Tuesday notes: Rivalry renewed

Bobby Valentine’s leadership has clearly provided the Red Sox with the upper hand in the New York-Boston rivalry, as the new manager washed away all remaining thoughts about fried chicken, beer and the September 2011 collapse with a crushing 1-0 Grapefruit League victory over the Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

Not buying it? Yeah, you shouldn’t be. While it’s nice to see players wearing Yankees and Red Sox uniforms back on the field, the truth is that this night won’t mean a whole lot come April — or, really, in the morning. But it sure gives us something to talk about.

“This is a great rivalry, no matter who the pieces are in place,” Joe Girardi said before the game. “Whether I’m here or not, it’s a great rivalry. When Yogi (Berra) played or moved on to Mickey (Mantle) or when I played with Bernie (Williams), it’s always been a great rivalry.”

In the visiting dugout, Valentine echoed similar thoughts, saying that the rivalry belonged to the players and he has just been invited to play a fractional part.

“It’s baseball at its finest, you know,” he said. “I remember the (2000) Subway Series when the Commissioner came in, he said, ‘This is the showcase of showcases, New York against New York playing baseball on our finest stage.’ And I think of that every time the Yankees and the Red Sox play. It’s an honor, it’s great.”

It’s going to be fun to see Valentine and Girardi go head to head this season; their personalities probably couldn’t clash more, and suffice it to say I don’t think they’ll be breaking bread anytime soon on Boston’s Newbury Street.

“I’m sure it’s going to be a different flavor because it’s a different manager,” Girardi said. “I’m sure people felt it was different when I came than when Joe (Torre) was here, because I’m a different human being. I don’t know what kind of spice it’s going to add, but we’re going to find out.”

What went right: Ivan Nova showcased much better command of all of his pitches in four scoreless innings. He loved his changeup; the Yankees liked his fastball location. … Mariano Rivera threw nine of 13 pitches for strikes in a scoreless fifth inning, breaking his first bat of the spring … Boone Logan pitched a clean sixth … the Yankees did not allow an earned run.

What went wrong: The bats were cold again, as Felix Doubront pitched four scoreless, two-hit innings. The Yankees managed just four hits. … Zoilo Almonte and David Adams committed errors on a ninth-inning play that led to the only run scored in the game, as Pedro Ciriaco singled and came around to score. … Eduardo Nunez felt pain in his right hand again and won’t pick up a bat until Saturday.

What they said: “The biggest burden, from what I gather, is trying to get your friends tickets. It really is, I hear. People have to turn away their relatives, and that’s a lousy way of going about a day’s work.” – Valentine, on the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry.

What’s next: The Yankees are on the road Wednesday, traveling to Dunedin, Fla., for a 1:05 p.m. ET meeting with the Blue Jays. Right-hander Freddy Garcia will make his third spring start for New York and be opposed by right-hander Henderson Alvarez. The Yankees’ travel roster includes the starting infield of Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, Robinson Cano and Mark Teixeira, plus Curtis Granderson and Nick Swisher in the outfield.

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