New York Yankees
To clap, or not to clap: That was the question facing Francisco Cervelli as he rounded third after hitting a two-run homer in the second inning on Saturday.
After his last home run -- a solo shot in the fifth inning against Boston on Tuesday -- Cervelli stomped on the plate with two feet and clapped in the direction of catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
In his next at-bat that night, Cervelli was drilled in the back by John Lackey, igniting a near brawl between the Yankees and Red Sox.
He decided against clapping when he reached the plate on Saturday, instead jogging unassumingly back to the dugout.
"I don't do that on purpose [because] I don't want a bad reputation," he said.
Cervelli said that his teammates pointed out that what he did in Boston may affect how players outside of the Yankees' clubhouse perceive him.
"They just say don't try to get a bad reputation," he said. "We know you and you're a good guy. You don't like to fight, you dont like to show anybody up. But stay with the same energy."
All of the attention paid to "Plate-Gate" overshadowed a fantastic day for Cervelli, the highest-energy player on the Yankees.
Starting on Saturday in place of Russell Martin, who caught on Friday night, Cervelli went 2-for-4 with a home run and two very loud outs.
"I saw four pitches today, so I was a little aggressive," he said with a laugh.
Cervelli has two homers in the last three games after hitting just two in his entire career prior to Tuesday's (176 games/471 at-bats).
After a slow start due in part to a broken foot suffered in spring training, Cervelli's average jumped 35 points in August. He is now hitting .274 with a .333 on-base percentage.
"In the second half, his bat's been alive," said Joe Girardi.