Mark Teixeira did a lot of fielding yesterday but too bad most of it was directed at questions stemming from Boston Red Sox pitcher Vicente Padilla's accusations that the Yankees first baseman was prejudiced against Latinos and would "be better off playing a women's sport."
Offended and amused by the remarks Padilla made after Saturday's double-header— including accusations that Teixeira threatened to hit him with a bat while they were Texas Rangers teammates— Teixeira fired back.
"Hilarious," said Teixeira. "If that's the case, interview every one of my Latin teammates in the clubhouse right no and ask them. . . it's completely erroneous."
Teixeira has never tried to hide the fact that he dislikes Padilla- a feud that goes back in 2005 when they first faced each other as opponents and Tex hit home runs in his first two at-bats. Padilla plunked Teixeira on the very next pitch.
After that run-in, they became uncomfortable teammates with the Rangers, when, according to Teixeira, he and Michael Young took most of the retaliation for Padilla popping opposing batters.
The rivalry escalated after Teixeira knocked in the winning run off Padilla in Friday's game and said the pitcher "doesn't have a lot of friends in the game" and "In the NFL, he would probably be suspended by Roger Goodell for eight games or a whole season. But this is baseball."
Teixeira— of Portuguese-American descent— laughed at Padilla's claim that he was afraid of the pitcher.
"That's crazy," Teixeira said. "But I wouldn't expect anything else really."
Both Freddy Garcia and Cano Robinson had Teixeira's back when it came to the Latino bias claims.
"I don't know anything that happened over there [in Texas], but he is a nice guy, one of the nicest guys on the team," said Robinson.
Garcia called his Yankee teammate "a great guy, a family guy. he respects everybody... Anybody can say anything they want to say."
Yankees manager Joe Girardi actually contemplated pinch-hitting for Tex if he was up against Padilla— just to avoid a confrontation.
"You'd think that— with what was said— if [Padilla] hits him, it's not going to be 2-3 days," said Girardi. "He could hurt my guy."
Teixeira brushed off the Padilla's claim that he's "always thrown inside" and "it's not my problem if it hits someone."
"The fact is certain things happen in this game and hitters don't have the same powers... pitchers do," said Teixeira who has been on the receiving end of three Padilla inside pitches in 18 at-bats. "The only other thing I could do is charge the mound... I'm not gonna charge the mound and get my teammates hurt."
Regarding Padilla's comment that he should be playing women's sports, Tex was a little more lighthearted, "Women's boxing is pretty tough."