” Valentine said. “Then it was more amazing to say they practiced it. I don’t believe it.”

But Valentine wasn’t finished there.

Even though he is just starting to put his finger prints on the organization, Valentine was asked to comment on Varitek’s 15 seasons in Boston and what he meant to the organization. Like many others, Valentine used Varitek’s confrontation with Rodriguez in a July 2004 game to sum up his mentality and his demeanor.

Red Sox pitcher Bronson Arroyo drew Rodriguez’s ire when he plunked A-Rod in the game. After Rodriguez started cursing at Arroyo, Varitek came to his pitcher’s defense by shoving his catcher’s mitt into the third baseman’s face, sparking the benches to clear. The Sox came back and won the game 11-10 and went on to win the World Series that season.

Valentine was nowhere near Fenway Park that day, but that didn’t stop him from giving the decision to Varitek.

“He is a man’s man,” Valentine said of Varitek. “He was a big hitter when needed. He was a leader of the pitching staff. He was able to beat up Alex. All that stuff is good stuff. He was exactly what he was supposed to be.”

The rivalry will be renewed when the two teams meet in spring training on March 13. Their first series of the regular season will begin April 20 at Fenway.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Do you care about the comments? Leave your own below.

  • Rick

    What has Valentine ever won? Has he won any World Series? What a big-mouthed, lousy manager and loser…

  • William

    Hey, watch it with guinea …you sticchiu!!

  • William

    Does ANYBODY(including Jeter) give a crap what this moron says??? He has his reasons for badmouthing Derek :))

  • Joe D

    Next thing the Bosox clown will say is Jeter didnt have to dive into the seats ….what a POS just like carter on the AM show

  • Steven Fahey

    Love it. We al knew it was coming. We hate you to Bawby! Bring it on!

    Tell Kermit the Frog we’ll see ya on the baseball field~

  • Ray

    No surprise .he thinks his mouth is gonna win championships..not happening !! and if he looks at the video he will see after the glove in the face A-Rod ends up throwing upper-cuts while he has Varitek in a headlock..and the throw was off line Posada would have to leave the plate to grab it tell the Idiot to just shut up !!!! while all this was happening he was in Japan cause nobody wanted him here…

  • LK

    where is Bobby V keeping his ring?
    He has the biggest case of Yankee envy I have ever seen.

  • Robert

    Bobby V is the best Christmas present any Yankee fan could wish for….. Just keep talking.

  • Jeffers

    Cheeseball, lol.

  • Hawkeye

    No surprise here,Bobby V is just a typical ignorant big mouth guinea ………..

    • William

      Hey.. watch it with guinea… you sticchiu!!

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