Results tagged ‘ Bobby Valentine ’

Jeter stands by ‘flip play’; Tito weighs in

It had to be an amusing scene at Yankees’ camp today, what with Terry Francona roaming the clubhouse as a broadcaster and Derek Jeter being asked to defend perhaps the defining play of his career, which happened, oh, 11 years ago.

This came on the heels of Bobby Valentine saying on Tuesday that he thinks that Jeter was out of position on that flip play, and that the Red Sox would never practice that alignment in their cutoff drills. The moment in question happened on Oct. 13, 2001, Game 3 of the Division Series between the Yankees and A’s. Terrence Long lined a double into the corner, and Shane Spencer missed two cutoff men. But there was Jeter on the first-base side of the mound, in position to flip the ball home to Jorge Posda to get Jeremy Giambi, who didn’t bother to slide.

Valentine did tell me this morning he wasn’t trying to malign Jeter because he said, “I love Jeter”.

Anyway, here is what Jeter had to say from Yankees camp. Thanks to colleague Adam Berry for passing these quotes on.

On Bobby V. disputing the notion that the Yankees actually practiced that play. “I mean, we do. You know what I mean? You’ve seen it. You guys have been here.”

What does he think about this being a topic of conversation? “I don’t think anything. I really don’t. I have no thoughts whatsoever. Who cares? Why are we talking about this? They must be bored over there, huh? I don’t understand.”

Valentine’s motivation? “I don’t know Bobby well enough to tell you what he’s trying to do. I could care less, I guess is the best way to put it. I just don’t know why it’s brought up.”

“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.”

Terry Francona’s view of the flip play?” I’m sure some of [what Valentine said] is in jest,” Francona said. I don’t know. I wasn’t there, and I’m out of it. I’m out of it. To me, it’s not important whether the Yankees practice that play or not. The fact of the matter is that he’s good enough to make that play. You could practice that play until you’re blue in the face, and he’s probably still the only guy who makes that play. That play was part of baseball lore. Again, I don’t doubt they do practice it. He’s probably the only guy that makes the play. He sees the field better than anybody in baseball. He’s the one guy that makes that play.”

Jeter was much happier to talk about his fellow captain for all these years, Jason Varitek, who will formally retire on Thursday.

“Talking about Varitek, I’ll point out the good things — an unbelievable career. I’m happy for him. I enjoyed competing against him all these years. That’s what we should be talking about as opposed to what Bobby said.”

Valentine praised Varitek in a blanket statement yesterday adding that he “beat up Alex”.

A-Rod didn’t feel like touching it.

“Like I said, I’m not going to win many battles here when it comes to words, especially against Bobby. But I will tell you this, I got my new press secretary that should be landing in the next couple days, Reggie Jackson, so I’ll let him handle that. All right? Thanks.”

More from Jeter: Rivalry still strong? “It’s the same. I don’t know. I can’t tell you that he’s trying to stir it up. I don’t know why you would have to stir it up. I think our rivalry gets so much attention anyway. But I am not saying that he is stirring it up.”

What will Jeter say to Bobby V. when he sees him?

“Hey, Bobby. That’s about it. I don’t think it’s that big of a deal, really. A lot of people have said that I wasn’t supposed to be here, and I’ve told you guys from Day 1 that’s where I’m supposed to be. That’s what we work on. He’s not the first person to say that. Since I’ve come up, we’ve done it the same way. We might be doing something like that the next couple days, so I invite all you guys to come out there and see that I’m in the same spot every time.”

How about seeing Tito in the Yankees clubhouse? “Yeah, I’ve always respected Terry. I’ve enjoyed playing against him, getting to know him throughout the years. I have a lot of respect for him and how he manages. Every player that I’ve ever talked to about him appreciated the way he managed and the way he dealt with players. I always had a lot of respect for him. Yeah, it is [strange having him in the clubhouse]. But it’s good to see him. He did a great job. It goes without saying how great he did in Boston. I’m happy to see him.”

Bobby V. doesn’t buy Jeter’s legendary ‘flip’ play

One of the most memorable plays in Yankees history, without question, came on October 13, 2001. It is now known simply as the flip play. In Game 3 of the Division Series between the Yankees and A’s,  it was the bottom f the seventh inning, the Yankees clinging to a 1-0 lead and down 2-0 in the best-of-five series.

Terrence Long belted a double into the right-field corner, and right fielder Shane Spencer air-mailed two cutoff men. Somehow, Derek Jeter was standing on the first base side of the pitcher’s mound, and caught the errant throw, and then http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=19792193&c_id=mlb flipped it (as you see here in the video) across his body to catcher Jorge Posada. Jeremy Giambi inexplicably never slid, and was tagged out. The Yankees won the game, and the series.

And more than 10 years later, new Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine pretty much considers the play to be blind luck.

Valentine had his team work through just about every type of cutoff and relay during Tuesday’s workout, but he didn’t incorporate a version of the Jeter ‘flip’ play.

“We’ll never practice that,” Valentine said. “And I think he’s out of position. And I think the ball gets him out if [Jeter] doesn’t touch it, personally. The Jeter-like simulation today is that idea of what the first baseman and third baseman [are doing] as the ball is coming in because they have to read and maybe change the position where the shortstop is when the ball is coming in from right. He does have to react to the ball. When you see the ball in flight, you have a chance at those positions to adjust. He was out … it was amazing that he was there. I bet it was more amazing to say they practiced it. I don’t believe it, personally.”

Sunday notes from Fort Myers

Jon Lester’s pickoff move will be a point of emphasis:

“His actual technique was what was being worked on today, and that would be his ability to disguise to the runner when he’s coming to first and when he’s going home,” said Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine. “Today was mainly his bottom half, his leg movement, and kind of closing the gap a little when he throws to first. He was pretty good at it. He also has a thing about throwing to first, his confidence in firing it over there. Repetitions hopefully will cure some of those ills and get rid of some of those demons.”

Matt Albers started strong, but finished horrendously last year. The hope is that he can regain his form.

“Matt’s a good thrower. He’s throwing that two-seamer, which is something he’s working on here in the spring. Punto seemed to be on it pretty good hitting it to left field as a left-hand swinger. Matt’s had a wonderful spring so far. His work and his attitude. Like one of the guys said, ‘Don’t let his body fool you,’ because he’s a pretty good pitcher.”

Bobby Valentine is one of a plethora of managers who was able to write Hall of Famer Rickey Hendeson into his lineup card, having managed him in New York in 1999 and 2000.

Did Valentine ever try to hit Henderson anywhere but first?

“No. Matter of fact, the first conversation I ever had with Rickey, I said I wouldn’t ask him to hit anywhere else. He said, ‘Good, ’cause Rickey’s a good leadoff hitter.’ That was the same day Rickey told me, ‘Rickey don’t do signs.’ No signs? ‘Rickey don’t do signs.”‘

Bobby V. talks on a variety of topics

Bobby Valentine had no shortage of energy or opinions in a half-hour session with the media at today’s Winter Meetings.

Daniel Bard’s role for next year?

“Well, Daniel Bard is an extremely talented pitcher from everything I’ve been watching on video, things I’ve seen statistically and everything that I’ve watched on television or live.  Electric stuff.  And talking to him on the phone, he seems like the guy everybody wants.  I’ll do what’s right for the team.  If you need me to close, I’ll close.  If you need me to start, I’ll start.  That’s the greatest thing in the world, and it could also be the worst thing in the world because I don’t think it’s fair to him to put him in that position.   That being said, we’re going to put him in that position, and we’re going to see how things come to pass as the winter meetings close, as the winter goes on, as we add to our roster, and as Spring Training develops.  I wish I had a good answer.  I know he’s a real talented pitcher.”

Do the Red Sox need to get into better shape?

“Well, again, I’ve taken a lot of my knowledge from other sources, so it’s not firsthand knowledge.  But I’ve met with trainers and all the front office staff.  I’ve read everything I think you guys have had to write about the Red Sox because I’ve been able to do that on planes.  It seems like they let it get away or some of the guys let it get away.  I think they understand that.  I’m not going to have to have them do extra sprints in Spring Training.  I think that these are great athletes, world‑class athletes, mature adults who get it and understand.

“After talking to some of them on the phone and leaving other messages, I’m sure that if they didn’t agree with the message or didn’t agree with the conversation, they would say, everything was perfect and we’re just going to do it again the same thing.  I don’t think anyone thinks that’s the way it’s going to happen.”

Batting orders? Would he like to keep Carl Crawford in one spot?

” You know, when I talked to Adrian, he mentioned how hitting in one spot in the order wasn’t important to him.  And so different guys have different strokes.  But I can tell you that in the thousands of games that I’ve managed, I never made out a lineup card thinking about one guy.  It’s always about the group and how you fit in kind of together for the whole lineup.  Hell’s bells, I’d love to have one lineup and use it for 162 games, but it’s more than likely I’ll use 162 lineups than one lineup.  So there’s going to be lots of moving parts.  I’ll talk to Carl about that.

“If someone has a thing ‑‑ I remember when Mike Piazza came to the Mets, and he said, I can’t hit unless I’m batting third, and he batted fourth and had some of the greatest years of his life playing for the Mets.  Sometimes they get over it.”

Thoughts on Yu Darvish?

“I have no idea if his talents will translate at the Major League level if he came here, but he’s a quality pitcher.  He has size, quality, velocity, breaking balls, very good hands.  He makes the ball do a lot of crazy things on its way to the plate.  Great competitor.  If those things translate into another uniform, whether it’s another uniform in Japan, who knows, if he leaves a free agent next year or whatever.”

Lasorda thinks Valentine a great hire for Sox

Tommy Lasorda has always had a close mentor/protege relationship with Bobby Valentine, so it’s no surprise that the Hall of Fame manager thinks the Red Sox got the right man to manage them.

Lasorda is here at the Winter Meetings in Dallas as part of the committee that selected Ron Santo as the newest Baseball Hall of Famer.

“I’ve seen him plan for a game. I’ve never seen many managers do that. He can plan for that game as good as any manager I’ve ever seen,” Lasorda said of Valentine.

And Lasorda and Valentine have always shared an energy component.

“He’s got a lot of enthusiasm. What he’s got to do is get that team to play for the name on the front of their shirt and not the name on the back of theire shiret. If he can do that, he’ll be successful,” Lasorda said.

Lasorda has little doubt that Valentine can unify the Red Sox.

“That’s the ability that the manager has to have, to be able to put them all together. You have to get them all on one end of a rope and pull together. If you can do that, you’re going to have success. if half get on one end and and half get on the other end, you can do that all day long and all you’re doing is pulling against yourself. You have to take 25 guys and you have to make them believe that they’re the best in baseball and he can do that.”

Lasorda surmises that Valentine could have returned to the managers long ago, but was waiting for the right landing spot.

“Here’s a place he wanted to come. He could have been with a few other clubs, I know that. He didn’t want to be there. He wants to be here in boston the minute he got a chance to manage boston, he grabbed it real fast. He loves boston. There’s a lot of Italians in Boston and he’ll get along real well in the city.”

Lasorda also thinks it’s unfair to mention the decline of the Mets at the end of Valentine’s tenure. “I brought our team to the World Series one year and the next year it didn’t work out.”

Valentine has already sought out Lasorda since being named Boston’s manager last week.

“Well I’ve already given him some [advice]. Just a conversation,” said Lasorda. “He wants to know how I feel. We talked. He played for me. He was one of my favorite players. He played for me in the Rookie League. He played for me in Triple-A. He played for me in the Dominican Republic. He asks me questions at all times.”

V Day at Fenway

There was a buzz in the air at Fenway Park tonight. Bobby Valentine just brings that. It’s going to be fascinating to see how this chapter of Red Sox history unfolds. In truth, the Red Sox had Valentine at hello.

Once the offer came, Valentine just took it.

“I think my response time was about 20 minutes. And there was no counter offer that I asked for. I was very comfortable. Let it be known, I would have taken one [year],” Valentine said.

Instead, the Red Sox have him for two years, plus, if they desire, two club option years.

“That’s the way I would put it, that he’s the right man for the job,” said Red Sox owner John Henry. “The right man at the right time for this particular team. We’re set to win, we should’ve won last year, we’re built to win. We thought, in the end, that Bobby was the person most capable of taking us to where we want to go in 2012 and 2013. We’re not at a point right now where we’re building for the future. We are trying to win now. We always try to do both, but we felt he was the right person at the right time for this team.”

Valentine, by the way, is wearing No. 25, a significant number in Red Sox history because it was worn by Tony Conigliaro.

“I might have been his last roommate, and I think I was,” Valentine said. “He was trying to make a little comeback when I was with the Padres. I had such admiration for him. We both got beaned. We talked about it. I never was really able to talk to someone about when that ball slows down right there right before the impact, and it’s a lousy conversation. But I was able to talk to him about it and it was a bonding kind of thing.”

In a classy move, Valentine also paid tribute to his predecessor Terry Francona during his press conference.

“With all due respect to New York, I can’t imagine that there’s any tougher place to be good at what I’m going to try to do,” Valentine said. “Tito did a remarkable job, a fabulous job from viewing him outside and watching what happened over his tenure, you could do nothing but tip your hat and hope that you could replicate some of the wonderful things that he was able to accomplish.”

Teixeira weighs in on Bobby V.

Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira is among those who think it’s good for the game and good for the rivalry that Bobby Valentine is about to be named the next manager of the Red Sox.

Speaking at an event in New York, Teixeira said, “I think it’s great. This rivalry is great for baseball, I’ve said it a million times. It’s great for both cities, but baseball as a whole, it seems like everyone stops just to watch those 18 games. Bobby Valentine is a great manager and he’s a funny guy. He’s got a great personality. I think the interviews either before or after games are going to be a little more interesting, and that’ll be good for both teams.”

But Teixeira thinks his relationship with Valentine will have to take a new twist.

“I was joking around on Twitter and Facebook, I don’t know if he’s going to let me hit at his facility anymore in Stamford. I’ve been hitting there for two years now at Bobby V’s academy and he’s there a lot. He’s a very busy guy obviously, but we’ll go and we’ll talk about hitting, we’ll talk about baseball. I don’t know if those conversations are going to be kept to a minimum now,” said Teixeira.

Still no word on when Valentine’s official unveiling will be, but Thursday seems logical.

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