YANKEES vs. RED SOX (POSTPONED – RAIN)
The game scheduled between New York and Boston on Sunday was canceled at 3 p.m. due to a heavy downpour engulfing Fenway Park.
It is nothing compared to the firestorm surrounding the Red Sox in the wake of their 7-20 collapse last September, their change in general manager and manager and their dreadful 4-10 start this season. The fact they blew a 9-0 lead after five innings on Saturday to end up losing to the Yankees 15-9 has merely ripped off the fresh scabs from an entertaining week of upheaval.
If we didn’t know any better we might think that manager Bobby Valentine took up a weather plane and seeded the clouds to rain himself to stop the hail of runs his team’s pitching staff is handing out like Halloween candy and the chorus of boos cascading from the stands upon him.
Valentine admitted after the debacle on Saturday that he needed to do a better job. But, like it or not, Valentine has become the symbol of the discontent in Red Sox Nation.
His mismanagement of two games last week and the dustup he had with Kevin Youkilis were fueling most of the anger aimed at Valentine. But Sunday’s loss was really not Valentine’s fault. But the fact that his club surrendered that huge lead shows just how deep-seeded and difficult the root of the problem is to identify.
It seems to be a lot deeper than some chicken and beer.
Theo Eptein fled to Chicago and Terry Francona took his class act out of the dugout to the television booth. Owner John Henry and team president Larry Lucchino sought out Valentine to right the ship. But they are not offering him any of the largesse it would take to fix the hull.
Unwilling to venture past the limits of the luxury tax, Valentine and new general manager Ben Cherington kind of look like the Black Knight in “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” valiantly trying to fight a battle without limbs. Such is the sad state of affairs in Beantown. Well, it is not so sad for those in the Bronx.
The rainout on Sunday gives the Red Sox time to find the answers and gets some players healthy before they play the Yankees again at Fenway. No makeup date has been announced. It is anybody’s guess whether the game will actually matter.
Yankee manager Joe Girardi decided to shift Sunday’s scheduled starter, CC Sabathia, to start on Monday against the Rangers in Arlington, TX. He also said that Hiroki Kuroda and Phil Hughes will follow Sabathia in the three-game series. Ivan Nova will open the home series against the Tigers on Friday. However, Girardi has not announced who will start on Saturday. Freddy Garcia (0-1, 9.75 ERA) would be in line to make the start. But Garcia could be skipped in order to keep Sabathia on schedule to pitch every fifth day. . . . Girardi said he expectes to have Brett Gardner back in the lineup on May 3 when the Yankees begin a four-game series with Kansas City. Gardner was placed on the disabled list with a strained and bruised right elbow he suffered making a diving catch on a sinking line drive on Tuesday. Gardner is hitting .321 this season. . . . Michael Pineda will meet with a team physician in New York on Monday to evaluate recurring tightness behind his right shoulder. The 23-year-old right-hander has to end a bullpen session on Saturday after 15 pitches because of pain in his shoulder. He will remain on the 15-day disabled list and it unclear when Pineda now might be able to return.
The Yankees first test against two-time American League champion Texas begins on Monday.
Sabathia (1-0) gave up three runs on four hits in six innings against the Twins to earn his first victory of the season on Tuesday. He is 10-3 with a 4.44 ERA against the Rangers in his career.
The Rangers will start left-hander Derek Holland (2-0, 3.10 ERA), who gave up two runs on four hits and three walks in seven innings against the reeling Red Sox in his last start. Against the Yankees, Holland is 0-4 with a 9.00 ERA in five starts.
Game-time will be 7:05 p.m. EDT and the game will be telecast nationally by ESPN and locally by MY9.
It did not take the new manager of the Boston Red Sox, Bobby Valentine, to show that he is an ego-driven a–hole.
On Tuesday, Valentine was discussing relay throws at the team’s spring complex in Fort Myers, FL, and he just happened to take a shot at the Yankees’ Derek Jeter and his celebrated “flip play” in Game 3 of the ALCS against Oakland.
For those of you unfamiliar with the circumstances, the Yankees were down 2-0 in the series to the Athletics and leading Game 3 by a 1-0 score in the seventh inning. Terrence Long of Oakland doubled to right-field and Yankee right-fielder Shane Spencer missed two cutoff men and Jeter seemingly came out of nowhere to grab the overthrow in foul territory and flip the ball to catcher Jorge Posada to nab Jeremy Giambi at the plate.
The Yankees won the game and rallied to win the series. The play has become a treasured piece of Yankee lore.
Valentine said that the Red Sox would never practice that play. He then went on to thoroughly expose his hindquarters by saying, “And I think (Jeter) was out of position and I think the ball gets (Giambi) out if he doesn’t touch it, personally.”
Switch scenes to Wednesday at the Yankees’ spring complex in Tampa, Fl, and Jeter and the team just happened to be, in fact, practicing that very play during their fielding workouts. Oops!
Seems like Booby, er huh Bobby, spoke without actually having the facts. For those of you Red Sox Nation brethren unfamiliar with Mr. Ego’s act you had better to get accustomed to it. It will be happening a lot more during the course of the season and his stupidity will not always be aimed at the Yankees. Bobby V. is an equal opportunity man who will rip into his own players if it suits him.
Give credit to Jeter for not taking Valentine’s bait, either. When asked about Valentine’s comments, Jeter restated that the Yankees have always practiced the play since he has been in the minors. He actually pointed out out he was lining up in the same position in Wednesday’s workout.
“I don’t think anything. I really don’t. I have no thoughts whatsoever,” Jeter said. “Who cares? Why are we talking about this? They must be bored over there, huh? I don’t understand.
“Think about it. We don’t practice it? We do. You guys see it. What else can I say. I was out of position? I was where I was supposed to be.”
When apprised of his verbal heap of smelly manure on Wednesday, Valentine did what he always does: He apologized and then said it was interesting because “why are we going to practice a bad throw?'”
Apparently Valentine realized he needed to chow down on some crow after asking Red Sox catching instructor Gary Tuck, who used to work with the Yankees, if the team did indeed practice the play. Tuck assured him the Yankees did practice the play.
But then Valentine had to sharpen the knife one more time. “And he said that when they practiced it, Jeter always got there late in practice. In that game, he got there on time.”
What an a–hole.
Congratulations, Red Sox, on hiring the complete opposite of a classy and knowledgeable baseball man in Terry Francona. I am now counting the days Valentine will be the manager when the Red Sox finish third and about three Red Sox guys are grousing under the cloak of anonymity about what an idiot Valentine is as a manager.
Trust me, the day is coming. Bobby V. has a way of wearing out his welcome with the players, management and the fans. Why else would it have taken him this long to get an offer to manage? Boston needed a name manager and Bobby was out there self-promoting himself for the job before the ink was dry on Francona’s walking papers.
To show even further what a senseless scumbag Valentine can be just listen to this quote praising Jason Varitek: “”He was a big hitter when needed. He was a leader of the pitching staff. He was able to beat up Alex [Rodriguez]. All that stuff is good stuff. He was exactly what he was supposed to be.”
Before the Yankees and Red Sox have even played one Grapefruit League game, Valentine is already taking shots at Jeter and Rodriguez. This is something Francona refused to do during his entire tenure with the Bosox.
Ironically, Francona was at George M. Stienbrenner Field on Wednesday as part of his duties as an analyst for ESPN. Though not taking on Valentine’s comments per se, Francona did say that he used to hold back on some of his thoughts to the media when the Red Sox were playing the Yankees, claiming that things often were sensationalized.
Well, that points out the difference between Francona and Valentine out perfectly. Francona is willing to hold back. Bobby not only ignores the possibility things can blown out of proportion, he is out making sure he is fanning the flames himself.
Oh, and just to set the record straight on this so-called Varitek beating up Rodriguez, watch the videotaped replay and notice that Varitek “bravely” took on A-Rod with his mask, chest protector, glove and shin guards on. Rodriguez had dropped his bat and only had his batting helmet to protect him.
That is like a football player beating up a coach on the sideline with his helmet and pads on. It is not exactly what I would call a fair fight. I assure you if Varitek was not in his gear he would not get anywhere near a fight.
That would be similar to Valentine. Without a microphone in front of his pompous mouth, he is just a another hack who thinks he can manage because he knows how many outs there are in an inning and some of the rules. He, at the same time, will break all the rules of baseball decorum to cover up for the fact he is just a spoiled brat who really don’t have a clue on how to act in front of the media.
Team president Larry Lucchino better have an interim manager stashed away on standby somewhere. The team will need him before too long.