Kelley not pleased with Bautista's reaction after homer
Blue Jays slugger insists his demonstrative enthusiasm wasn't directed at pitcher
NEW YORK -- Shawn Kelley will admit that he missed his location. His batterymate, Francisco Cervelli, will admit that he called the wrong pitch. Either way, the combination resulted in Jose Bautista smacking Kelley's high fastball into the left-field seats to tie Thursday's game in the eighth inning. The Yankees, however, went on to win, 3-2.
But it's what came directly after Bautista's swing that may have angered Kelley the most, when the Blue Jays slugger slammed his bat down and began cursing as he rounded the bases. To Bautista, that was just a passionate cathartic release. To Kelley, it was something more.
"I honestly felt disrespected and I didn't do anything to deserve it," said Kelley. "I kind of saw the reaction and heard the cursing and stuff running around the bases. I didn't get it.
"We're both competitive and we're both competitors. We've still got three games, so I could still be out there facing him. So I'm not trying to start a big stir or personal battle with him or with our teams or start any drama. I was a little bothered by the way it went down last night, and I felt it was OK for me to say something."
Bautista, meanwhile, said none of his demonstrative enthusiasm had anything to do with Kelley or the Yankees, and that it was really a public venting of personal frustration.
"It's unfortunate that he thinks that any of my emotions following last night's home run had anything to do with him. It didn't," said Bautista. "I was in a moment of a lot of passion because of the developments of the game, and stuff that had happened to me throughout the game had me fired up at the moment. ... I'm sorry he felt like any of it was directed to him or the Yankees, which it wasn't."
Bautista clarified his reasoning even more.
"I [wasn't] able to come through in other moments, particularly more the first pitch in that at-bat, believing that it was a ball and it was called a strike," Bautista said. "Especially in that position, where we're fighting for our life chance-wise going to the playoffs, close ballgame, eighth inning, down by two, man on first. I was pretty fired up. I felt like it was a pitch that was a pretty bad ball [that] gets called a strike. I was yelling and cursing, too, when I fouled a ball back. Yet he doesn't seem to be too upset about that."
Yankees manager Joe Girardi didn't notice any of the extracurricular activity during the home run trot (he was too busy watching Brett Gardner try to make a play on the ball). But he tried to put things in perspective Friday.
"People are always going to take exception to when they feel that they're being shown up. I understand that," said Girardi. "Sometimes players do it intentionally. Most of the time they don't. It's become accepted in our world that you can do things when you do things well in sports, when years ago, it wasn't acceptable. The game has changed."
Cervelli, however, wasn't bothered at all.
"They can do whatever they want," he said. "I respect every guy. I think he was upset for something, maybe his first pitch, but that's his at-bat. It doesn't bother me."