Spring training games in Florida used to be informal affairs, where rules were lax, and games were suspended at the drop of a hot dog onto the field.
That was then. Now with a new Jet Blue Park, thousands of fans traveling from the Northeast paying large sums to view the big Yankees-Red Sox rivalry, it becomes a public relations disaster when the Yankees simply walk off the field at the end of the ninth inning to go to their bus with the game victory hanging in the balance.
Worse yet, Yankee runway model for Calvin Klein/manager Joe Girardi never tells Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine that he does not intend to play extra innings.
Don't tell the fans. They may demand their money back.
The Yankee manager insisted that he did not have enough pitching for extra innings--- and the bus ride back was a long one.
Could it also have something to do with a squeeze bunt in the bottom of the ninth that tied the game? Were the Yankees perturbed that the Sox embarrassed them in a meaningless game?
Could there be bad blood between the teams? between the managers? Could it be that Bobby V hates the Yankees and hurt their feelings?
Stay tuned for the regular season to find out how bad this can get. The next big meeting between the long-simmering rivals is on the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic.
Yes, it coincides with the 100th anniversary of the opening of Fenway Park.
Expect the ghost of Babe Ruth to make an obligatory appearance, cursing the Sox.
More likely, you can expect some fireworks on the field. At the least, we have many expectations.
When pouting Joe Giraridi stormed off the field at the end of regulation baseball, he looked even more like an aging Chippendale dancer in a snit than Ralph Houk or Casey Stengel.
To give weak-kneed excuses that his team cannot come on to the field in the tenth inning started to look like Hannibal saying his elephants were too tired to cross the Alps to overrun Rome.
Bobby Valentine called the Yankees discourteous, which is baseball slang for calling the thugs violators of diplomatic tea sipping.
Have we confused our Celtics-Knicks rivalry with our Jets-Patriots rivalry? In any respect we can hardly wait for the Titanic meeting in April when the Rangers-Bruins mix it up.
There we go again, mixing up our metaphors.