NEW YORK -- While the rest of the world was apparently watching a baseball fly over the leftfield fence in the eighth inning of Thursday night's Yankees-Blue Jays game, Shawn Kelley was watching the man who hit it.
And he did not like what he saw: Jose Bautista, who hit the two-run shot that momentarily tied the game, shouting obscenities out toward the field, watching the flight of the baseball, and slamming his bat down when he saw it land in the seats.
New York Yankees
"I didn’t understand the extent of that emotion, I guess," said Kelley, who was bailed out by Chris Young, Antoan Richardson and Chase Headley in the bottom of the ninth. "I guess I maybe took it a little bit personal like it was directed toward me. Maybe it was, maybe it wasn’t, but I don’t feel like that necessarily is the right thing to do in that situation. I honestly felt disrespected. I didn’t do anything to deserve it.”
Kelley said, however, that he chose not to confront Bautista on the field Thursday night.
"I don’t think there’s any point in that," he said. "We’re both competitive and we’re both competitors and we’ve still got three games, so I could be back out there again facing him. I’m not trying to start a big stir or personal battle with him or with our teams or start any drama. I just, I was a little bothered by the way it went down last night, and I felt like it was OK for me to say something.”
Manager Joe Girardi, who in the past has said that the best way to put an end to home run demonstrations is simply not to allow home runs, said he did not see Bautista's antics and could not adequately make a judgment on them.
"I was paying attention to [Brett Gardner] in the outfield," Girardi said. "It’s maybe something I need to look at. I did not see it because I was hoping the ball wasn’t going to go out, and Gardy acted like he had a chance.”
But even without seeing the play, Girardi seemed not to think it was as big deal as it appeared to be to Kelley.
“People are always going to take exception to when they feel that they’re being shown up," Girardi said. "I understand that. Sometimes players do it intentionally, but 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. Years and years ago, it wasn’t accepted. So, the game has changed. But I’d have to see it to really understand it.”