From the LA Times:
Whether it’s Troy Percival coming up and in with a fastball against Derek Jeter or Francisco Rodriguez showing a little too much emotion after an exhilarating save, something about Angel closers seems to rub the New York Yankees the wrong way.
For years it was Percival and his knack for backing Yankee hitters off the plate — former New York bench coach Don Zimmer once called Percival a “headhunter” — that raised the ire of the Yankees.
Thursday night, Yankee third baseman Alex Rodriguez seemed to take exception to Francisco Rodriguez’s postgame celebration — a pirouette off the mound, a number of fist pumps and repeated salutes to the sky — glaring at the Angel closer as he walked off the field.
Were there harsh words between the two?
“Nope, just watching,” Alex Rodriguez said Friday. “No talking on the field. Never. I don’t do that.” Then, with a sly smile, the Yankee slugger added, “I enjoy watching him. He’s a great player. Wow. It’s something.”
Francisco Rodriguez, who escaped a runner-on-third, one-out jam by striking out Jason Giambi and getting Jorge Posada to ground out, saving the Angels’ 6-5 come-from-behind victory, appeared to bark at Alex Rodriguez but said after the game that no words were exchanged. Still, the 23-year-old closer took exception to A-Rod’s stare-down tactics.
“If Alex has something to stay to me, I’m right here; he knows where I am,” Francisco Rodriguez said. “I was probably a little more pumped because the tying run was on third with one out, and I went with everything I had…. But I’m not trying to be a hot dog. I work hard to do my job, and that’s my passion for the game.”
Rowdy Rod-ers Piping.
I wonder what my true love will send to me on the next day of Christmas?