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Will New York Yankees Retaliate for Mike Napoli Calling Masahiro Tanaka an Idiot?

June 29th, 2014 at 2:32 PM
By Michael Moraitis

Boston Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli added insult to injury on Saturday night after he hit a go-ahead home run off New York Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka, and then was heard calling the Japanese star an idiot.

It happened in the top of the ninth inning in the Red Sox's 2-1 win over the Yankees. Napoli got a fastball up that he could handle and promptly took it over the short porch in right field for what was eventually the game-winning run.

A video of Napoli's home run can be see below, courtesy of MLB.com, and you can faintly hear his diss of Tanaka:

The question is: will the Yankees give Napoli some chin music on Sunday to stand up for their ace?

Much to the chagrin of Yankees fans, don't count on it. This generation of Yankees teams hasn't been inclined to do anything of the sort in recent years.

Take David Ortiz for example. Big Papi has been killing the Bronx Bombers for years and not a single pitcher has moved him off the plate, thus Ortiz is nice and comfortable in the batter's box.

Now, that's not to say Ortiz wouldn't still be as confident or effective against the Yanks, but it's the old school thought that quite possibly giving him something else to think about when at the plate could help a bit.

With that being said, it isn't likely Napoli gets any kind of punishment on the field for his actions.

Manager Joe Girardi won't expect nor condone his players to do anything about it—at least not publicly. The history speaks for itself to back that up during Girardi's tenure. Besides, with the Yanks already having a very injured roster and missing a ton of players, losing another to a suspension will undoubtedly hurt.

Adding to the list of reasons why the Yanks will do nothing is the fact that Napoli has already somewhat backpedaled on his name-calling, per Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports:

"Nothing toward him," Napoli said, according to Rosenthal. "I thought he was going to throw me a split in the dirt. He had been getting me out all night on it."

Whether that makes a difference or not in the Yanks' eyes remains to be seen. Granted, he did try to explain himself, but that wasn't exactly an apology, either.

If the Yanks do exact revenge on Napoli and hit him or even come close, what was a somewhat dormant rivalry will instantly heat up again and a brawl could very well ensue.

But, again, that hasn't been the Yankee way in recent years and those old-fashioned fans who still believe retaliation should come in the form of a brush back will be sorely disappointed.

Tags: Baseball, Boston Red Sox, David Ortiz, Masahiro Tanaka, Mike Napoli, MLB, New York, New York Yankees

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