Via Sean McAdam –
The rivarly between the players on the field — save for an occasional Ryan Dempster target practice at A-Rod — has cooled. But as long as Larry Lucchino and Randy Levine are around, the Red Sox and Yankees will always be the Hatfields and the McCoys.
In his annual spring-training meeting with the media on Friday, Lucchino seemed to take more than a little satisfaction in watching the Yankees spend more than a half-billion dollars this winter on free agents Brian McCann, Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran and Masahiro Tanaka, trying to play catch-up to the world champion Red Sox.
“We’re very different animals,” the Red Sox CEO said of the Sox and Yanks. “I’m proud of that difference. I always cringe when people lump us together.”
By contrast, the Sox continued the philosophy that brought them a championship, signing complementary players — like catcher A.J. Pierzynski and pitcher Chris Capuano — to cheaper, shorter-term deals.
The Yankees, said Lucchino, “are still, this year at least, relying heavily on their inimitable old-fashioned Yankees style of high-priced, long-term free agents. And I can’t say that I wish them well, but I think that we’ve taken a different approach.”
Well, you knew Levine — the Yankees’ president and CEO, who has tangled with Lucchino in the past — wouldn’t take that lying down.
“I feel bad for Larry; he constantly sees ghosts and is spooked by the Yankees,” Levine said. “But I can understand why, because under his and Bobby Valentine’s plan two years ago, the Red Sox were in last place.”
“[Boston general manager] Ben Cherington and the Red Sox did a great job last year winning the World Series,” continued Levine, “but I’m confident [Yankee GM Brian Cashman and manager Joe Girardi] and our players will compete with a great Red Sox team to win a world championship this year.”
Lucchino and Levine are both blowhards who need to learn to stay quiet. Lucchino only talks when he team has done well and then he crawls under a rock when they tank. And, Levine needs to learn that playing the ghosts card died in 2004. On the whole, they both need to wake up and realize that they are not Williams and DiMaggio, or Fisk and Munson, or even Schilling and A-Rod, and no one wants to hear a couple of stuffed shirts trying to be macho.