With Spring Training games beginning this weekend, everyone is getting ready for the start of the New York Yankees’ 2012 campaign. We didn’t need any more offseason storylines related to off-the-field drama. But, the Boston Red Sox once again provide Yankees’ fans with a little bit of drama to build up the rivalry even more.
Over the past week, the new manager, Bobby Valentine and the old manager Terry Francona have had their war of words through the media and ESPN. Earlier last week, Valentine banned alcoholic beverages from the Red Sox’ clubhouse. Francona fired back on ESPN’s Mike and Mike In the Morning by calling the ban a “PR move”. Valentine then replied back to Francona “You’re getting paid over there for saying stuff. You get paid over here for doing stuff. I’ve done both.”
Now, Bobby V is taking shots at past Yankees’ teams to stem off of his “I hate the Yankees” comments at the Winter Meetings. He talks about how Jeter could have let the ball go through during the “Flip play” and still have made the out. Also, he feels that Jason Varitek putting his mitt in A-Rod’s face in 2004 sparked Boston’s magical run to the World Series.
Now, this is only a small sample size of comments from the Boston skipper. However, this could turn out to have a Rex Ryan-esque impact and that is not always the best thing. If Bobby V does start making guarantees, it will definitely be Rexian. See, for Rex, at least the Jets had veterans who wanted to play for the head coach. A lot of these current Boston players, including team leader second baseman Dustin Pedroia were huge supporters of Francona.
Instead of focusing on moving forward, Red Sox’ players have had to answer questions about beer and fried chicken all offseason. With Francona now at ESPN, I guarantee that this feud is not going to end anytime soon. This is good news for the Bronx Bombers. They can just sit back and have a season that is filled with minimal distractions and not have to answer the everyday questions that guys like Josh Beckett and Jon Lester have to constantly answer.
With Bobby Valentine, you either get a home run hire or you strike out. You never can have it down the middle. For Yankees’ fans, New York hopes that Boston goes down swinging with all the distractions. Maybe Derek Jeter is correct when he says Boston is bored, so they make this news from last year as a smokescreen.
All I know is that this April when New York goes to Fenway for the first time, the rivalry will go to new heights. Plus, imagine in this new playoff format, a five game ALDS between Boston and New York? We are potentially looking at the coach who says a lot facing the coach who does not give out much in Joe Girardi. Doesn’t it sound like Jets-Patriots, but in reverse?