Valentine not sure what to expect from rivalry

Bobby Valentine has learned a lot of things across his many

years as a manager.

Among them?

How to work the media.

So it was hardly a surprise inside the Mohegan Sun casino on

Friday – at the Connecticut Sports Foundation’s annual charity

dinner to benefit cancer research – that the new manager of the

Boston Red Sox offered very little, especially when it comes to who

is now his biggest rival.

In fact, Valentine said he’s not sure what it will be like to

manage Boston against the New York Yankees, and Don Zimmer says

he’s not giving him any advice.

Valentine and Zimmer, a former Red Sox skipper and Yankees

coach, were among a group of baseball stars who showed up at the

casino for the charity and spoke with reporters beforehand. Former

Yankee greats Goose Gossage and Yogi Berra also were there along

with current Yankee Francisco Cervelli.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi was expected, but didn’t meet with

the media.

”Is (Girardi) in this building now?” Valentine joked. ”I

still hate ’em.”

That was a reference to a comment Valentine made at the winter

meetings, when he told reporters that he hated the Yankees and

didn’t want to waste his time talking about them. He was more

introspective Friday.

”I really can’t tell you what (the rivalry) is,” said

Valentine, who has also managed the Texas Rangers and New York Mets

as well as the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan. ”I haven’t

experienced it yet. These guys have experienced it much more than I

have. I am looking forward to it, that’s for sure.”

Zimmer, now an advisor to Tampa Bay, said if he were Valentine,

he’d be more worried about the Rays.

”I give him no advice,” Zimmer said. ”Bobby’s his own man. I

was there. I know what it’s about and I loved every minute of it.

Managing is managing. It has its ups and downs. You’re going to get

cheered; you’re going to get booed.

”You’ve got to take it wherever you go.”

But Gossage said you have to take more of it when you play in

Boston. He talked about being spit on in the bullpen at Fenway

Park, and having beers thrown in his face.

”There is no rivalry in sports that rivals the Yankees-Red

Sox,” he said. ”That playoff game in ’78 – it felt like the

playoffs and World Series were exhibition games after that.”

The Yankees outlasted the Red Sox, 5-4, in the 1978 American

League East tiebreaker at Fenway. Gossage notched his 27th save of

the season in the win on Oct. 2, 1978.

Berra said he enjoyed the ride to Connecticut and liked meeting

the Boston fans. Even though an annual Quinnipiac University poll

last summer found there are slightly more Yankees fans in

Connecticut than Red Sox fans.

Forty-three percent of baseball fans surveyed in the poll, which

had an error margin of 2.6 percentage points, supported the

Yankees. Thirty-eight percent said they were fans of the Sox.

”It will probably go about 10 percent to the Yankees,” joked

Valentine, who was born and raised in Stamford, ”with my

presence.”