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Mike Napoli calls Masahiro Tanaka an “idiot” after hitting go-ahead ninth-inning home run

Jun 29, 2014, 10:59 AM EDT

Here’s the video highlight of Mike Napoli‘s go-ahead solo blast from Saturday night, which put the Red Sox on top of the Yankees for good in the top of the ninth inning …

Listen closely as Napoli reaches the Red Sox dugout and you can hear him saying “what an idiot, what an idiot” in reference to Yankees rookie ace Masahiro Tanaka, who threw a bad fastball on a 1-2 count rather than opting for his signature out-pitch, the splitter. Napoli acknowledged that sound bite after the game:

Napoli kept his head down around the bases and saved the jab for his teammates, so this wasn’t exactly a vicious thing. But perhaps we’ll see some sort of spillover in Sunday night’s series finale on ESPN.

107 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. drewsylvania - Jun 29, 2014 at 2:46 PM

    Non-story. I’m sure this happens after 50% of all homers.

  2. djpostl - Jun 29, 2014 at 2:56 PM

    I’d drill that Shrek look-a-like in the dome for that lol

    • drewsylvania - Jun 29, 2014 at 3:02 PM

      Do you play for the Braves?

      • drewzducks - Jun 29, 2014 at 3:06 PM

        I knew McCann posted on these boards.

      • tablescrappy - Jun 29, 2014 at 4:22 PM

        Nope, Arizona Gritbacks.

    • baberuthslegs - Jun 29, 2014 at 7:08 PM

      Sticks and stones will break my bones…
      and so will a fastball in the ribs.

  3. musketmaniac - Jun 29, 2014 at 3:36 PM

    I grew up thinking people from N.y. were tough, but now I see it clearly. Yorkers are a bunch of Daisies, week minded morons who whimper and cower.

    • miguelcairo - Jun 29, 2014 at 4:08 PM

      Way to generalize one of the most populated cities in the world.

      • tfbuckfutter - Jun 29, 2014 at 4:53 PM

        “Waaaahhh! We don’t like being generalized. Waaaahh!”

        Buncha crybabies.

      • bklyn88 - Jul 6, 2014 at 2:05 PM

        He’s not even close to generalizing about New Yorkers. You obviously don’t live and never have lived in NY.

    • nomoreliesfortoday - Jun 30, 2014 at 12:07 PM

      So you were a gay little baby when you were a kid?

    • bjbeliever - Jun 30, 2014 at 1:46 PM


    • bklyn88 - Jul 6, 2014 at 2:12 PM

      What part of this story made you think that? If you’re going to offend people could you at least not sound like a fifth grader? You’re supposed to say weak not “week”. The author of this story didn’t mention nor did he show pictures of any New Yorker acting like a weak minded moron that whimpers and cowers.

  4. mikhelb - Jun 29, 2014 at 5:08 PM

    It would be much better if Napoli stood by his word and instead of backtracking said “yes I said that, he is an idiot”. Everybody already had heard the audio, it is not as if everybody misheard him or missed his point. Thats what it is, simply say “that is my opinion”, and face the consequences of his actions and words.

    • drewsylvania - Jun 29, 2014 at 5:56 PM

      He didn’t backtrack.

  5. lukedunphysscienceproject - Jun 29, 2014 at 9:09 PM

    I doubt that Tanaka is actually an idiot, and I believe me I’m no Mike Napoli fan, but it’s hard to argue with sentiment he expressed in that moment. At least hard for me to argue it, since I was basically yelling the same thing at my TV last night.

    It was a ridiculous pitch. Who grooves a fastball down the center of the plate on a 1-2 count? Napoli couldn’t have missed that ball if he was swinging blindfolded. It marred an otherwise stellar performance from Tanaka.

  6. ltpm3 - Jun 30, 2014 at 1:08 AM

    Harper did you get the spill over you wanted in the Red Sox/ Yankee game Sunday night??? What a moron you are!!

  7. stlouis1baseball - Jun 30, 2014 at 10:04 AM

    Lol! Arizona “Gritbacks.”

    Well done Scrappy. Well done.

  8. gatorprof - Jun 30, 2014 at 12:17 PM

    As a Yankee fan, Tanaka’s mild-blowing ability to give up hits when up 0-2 and 1-2 OR pitch around dangerous hitters (Napoli vs. Drew is batting .125 with zero HRs) drives me crazy. It is the major weakness in an otherwise all world skill set. I don’t know if it on McCann or on Rothschild. Given that he is a rookie, this should all be correctable and make him a much better pitcher….a scary thought.

    4th & 9th : Pedroia gets hits on 0-2 counts.

    9th: Napoli hits HR on 1-2 count. Either throw something that he can’t hit OR pitch around him the entire at bat and then face the punchless Drew.

    It is just bad fundamental baseball which IMO goes back to the coaching staff.

  9. banggbiskit - Jun 30, 2014 at 3:44 PM

    Seems like a racist comment to me, not sure why we aren’t more outraged.

    • sandpiperair - Jun 30, 2014 at 4:35 PM

      Seriously? Idiots come in all races.

    • tigersfandan - Jun 30, 2014 at 10:04 PM

      Comments like this one make it harder to identify actual instances of racism.

  10. tmc602014 - Jun 30, 2014 at 5:08 PM

    It’s not the pitch selection, it’s the execution.

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