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Justin Verlander tipped his cap to the Yankees crowd as they booed him off the mound

Beef: It's what's for dinner, and it's also an extremely reliable purveyor of baseball hijinks. There's nothing quite like a good baseball beef, the way it builds over a long season, the way it can make every pitch seem positively Shakespearean -- which is why we're pleased to report that the feud between Yankees fans and Justin Verlander seems to be coming along quite nicely.

It began, as you probably remember, back in the 2017 ALCS, when Verlander helped pitch the Astros past New York with two dominant starts. Things really got rolling a few months later, when the righty took exception to the notion that the Yankees -- having just acquired Giancarlo Stanton -- were the team to beat in the American League. 

Flash forward to Monday's Memorial Day matchup in the Bronx, where Verlander had just put the finishing touches on another masterful start: going 6 2/3 innings, five hits, five strikeouts, no walks and one run. As he made his way off the mound, the New York faithful greeted him with a lusty Bronx cheer. Verlander's response? Thank you very much, everyone:

Verlander

As the righty told MLB.com's Brian McTaggart after the game, he wouldn't want it any other way: "I kind of expected it," Verlander said. "I didn't get as many boos when they announced my name in pregame as I thought, but coming off the field I definitely got a fair amount. I've come to find here in Yankee Stadium it's a term of endearment, so thank you."

Is it too early to start daydreaming about October?