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Sweeny: Yankees Respond To Bobby V

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Derek Jeter (credit: Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images), Bobby Valentine (credit: Elsa/Getty Images)

Derek Jeter (credit: Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images), Bobby Valentine (credit: Elsa/Getty Images)

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By Sweeny Murti
» More from Sweeny

The calendar didn’t even turn to March before Bobby V cranked up the amps on the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry. He questioned Derek Jeter’s flip play and tweaked A-Rod about getting beat up by Jason Varitek.

Welcome to the world of Bobby being Bobby.

You want to know what perfect timing is? Valentine said yesterday he doesn’t believe the Yankees practice that relay, Jeter’s famous flip from 2001.

Well guess what was on the schedule at 11:15 a.m. during today’s workout— cutoffs and relays.

Jeter didn’t seem all that amused to have talk about this subject Wednesday morning:


Later, Jeter spoke again about the continuing fascination with the flip play:


A-Rod claimed not to know what Bobby V said about him and Varitek. I find it hard to believe nobody told A-Rod about this before Wednesday morning, but here is his brief no-comment when asked for his reaction:


Lucky for us, Terry Francona—Valentine’s predecessor—was in the Yankees clubhouse Wednesday morning. Prepping for his new role on TV, Francona had nothing but praise for Jeter and the integrity of the flip play:


Here’s the bottom line on “The Flip.” The Yankees practice the positioning on that relay play all the time. That night in Oakland was the one time where everything lined up the right way for that play to be made: the throw from the outfield sailed over both cutoff men and the runner trying to score was just slow enough for a play at the plate. Usually the throw is either cut off and the runner either stops at third or scores without a throw.

For more than 10 years now there has been some debate about whether Jeter needed to intervene. Would the throw have gotten to Jorge Posada on its own? Even the players on the field disagree. Shane Spencer, the right fielder, has always thought the throw was on line. Tino Martinez thinks it was going to force Posada to reach too far from the plate to come back and make the tag in time.

All I know is this—Jeter made the play. And yes, I have seen them practice it every spring. As for A-Rod vs. Varitek, we know who won that one too.

Welcome to Yankees-Red Sox 2012. It’s going to be a bumpy ride, but an entertaining one.

Sweeny Murti
Yankees@wfan.com
www.twitter.com/YankeesWFAN

Your thoughts on Bobby V’s comments? Sound off below!

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