Valentine admits he was wrong on Jeter's flip

Valentine admits he was wrong on Jeter's flip

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine stands corrected on Derek Jeter's flip play from the 2001 American League Division Series against the Oakland Athletics. After conferring with Gary Tuck, his catching instructor who used to work with the Yankees, Valentine retracted his assertion that Jeter and the Yankees couldn't have practiced such a play.

In fact, Jeter and the Yankees were working on that very drill during Wednesday's workout in Tampa.

"I asked Gary Tuck," Valentine said. "He said they do practice it. Total mistake on my part that they don't practice it, that's for sure. And he said that when they practiced it, Jeter always got there late in practice. In that game, he got there on time."

Valentine wanted to make it clear he was talking about the play only in the pure context of baseball fundamentals, and he left no mystery about how he feels about Jeter.

"I love Derek Jeter," Valentine said.

As for the play itself, in which Yankees right fielder Shane Spencer airmailed two cutoff men and Jeter was on the first-base side of the pitcher's mound and flipped home to get Jeremy Giambi?

"So it's interesting," Valentine said. "As I said yesterday, the shortstop there is being aware, but it's hard to practice that, because why are we going to practice a bad throw? It's not what we're doing here, but I get it. I get it. Believe me."

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.