When asked for his thoughts about Cervelli's celebratory clap at home plate after he hit only his second home run of the season, Saltalamacchia raised a few eyebrows with his comment.
"The game is changing," Saltalamacchia said Tuesday. "Younger guys are coming in, (Rangers shortstop) Elvis Andrus and (Blue Jays shortstop Yunel) Escobar, a lot of Latin players and that's the way they play the game. It's OK to an extent, but if you go further than that, than that's when you've got to kind of step back."
A few minutes later in the clubhouse, Saltalamacchia attempted to clarify what he meant.
"Let me clarify: I wasn't trying to say 'Latin players' or any of that stuff. I meant he's an emotional guy," Saltalamacchia said. "The younger guys who are coming up now are real emotional players. They're young players coming up, wanting to make a name, wanting to stick around and the game has changed a little bit from when the older guys were coming up, veterans were a key in their development.
"So basically I was just saying that (Cervelli is) a real emotional guy. I have no issues with him doing what he does because that's the player he is."
Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz defended his teammate's comments.
"He's a great kid. I mean, we are like that for real," Ortiz said with a laugh. "Sometimes we kind of forget about where we're playing at and we do things that we brought from my country, but he's such a great dude. I don't think he meant anything bad. He was telling you the truth, you know what I'm saying? Salty's a sweet dude, he come every day here and he give me a hug, you know what I'm saying, and I'm Latin."
Saltalamacchia again clarified his statements on Wednesday.
"Like I said, no disrespect, if anything I was defending (Cervelli) , trying to make it known that I understand that's the type of player he is, he's an exciting player, so I meant no disrespect. ... He even said it the other day, I heard him say it, that's the way he plays, he gets excited, he likes to go out there and be passionate, he loves the game and I respect that," Saltalamacchia said. "I love seeing guys out there that love the game, respect the game and go out there and play hard. ... Nobody took it the wrong way. I think everyone took it the way it was meant."
Joe McDonald covers the Red Sox for ESPNBoston.com. Ian O'Connor of ESPNNewYork.com contributed to this report.