Saturday, February 22, 2014

The United States and Canada weren't the only bitter rivals going at is Friday, as Boston Red Sox CEO Larry Lucchino made some interesting comments during a media session that caught the attention of Yankees president Randy Levine.

Lucchino took some shots at the Yankees after the Bombers spent $438 million to sign Masahiro Tanaka, Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran this winter.

“We're very different animals. I'm proud of that difference,” Lucchino, speaking about the different styles of the two clubs. “I always cringe when people lump us together. Other baseball teams sometimes do that. They are still, this year at least, relying heavily on their inimitable old-fashioned Yankees style of high-priced, long-term free agents. I can't say I wish them well, but I think we've taken a different approach.”

Since Theo Epstein left for the Chicago Cubs after the 2012 season, the Red Sox have tried very hard to rid themselves of big, long-term contract, leading to such moves as trading away Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford in August of 2012.

Last winter, they built their teams with a handful of savvy free-agents signings, like Mike Napoli, Koji Uehara, David Ross, Jonny Gomes and Stephen Drew. All of those signings played big roles in Boston's World Series run last season.

The Yankees, on the other hand, tried hard to save money the last couple of offseason in hopes of getting under the $189 million luxury-tax threshold by 2014, but after missing the playoffs last season, the spent nearly $500 million on free-agents in hopes of getting them back to October.

"If you compare what we did last year in the offseason to what they've done this year, there's quite a contrast there,” Lucchino said. “I'll quickly say we do keep open the prospect of signing a long-term deal with a free agent, paying a sizable amount of money to attract a star in his prime. We haven't ruled that out. There's just a rebuttable presumption against doing that. But you can rebut it. The circumstances can allow for you to go ahead and do it. The Yankees do it more often it seems to me as a matter of course."

Yankees team president Randy Levine returned serve after hearing of Lucchino’s comments.

“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. Ben Cherington and the Red Sox did a great job last year winning the World Series, but I’m confident Cash and Joe and our players will compete with a great Red Sox team to win a world championship this year.”

Baseball games finally start this week, with Opening Day still a month away. Yet, the rivalry has already begun to heat up this season. Let's play ball already!

Yankees links worth sharing:

Ray Perkins faced replacing the legendary Bear Bryant, much like how David Robertson faces replacing Mariano Rivera.

* Even a simple live batting practice session is a big deal when it comes to Masahiro Tanaka.

* A New York Yankees team preview for 2014 from

* A list of international prospects that could be coming to the US next year for the Yankees to target.

* Mark Teixeira is going to miss the first week of spring training games, but could start playing in games by March 3rd, at the earliest.

* Tanaka is still making great impressions early in the spring; CC Sabathia had an interesting trip to Dr. James Andrews' office in October.

Today's warm-up song: "Sirens" by Pearl Jam. I don't know if you have heard this song or not, but Pearl Jam really nailed it with this one. Great listen.

Gavin Ewbank is the Lead Writer of Yanks Beat Blog, and you can follow him on Twitter @GavinEwbank.


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