Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine seems like he's getting more and more comfortable in his new role with each passing day of spring training. Valentine already engaged in a mini war-of-words with former Boston skipper Terry Francona over the recently issued beer ban. On Tuesday, Valentine turned his attention to the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry and took a couple jabs at Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez.
While talking to reporters about cutoff plays, Valentine went in depth about Jeter's famous defensive play in the 2001 American League Championship series against Oakland and claimed that the star shortstop was out of position.
"We'll never practice that. And I think he was out of position. I think the ball gets him out if he doesn't touch it, personally," he said before saying that it was far-fetched to think the Yankees practiced the play in spring training. "It was amazing that he was there. And then it was more amazing to say they practiced it. I don't believe them."
Valentine then applauded a beloved Boston player for literally taking a shot at A-Rod. While discussing the recent retirement of longtime Sox captain Jason Varitek, Valentine referenced the 2004 brawl at Fenway Park when Varitek and Rodriguez went at it.
"He is a man's man. He was a big hitter when needed," Valentine said of Varitek. "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."
How would the two Yankees respond? Meh.
A-Rod simply laughed off Valentine's comments about his scuffle with Varitek, barely speaking to reporters about it.
Jeter also scoffed at the remarks, adding that the team does indeed practice the cutoff play .
"I mean, really. Think about it. We don’t practice it? We do," Jeter said. "You guys see it, so I mean, what else can I say? I was out of position? I was where I was supposed to be."
The Yankees' all-time career hits leader was said to be confused on why Valentine's comments were even being discussed, explaining that the rivalry doesn't need stirred up since it already gets "so much attention anyway."