Reggie Jackson: Varitek is no A-Rod


Reggie Jackson: Varitek is no A-Rod

Throw another log on the Red SoxYankees fire.

Reggie Jackson will be at Tuesday's game -- the first of the rivalry for new Sox bench boss Bobby Valentine -- and turned up the heat early via ESPN New York radio.

Jackson began by crediting Valentine for starting his new job with gusto. The comment about "hating" the Yankees was a particular stroke of genius.

"If Bobby Valentine can get them playing better, that is what is important that he brings to the table for the Red Sox," Jackson said. "I don't think Bobby gets enough credit for his brains. He is a very bright guy."

What didn't earn Mr. October's praise, however, was Valentine's tweak of Alex Rodriguez. When catcher Jason Varitek retired this year, it was Valentine who brought up the fight, that famous photographic moment when Varitek stuffed his mitt in Rodriguez's face.

To hear Valentine's quote about A-Rod getting "beat up," Jackson went off.

"What's Varitek's first name?" he asked.

"They don't ask that about Alex. I had to ask you Jason Varitek's first name. They don't ask that about Alex. They are not going to ask that about Alex Rodriguez. You are going to know his first name and his last name. And besides it, there are going to be 2,000 ribbies, 700 home runs and whatever else he adds up to. He may have a negative in there, but love him or hate him, you cannot ignore him. I can't put Varitek in that paragraph."

It's not a simple matter of loyalty as much as it is Jackson's brand of honesty. In the same tone, he said Valentine will be a "great" fit in Boston.

One opinion appreciated, the other maybe not.