Mike Napoli’s choice of words sparks fire under Yankees / Red Sox rivalry

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Coming into the series, the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox rivalry didn’t have the fanfare that it’s had in years past. The Red Sox are just fighting to stay out of the American League East cellar while the Yankees are so close to first place they could almost taste it; so it’s quite obvious the Yankees don’t really have time to get into arguments that could sidetrack them in their quest to chase for a postseason spot. However, in the 9th inning of last night’s 2-1 loss, the rivalry was intensified among Yankees and Red Sox fans.

Masahiro Tanaka made a questionable pitch selection after shaking off Brian McCann twice, throwing a fastball to Mike Napoli who turned on it and deposited it into the seats. Yankees were trailing 2-1 and Napoli helped his team get a lead, nothing wrong with that, right? Well, it was the way he celebrated afterwards that had Yankees fans on edge.

As Napoli entered the Red Sox dugout, he was heard saying the words “what an idiot” while giving his teammates a high five. The “what an idiot” was directed towards Masahiro Tanaka and his pitch selection–which Tanaka somehow agreed with after the game when he was asked about Napoli’s comments. Napoli realized he ruffled some feathers and acknowledged his comments during the Red Sox post game,but the damage had already been done.

“Nothing toward him,” he said. “I thought he would throw me a splitter in the dirt.”

Napoli may not have meant his words but if there’s one thing the Yankees dislike, it’s when opposing players show up their team, not to mention the game was on national television. So what will the Yankees do? Will they retaliate for Napoli’s choice of words about their ace or will the Yankees be professional about it? Once thing is certain, last night’s antics just made tonight’s game really interesting.

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12 Responses to Mike Napoli’s choice of words sparks fire under Yankees / Red Sox rivalry

  1. Gerry says:

    Joe Torre representing MLB should fine Napoli for unsportsmanlike behaviour. The RedSox should also issue a statement chastizing Napoli for his childish choice of words and for embarrassing the RedSox team.

  2. Yankeelawdog says:

    Those words make Napoli the idiot

    • Steve B says:

      What gets me is Napoli said after the game, he didn't mean anything about it….Of course he did !!
      When you say it in the heat of competition, you always mean it…Napoli just tried to half-ass his way to an apology.

    • Steve B. says:

      Also, it's clearly seen that Napoli's teammates laugh at what Mike said…how can any Little League coach or any baseball coach for that matter condone that ?…It should be used as an example of bad sportsmanship, and Derek Jeter should always be used as an example of good sportsmanship.

      We may have lost the game, but the Red Sox were shown on national TV to be bad sports, so there was an ethical victory here.

  3. Qbmom says:

    Not a good example for young fans

  4. Gerry Gagnon says:

    You wonder if the Yankees will remain "professional"? For the last several years, the Yankes have on many occasions let the Blue Jays and Red Sox hit the top Yankee players with pitches — with no retaliation. Napoli's reaction is representative of the contempt that evolves when you're too cowardly to stand up for yourself. The Yankees "professionalism" has simply been a combination of a lack of confidence, and a political correctness that is ultimately damaging to a competitive team… In short, the Yankees have been reacting like wusses for several years now and if its embarrassing for me to watch, i can only wonder what it's like for past Yankee greats…

  5. Mike says:

    Napoli will never be a Hall of Famer. He is punk kid who hasn't grown up!!

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