Get your shoe polish ready. Red Sox skipper Bobby Valentine.
In late February Valentine, ruminating on the 2001 Yankees-A’s Division Series, said Derek Jeter was out of position on his famous flip that caught Jeremy Giambi at the plate. Valentine also praised outgoing Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek for fighting with Alex Rodriguez in 2004.
Why is Valentine dredging up all these old incidents? Did he just come out of a decade-long coma? Did he just exit a Y2K shelter? Maybe in 2023 Valentine will tell us his opinion on Ryan Braun’s urine sample.
Which brings us to last night. After nine innings, Yankees Manager Joe Girardi told the umpires he was out of pitchers. The umps called the game. Valentine was upset because Clayton Mortensen was ready to pitch the 10th inning.
“Why do I have to warm up my pitcher who’s trying to make a team?” asked Valentine afterwards, according to The Boston Globe. “Come in in a tie game against the Yankees and maybe help him make a team, and instead he has to walk off the mound and take a shower. That’s just not very courteous.”
Valentine’s right; the Yankees did have more pitchers available, and it was wrong to wait till the last second to call the game.
But it seemed like just another excuse for Valentine to establish his street cred with Red Sox Nation.
Valentine is like the new gang member who has to prove himself by committing a crime. He’s the new prisoner who has to beat up the toughest guy in the clink to show his manhood (thank you, Office Space.)
Valentine also conjures the Yorkshire Terrier or Chihuahua that yaps the most at the dog park as the bigger dogs look on in silent bemusement, secure in their dominant stature.
Perhaps when the season gets underway, Bobby Valentine will focus more on his team than his rivals. Let’s hope so. There are a lot of pages on the calendar between here and October.