Valentine takes jabs at Yankees' Jeter, Rodriguez


Valentine takes jabs at Yankees' Jeter, Rodriguez

If you've been keeping tabs on how manager Bobby Valentine is treating the first few days of spring training, you've noticed a few new things.

For starters, Sox players have been hitting grounders to teammates during infield practice.

They've also practiced bunting. (The Sox? Bunting?)

And yes, even relays and cutoff throws were in the works on Tuesday.

But that relay throw work led to talk that prompted Valentine to take a little shot at the Yankees -- something he has wasted no time doing since putting on the Sox uniform.

"We'll never practice that,'' said Valentine, referring to the famous relay toss that Derek Jeter made to throw out Jeremy Giambi at the plate during Game 3 of the 2001 ALDS. "I think Jeter was out of position and the ball gets Giambi out if Jeter doesn't touch it, personally.''

The play can be relived in full detail here, but to sum it up, Yankees right fielder Shane Spencer overthrows two cutoff men. The ball bounces down foul territory along the first-base line, when out of nowhere Jeter picks it up and flips it to Jorge Posada for the out.

"That was amazing that Jeter was there," Valentine said. "I bet it's more amazing that he said he practiced it. I don't believe it.''

So there's two shots at Jeter if you're counting at home. One saying he was out of position and that the throw was unnecessary, and the other saying he doesn't believe it was practiced.

But there would be one more shot to come.

Valentine was later asked his thoughts on Jason Varitek, who will officially retire Thursday. Varitek had a lot of big moments in the Sox uniform, but perhaps none bigger than his glove and hand to the face of Alex Rodriguez during the summer of 2004, a moment that Valentine, too, remembers.

"From afar, he was everything you want a guy who wears a 'C' to be,'' Valentine said of Varitek, a captain since 2005. "He was a man's man, he was a big hitter when needed, he was the leader of the pitching staff. He was able to beat up Alex, all that stuff. He was exactly what he was supposed to be.''

If taking jabs at the Yankees is part of the job description, consider Valentine all set there. Perhaps like Varitek, Valentine is trying his hardest to be exactly what he is supposed to be.

Rex Ryan: 'If Belichick's playing quarterback, we're coming after him'


Rex Ryan: 'If Belichick's playing quarterback, we're coming after him'

Must be Bills week. 

After Rex Ryan's club put together an impressive win at home over the Cardinals, 33-18, it wasn't long before the Bills coach was yapping about the Patriots and their coach Bill Belichick.

Ryan was asked about the quarterback situation in New England since both Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett are dealing with injuries at the moment. Who might the Bills see when they visit Gillette Stadium?

"Look, I can sit back and say I don’t care who plays quarterback, cuz I know (Tom) Brady ain’t," he said. "I don’t care who plays quarterback; Steve Grogan can play quarterback. If Belichick’s playing quarterback, we’re coming after him. I promise you that."

There's no indication yet as to whether or not Garoppolo or Brissett will be unavailable for Week 4. When asked about his level of concern when it came to his quarterbacks, Belichick didn't say much during a conference call on Sunday

Ryan, like the rest of us, will probably have to wait for the Patriots to release an injury report before he learns about the status of either young passer. And until then, he'll have to prepare for both. 

Pedroia leads Red Sox to 11th win in a row, 3-2 over Rays in 10


Pedroia leads Red Sox to 11th win in a row, 3-2 over Rays in 10

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Dustin Pedroia used nifty baserunning to score from first base on David Ortiz's double in the 10th inning and the AL East-leading Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-2 on Sunday for their 11th consecutive win.

Pedroia singled off Eddie Gamboa (0-1) to start the inning. The relay throw on Ortiz's hit to right center beat Pedroia to plate but he avoided Luke Maile's first tag. Pedroia's momentum carried him past the plate and when he went back to touch it, Maile was charged with an error when the ball dropped out his glove on another tag try.

Pedroia hit a solo homer and Mookie Betts extended his hitting streak to 11 games with an RBI single for the Red Sox, who secured at least an AL wild-card spot Saturday night. Boston's magic number to clinch the division title dropped to two.

Joe Kelly (4-0) went 2 2/3 scoreless innings for the win.

Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez struck out a career-high 13 in 5 1/3 innings. The left-hander and Heath Hembree combined to strikeout 11 consecutive batters to establish a major league-record. The New York Mets held the previous mark when Tom Seaver struck out 10 in a row against San Diego on Apr. 22, 1970.

Boston also set a club record by striking out 21 through nine. Kelly added two more in the 10th.

There was a moment of silence before the game for Miami pitcher Jose Fernandez, who was killed in a boating accident early Sunday. Fernandez played high school baseball in nearby Tampa, Florida after defecting from Cuba.

The Rays planned to honor Ortiz before his final game at Tropicana Field but canceled the ceremony at Ortiz's request after Fernandez's death. He had three hits in five at-bats and moved past Frank Thomas for 107th place on the career list with 2,469 hits.

Ortiz has 35 homers and 90 RBIs at Tropicana Field, which is the most of any visiting player. Alex Rodriguez is next with 30 homers and 73 RBIs.


Rays 3B Evan Longoria and RHP Chris Archer informally presented Ortiz with an oil painting of his 500th home run, which he hit at Tropicana Field last season. Ortiz was also given 34 special handmade Diamond Crown Maximus cigars and $5,000 donations in his name to the Miracle League of St. Petersburg, Florida and the University of South Florida Latino scholarship program.


Red Sox: Ortiz will play at Yankee Stadium for the final time during a three-game series against New York that starts Tuesday night. "Playing baseball in New York is something that is very special," Ortiz said. LHP David Price (17-8) will start for the Red Sox Tuesday night.

Rays: LHP Drew Smyly (7-11) will face White Sox RHP James Shields (3-11) Monday night in the first of four games in Chicago.

© 2016 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.