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.