Offended and incredulous, Mark Teixeira responded to comments made by former teammate and current Red Sox reliever Vicente Padilla, who accused Teixeira of mistreating his Latin teammates while they played together in Texas and also saying Teixeira once threatened to hit him with a bat.
“That's crazy,” he said. “But I wouldn't expect anything else really.”
The two have had a history of bad blood since their days with the Rangers, and following Saturday's doubleheader Padilla told NESN.com,”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. 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 Frank Francisco, 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 said, “If that's the case, then I ask you guys to interview every one of my Latin teammates in this clubhouse right now and ask them. That's why it's funny. It's completely erroneous.”
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he was made aware of the comments, acknowledged the negative history between Padilla and Teixeira, and defended Teixeira's toughness and his character as a teammate.
“Tex is one of the toughest players I've been around,” Girardi said. “You watch what he's played through – broken toes, bad wrist – this guy plays every day. So as far as that goes. There's bad history, and a lot of times comments are said, but as far as being tough, Tex is tough.
“Tex gets along with all of his teammates. Tex's is a good teammate. Everyone's going to have their opinion, but Tex's a good guy and that's the bottom line. And he's a tough guy. And I don't mean that in a sense that he likes to bully. I mean that he plays hurt all the time.”
Asked if he'd prefer not seeing a Padilla-Teixeira matchup tonight, Girardi said, “I'm not going to get caught up in it. If it happens, it happens.” The possible punishment, Girardi guessed, should there be an altercation would be enough of a deterrent.
“You would think that with what was said, if he hits him, it's not going to be two or three days,” Girardi said. “Yeah, he could hurt my guy, but that's a decision I'm going to have to make.”