Jarrod Saltalamacchia: ‘We didn’t brush [Mark Teixeira] back and look what happened’
|07.07.12 at 6:10 pm ET|
Jarrod Saltlamacchia heard about the Mark Teixeira comments directed at Vicente Padilla after Friday night’s Yankees win. Those were the ones where the New York first baseman said Padilla “throws at people” and might warrant a season-long suspension if he played in the NFL.
Saltalamacchia wasn’t surprised. But that doesn’t mean he’s about to side with the player he was once traded for.
In fact, the Red Sox’ catcher surmised that if Padilla had stayed the kind of course with Teixeira which has fueled the rivalry between the former Rangers teammates, the results in the seventh inning Friday night might have been different.
“I know how he feels about him because I was in Texas after he left. I know how a lot of guys feel about him, but you know what? He’s a pretty good darn pitcher,” said Saltalmacchia, who was catching when Teixeira hit his go-ahead, two-run triple against Padilla.
“It doesn’t surprise me that somebody would say that. It’s tough because it’s part of the game and you have to do that, especially since he’s faced him twice and he hit two homers off of him so you have to do something to get him out. Brush him back, scare him a little bit and he’s gotten him out since. Last night we didn’t brush him back and look what happened. Maybe if we throw the first pitch up and in we strike him out on three pitches.”
The history with Teixeira and Padilla goes back to when both played in Texas and the first baseman was reportedly upset that he continued to be the target of retaliation after the pitcher’s hit-batsmen.
Since going their separate ways, Padilla has faced Teixiera 11 times, hitting him on three occasions.
Friday night, with a pair of runners on and the Red Sox clinging to a one-run lead, Padilla didn’t come dangerously inside on any of his seven pitches, with the end result being Teixeira hitting a 94 mph fastball into the center field triangle.
The Red Sox catcher explained that while he understands Padilla has a history of hitting batters – having hit 107 of them over his career (although just one this season) – there is no reason to change the pitcher’s approach.
“I caught him in Texas and I know in the past he has hit people. I never really talked to him about it being on purpose. But at the same time, that’s what has made him so effective,” said Saltalamacchia. “You have to do that. I’m sorry. As a catcher, I totally respect it. As long as you’re not doing something dirty as far as hitting somebody in the head, or you’re hitting a guy because they hit a home run off of you.
“You know what? If you’re standing in the box and a guy throws 95 at you it’s going to make you a little uncomfortable. He’s trying to win that game, and I respect that. I understand you can be upset guys hitting you, this and that, but it’s part of the game.”
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