Last Saturday, February 25th, new Boston Red Sox Manager Bobby Valentine informed his new team in a morning meeting on Saturday that he was going to ban alcohol from the clubhouse for good.
Then a couple days later Valentine made headlines again as he began bashing the New York Yankees starting with third baseman, Alex Rodriguez.
“From afar, he was everything you want a guy who wears a ‘C’ to be,” Valentine said of the longtime Red Sox captain Jason Varitek. “He was a man’s man, he was a big hitter when needed, he was the leader of the pitching staff. [Pause] He was able to beat up Alex, all that stuff. He was exactly what he was supposed to be.”
The “Alex” that Valentine was referring to was of course Alex Rodriguez and the incident that he was referring to was the famous fight on July 24, 2004 where Varitek took a shot at Rodriguez which then resulted in a bench clearing brawl that would finally end in an 11-10 Red Sox win.
Though, Valentine didn’t stop there as he would continue on at Tuesday’s press conference where he began taking shots at Yankees short stop Derek Jeter.
Valentine was discussing his teams’ fundamentals and drills that they were practicing when he brought up Jeter’s famous backhand flip play of game 3 of the 2001 Al Division series vs. the Oakland A’s. Valentine would pretty much emphasize that the great play that Jeter made was luck saying, “We’ll never practice that,” Valentine said. “I think [Jeter] was out of position and the ball gets [Giambi] out if [Jeter] doesn’t touch it, personally.”
However Valentine, who didn’t have the hands on look at the play, as like the majority of the people who saw it, as most viewed it from home or saw replays of it weren’t right there. Though Ramon Hernandez the current catch for the Colorado Rockies who at the time was on the Oakland A’s had the opportunity of being right there.
“If Jeter doesn’t catch the ball, the ball hits me – that’s how far off the mark it was,” said Hernandez, the on-deck hitter who was signaling Giambi to slide. “Jeter made an unbelievable, heads-up play. Then he makes a great throw to boot. Unbelievable. The play saved them.”
However, Valentine would go onto add “That was amazing that [Jeter] was there. I bet it’s more amazing that he said he practiced it. I don’t believe it.”
Well on Wednesday after hearing what Valentine had to say about them, both Rodriguez and Jeter would respond.
Rodriguez after laughing after having Valentines comment read to him he would say, “Like I’ve said, guys, I’m not gonna win many battles here when it comes to words, especially against Bobby,” he said. “But I will tell you this, I got my new press secretary that should be landing in couple of days, Reggie Jackson, so I’ll let him handle that, all right?”
As for Jeter he would find it funny too as while smiling he would say, “We practice it every year,” Jeter said. “Maybe he hasn’t seen it but we do it every year. If he wants to come over and watch, or someone can videotape it and send it to him. I have no reaction to it, really. Bobby is entitled to his opinion.”
Responding to more questions Jeter would alter his comments saying, “We do practice it, but not the flip home,” Jeter said. “But who cares? Why are we talking about this? He must be bored over there, huh? I don’t understand.”
Then after hearing Jeter’s comments Valentine would respond saying, “Total mistake on my part that they don’t practice it, that’s for sure,” he said. “He [Tuck] said that when they practice it, he always got there late in practice.
“I said yesterday that the shortstop’s there being aware. But it’s hard to practice that, because why are we going to practice a bad throw? That’s not what we’re doing here. But I get it.”
“I’m indifferent, really,” said Jeter. “I don’t know Bobby well enough to know what he’s trying to do. I could care less. I guess that’s the best way to put it.”
The Yankees and Red Sox first meet on April 20th in Boston where they will begin their three game series.