Thank you, Mark Teixeira! Gracias, Vicente Padilla! The days of Jason Varitek and Alex Rodriguez trading punches or Pedro Martinez throwing Don Zimmer to the ground seem like a loooong time ago, and the New York Yankees-Boston Red Sox rivalry has seemed almost friendly in recent years.
There is, however, nothing friendly about the icy relationship between Teixeira, the Yankee first baseman, and Padilla, the Red Sox reliever.
First, Teixeira ripped Padilla, a former teammate, after tripling off him Friday night.
"He doesn’t have a lot of friends in the game," Teixeira said. "The guy throws at people, fact of the matter. I’m not saying anything that’s news. It is what it is. I’ve always been someone who wants to play the game the right way. You play hard, you don’t play cheap. I’ve always just lived that way, too. Some guys decide to take matters into their own hands. ... There’s only one guy in baseball. No one else does this."
Padilla's response? To say Teixeira would be "better off playing a women's sport" and adding that Teixeira doesn't like Latin players.
"The problem is he talks about all the wrong things that others have done, but the things he's done -- against the Latinos [on the Rangers] -- he doesn't open his mouth about," Padilla told NESN. "He once threatened me and said he was going to hit me with a bat, and that's when we were playing on the same team.
"And then, he also had problems with, our closer back then. But he doesn't talk about that, does he? Then, of course, he goes on and makes those comments about me."
Teixeira, for his part, said Padilla's comments were "crazy" and "completely erroneous."
Ah, yes. Some good old-fashioned hatred. Let's hope, though, that Boston manager Bobby Valentine is smart enough not use Padilla with Teixeira at bat any time soon. Or maybe ever.