My favorite whipping boy "done good" last night.
After another horrible performance by an obviously washed up Mike Mussina, Kyle Farnsworth delivered a special message to Manny Ramirez and the rest of Terry Francona's crew that there is a new "Joe" in town.
NY Daily News' John Harper explains:
The Yankees didn't play this type of hardball when Joe Torre was managing, and it infuriated fans and annoyed some players. They thought the Red Sox pitchers got in too many free shots on Yankee hitters without retaliation. They couldn't understand why David Ortiz was never dusted.
It's hard to believe Joe Girardi ordered Farnsworth to send Ramirez a message, but it's clear the new manager wants his team to play with an edge. Maybe Farnsworth was just more comfortable delivering the message on Girardi's watch.
While he issued the standard denial that he threw the pitch with any intent, Farnsworth didn't seem to mind the insinuation that he had stood up for his team. He smiled when asked about the ovation from the fans.
"I enjoyed it," he said.
To his credit, Manny understands how this works:
In any case, even Ramirez seemed to understand it as part of the game, and give him credit for that.
"We beat up one of their big guys (Wednesday) night," said Ramirez. "They have to stand up for their people."
Apparently he was talking about the pounding the Sox gave Chien-Ming Wang, although he could have been referencing the David Aardsma fastball that nailed Alex Rodriguez in the back of the shoulder.
Add this from the Boston Herald:
Ramirez said maybe it was payback for David Aardsma hitting Alex Rodriguez on Wednesday night.
“I guess they sent a message,” Manny said.
And, no, he was not upset by that message.
“Not really, I like to compete. I like challenges.”
Is this a new Yankee philosophy?
After all of those years of watching Ken Griffey, Jr and Edgar Martinez dig in and pound the Yankees, with fans waiting for at least a brush back, has a message been sent to the rest of the league?
This is the 2nd time Ramirez has been buzzed by the Yankees this season.
Note to David Ortiz: Message sent.