NEW YORK — There is little actual anger in the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry these days. Long gone is the time when Carlton Fisk fought with Thurman Munson and it has been eight years since Jason Varitek fed Alex Rodriguez his catcher’s mitt.
But Red Sox reliever Vicente Padilla and Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira genuinely don’t like each other.
Once teammates in Texas, Padilla has since hit Teixeira three times with pitches and brushed him back several other times. Teixeira has said Padilla deserves to be suspended.
Earlier this month, Padilla fired back.
“In this sport, as competitive ball players, we get pretty fired up,” Padilla told NESN.com. “So I think, maybe, [Teixeira] picked the wrong profession. I think he’d be better off playing a women’s sport.”
Teixeira laughed off that comment. The two met again for the first time since then in the eighth inning Saturday night.
Padilla missed twice with fastballs then threw Teixeira a looping eephus curveball for a strike. The next pitch was a fastball and Teixeira hammered a home run to right field.
“It was very exciting. It felt good. I didn’t want to miss a fastball,” Teixeira said.
Teixeira admired his blast, pausing long enough to make Barry Bonds or Manny Ramirez proud.
“I just wanted to make sure it was fair. It was a long day and I didn’t want to waste any energy out of the box,” Teixeira said, tongue planted firmly in cheek.
Was revenge on his mind?
“Absolutely not. I’m just trying to tie the game,” Teixeira said.
Padilla was not interested in talking.
“About what? One bad day?” he said as he walked out of the clubhouse.
Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine knew that Teixeira had twice homered off Padilla earlier in his career and on July 6 had a three-run triple off him. Valentine said he considered a switch but had faith in Padilla.
“He’s a very aggressive pitcher Sometimes you’re going to get hit. I want him to stay aggressive in the strike zone,” Valentine said. “He missed his location with Tex and he’s a great hitter and made him pay for it.”