Only in New York could something that started off as a remembrance of 9/11 turn into a war of words. Thank Bobby Valentine for that.
On Wednesday, the former Mets manager went on WFAN and bizarrely brought up how he felt the Yankees were absent in the days following the tragedy, saying at one point, “you couldn’t find a Yankee on the streets.”
This didn’t sit well with Yankees President Randy Levine, who took exception with Valentine’s comments. Levine, to his credit, took the high road in an interview with Newsday which put Valentine in his place.
“It’s very sad that Bobby Valentine would pick this day,” Levine told Newsday. “This is a day for reflection and prayer. The Yankees have always remembered the heroes of 9/11 and continue to do so. What Bobby Valentine should understand is that nobody wants to hear about his opinion as to who does what better. He should be silent and remember.”
Levine continued and cited the Yankees’ involvement with helping the city heal after the World Trade Center tragedy.
“This is not the day to point fingers at anybody,” Levine said. “This is a day to reflect. Moreover, since he only thinks about himself, he must have forgotten when the Yankees visited Ground Zero, St. Vincent’s Hospital, the Armory, the Javits Center, where rescue crews were working.”
CBS New York reports that Valentine apologized via email, saying “he’d follow Randy’s lead and be silent.” That didn’t last too long. Valentine went on the air with NBC Sports Radio’s Erik Kuselias on Thursday and proceeded to dig himself an even deeper hole:
“I just thought I’d speak for the record that, that week, there weren’t any Yankees out there. And if there were, Mr. Levine can just come up with a photograph of somebody at a firehouse or a funeral or at someone’s house. All I remember is people asking for the Yankees and me making excuses for them not being there.”
Here’s the whole clip. It’s impossible to even speculate whey Valentine would take this tone on a day of remembrance. Is he still that miffed about how the 2000 World Series ended? (And if he is, shouldn’t he more upset with Timo Perez than the Yankees?)
Suffice to say, after this it’s very unlikely we’ll ever see Valentine in a Major League dugout again.
Seems Keith Olbermann will have a repeat “Worst Person in the Sports World” tonight.
Oh and Bobby, here’s some photographic evidence: