- Andrew Marchand, ESPNNewYork.com
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"I hate the Yankees," Valentine said while surrounded by a herd of media members at the Winter Meetings. "I don't want to waste this valuable time talking about the Yankees. This is too valuable."
Valentine, realizing his comments, could cause a stir, then sat back in his chair and imagined the headline, "I hate the Yankees."
On Tuesday, Yankees manager Joe Girardi was asked what Valentine's presence would mean to the rivalry and was a little more diplomatic.
"Bobby adds some spunk to his clubs," Girardi said. "No doubt about it. I didn't get to witness him first-hand a lot. But Bobby's been successful wherever he has went. It should be exciting."
On Wednesday, Girardi was forced to wait a few minutes before meeting the media because he was set to sit in the same spot Valentine was occupying.
According to one major league public relations official, the media pack around Valentine was the largest one they had ever had for one of these sessions. Valentine's force of personality is one of the things he brings to the rivalry, making it different than when Terry Francona was the Red Sox manager.
"Bobby is probably going to be a little bit different type of manager than Terry was," Girardi said after he sat down. "Every manager is going to have a different philosophy than the last guy. A lot of your moves as a manager are dependent on what type of players that you have. If you have guys who hit the ball out of the ballpark and are slow to first base you are not going to become a base-stealing team. Time will tell how he is going to manage that club and it is our job to pay attention."
Valentine always makes people pay attention. He has already started the countdown to when the two teams first meet in the regular season, Friday, April 20, at Fenway Park.
Andrew Marchand covers the Yankees for ESPNNewYork.com.