Bobby Valentine, the latest provocateur in the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry, said Tuesday that the Jeter flip play was no big deal and talked about how Jason Varitek, who will announce his retirement on Thursday, "beat up" Alex Rodriguez.
[He] started his tenure as Boston manager by saying he hated the Yankees.My emphasis, of course. It has been more than eight years and Yankee fans and New York writers remain obsessed with the fact that Varitek has his mask on in that picture. Naturally, they forget (or choose to forget) that Jorge Posada did the exact same thing at least once.
Tuesday, he turned it up another notch by mocking Derek Jeter's legendary "flip" play and reveling over how Jason Varitek once "beat up" Alex Rodriguez in a notorious brawl between the teams. ...
On Tuesday, Valentine told reporters in Fort Myers, Fla., that Jeter was "out of position" on the famous play in Game 3 of the American League division series against the A's ...
Valentine also delivered a jab that is sure to please Sox fans when he was asked about Varitek's retirement and responded:
"From afar, he was everything that you want in a guy who wore a 'C' to be. He was a man's man. He was a big hitter when needed. He was the 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."
Valentine, of course, was referring to the July 24, 2004 fight between the teams at Fenway where A-Rod and Varitek begin to jaw at each other at the plate and Varitek, still wearing his mask, pushes his mitt and free hand into Rodriguez's face, sparking a brawl.
Back in 2007, I linked to a short clip of Dumbo engaged in a shoving match with a Tampa player and - GASP! - he keeps his mask on. Sadly, MLB's Video Police had the video removed. ... It doesn't look like I saved the clip. I'd love to have it, though.