Yankees brace for first meeting with new Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine in spring training
Joe Girardi downplays exhibition game against Bobby V’s Sox
By Mark Feinsand / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Monday, March 12, 2012, 11:19 PM
Bobby Valentine is heading to Tampa for first time in what promises to be first of many showdowns with Bombers.
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TAMPA – The Bobby V show is making its way to Tampa.
Although only a handful of Boston’s name players will be in attendance for Tuesday night’s Yankees-Red Sox game, Bobby Valentine will be front and center as he gets his first chance to prepare for his role in baseball’s biggest rivalry.
“When will it be? Tomorrow night?” Valentine said Monday to reporters in Fort Myers when asked if he was excited about his first spring game against the Yankees. “Absolutely! I won’t be able to sleep tonight. This will be a big one.”
Valentine spoke in jest, though given the comments he made two weeks ago, it’s hard to believe he didn’t have Tuesday circled on his Grapefruit League schedule.
Boston’s new manager attempted to tweak two of the Yankees’ biggest stars in late February, questioning Jeter’s assertion that the Yankees practice the legendary “flip play” he made in the 2001 postseason while bringing up Alex Rodriguez’s fight with Jason Varitek in 2004, saying A-Rod was “beat up” by the Red Sox catcher.
The Yankees were mostly indifferent about the comments at the time, but if nothing else, Valentine’s words signaled that he planned to take a different approach to the rivalry than his predecessor, Terry Francona.
Joe Girardi has no plans to mention Valentine’s comments when he sees his fellow manager, hardly a surprise given his attitude about the situation when it first came up.
“As I told you that day, I worry about our club — my present-day club,” Girardi said. “I’m not worried about three years ago, a year ago, 10 years ago. I’m worried about now; tomorrow, today.”
Although the game will not come close to a regular-season tilt between the two teams, the stands at Steinbrenner Field figure to be filled with Yankees fans looking for a Boston beatdown.
“The fans, they don’t care if it’s spring training or not,” said Ivan Nova, who will start for the Yankees. “They just want the Yankees to beat Boston.”
“I’m sure there will be a different excitement level in the stands,” Girardi said. “I’m sure it will feel a little bit different, but I’m not so sure our players will get too caught up with it. I try to tell them not to get too caught up in it during the season. You have to go out and play.”
Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Mike Aviles are the starters making the two-hour trip from Fort Myers, while other stars such as Adrian Gonzalez, Kevin Youkilis and David Ortiz will not be on the travel roster.
“We want to set the tone tomorrow,” Valentine said, tongue planted firmly in cheek. “We really want to let them know who we are and send a message.”
During George Steinbrenner’s heyday, losing a game to the Red Sox — even in spring training — was a mortal sin. Girardi certainly hopes his team wins Tuesday’s game, but not at any cost.
“I don’t want guys going out and doing something crazy tomorrow so they miss six weeks of the season,” Girardi said. “Go out and do what you’re supposed to do, stay within yourself and see where the chips fall. I don’t particularly want Jeet jumping into the stands head-first.”
Tuesday night’s game clearly won’t have the same feel as a meeting at Fenway Park or Yankee Stadium, but any way you look at it, it’s still Yankees-Red Sox.
“A night game against the Red Sox? Regardless of whether it’s spring training or not, regardless of who’s coming or who’s not, it’s still a game,” Nick Swisher said. “We’re still going to go out there and play hard. I think it’s going to be a blast. This place is going to be packed. I can’t wait.”
Girardi used the word “interesting” to predict the reception Valentine will receive from the Tampa crowd, though he noted that Francona was cheered by many fans when he came to Steinbrenner Field a couple weeks ago.
“He got a pretty warm reception,” Girardi said. “It’s amazing how when you take the hat off, they feel a little different.”
As Valentine will find out, the same goes for putting the “B” hat on.
Today 8:16 AM PST by Gina Serpe
Whitney Houston is one step closer to resting in peace.
After being transported cross-country yesterday, and touching down in New Jersey’s Teterboro Airport last night, the singer’s remains, ensconced in a golden hearse, made their way to the Whigham Funeral Home late yesterday. The home has been tasked with organizing the funeral service of the 48-year-old icon and today made its first official announcement as to its plans.
Read more: http://www.eonline.com/#ixzz1mNh195da
Today 9:30 AM PST by Alexis L. Loinaz
Start oiling those gears, folks, and get ready to do the robot: Transformers is back!
Michael Bay has filled up his directorial dance card and is set to helm a fourth Transformers movie that’ll hit theaters in June 2014, Paramount Pictures announced.
But in a curious twist, Transformers will be transformed: Producer Lorenzo Di Bonaventura reveals that the franchise will be rebooted to allow for an “evolution” of the storyline.
Wait! Does that mean no Shia LaBoeuf or Rosie Huntington-Whiteley?
Just before we say farewell to 2007, on Saturday, December 29th, the ARA Project will host The Lounge – A Casino Night Experience. Over 300 Armenians from Southern California are expected to gather in Glendale for an evening of music, food, friends and bountiful entertainment in support of a very worthy charitable cause.
The ARA Project is a non-profit fundraising organization that supports and addresses humanitarian needs and good works in Armenia. Our foremost philanthropic work is aimed to support the Endanik Charity Society in Gyumri, Armenia. Since the earthquake that ravaged Gyumri in 1988, many children still live in deplorable conditions, and suffer with social and health problems. Endanik helps over 1500 individuals including disabled youth, orphans and underprivileged families survive by providing for their basic daily needs. Furthermore, Endanik’s after-school programming provides students with enriching opportunities to learn, have hope, and look forward to a more promising future. In addition to vocational training, Endanik also addresses physical needs like providing clothing and food, as well as intellectual, social and spiritual development. Beyond reaching out to assist with the obvious needs of these children, through annual fundraisers, the ARA Project supports Endanik’s summer camp program, allowing many of these underprivileged children an opportunity to escape the harsh realities of every day life, even if only for a handful of days a year.
Founded in 2005, Ara Project hosted its first winter fundraiser that sent over $3000 to Armenia to buy boots and winter gear for needy children. In 2006, over $15,000 was raised to run a summer camp, and provide Christmas gifts for students from the Endanik Charity Society in Gyumri, Armenia. In 2007, we sent $10,000 to the Endanik School and sponsored 150 kids, including 30 disabled children, to attend the summer camp. Ara Project wouldn’t exist today without its generous donors and sponsors.
As close friends of the ARA Project, we would like to invite you to participate in helping us achieve our goal of raising $50,000 by becoming sponsors of the event. We welcome your contribution at any level; however, feel free to select one of the following options: Platinum Sponsor – $2,500, Gold Sponsor- $1000 and Silver Sponsor – $500. You will find a sponsorship form which you may complete and submit with your contribution.
We would like to extend our thanks, in advance, for your participation and assistance. Should you have any questions, please contact us at 626-792-4479. We look forward to seeing you at The Lounge and hope that you can join us!
Vasken Khanjian, Chairman
Committee Members: Sevag Aivazian, Sareen Bezdikian Chalekian, Vache Darakjian, Koko Demirjian, Archie Donoyan, Serge Ekizian and Cindy Kaloostian
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