Joe Girardi responded to Bobby Valentine’s “I hate the Yankees” comments by trying to avoid adding any venom. Girardi was mostly non-confrontational as he tried to downplay what will be a topic throughout the year, but he did subtly question where Valentine’s “hate” came from.
“You know what I respect the Red Sox and what they do and the task that we have in trying to win our division and how tough our division is,” Girardi said at the Yankees’ food drive on Wednesday. “I don’t know how feelings happen overnight. I’ve never been taught that is how feelings happen.”
There has been discrepancy on whether Valentine’s comments were made tongue-in-cheek or not, but people who have been around Valentine a lot know he is very calculating so Valentine’s words were not by mistake. He knew his "hate" comments would garner headlines, which they did. He also knows they will stoke the rivalry even further, causing Girardi and the Yankees to have to answer questions about them. Valentine has a way of getting under his opponents' skin.