Big Papi's homerun bat flip irks Joe Girardi

Boston Red Sox's David Ortiz follows through on a two-run home run during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the New York Yankees Tuesday, June 7, 2011, at Yankee Stadium in New York. AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Boston Red Sox's David Ortiz follows through on a two-run home run during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the New York Yankees Tuesday, June 7, 2011, at Yankee Stadium in New York.
AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Red Sox. Yankees.

Once upon a time, the rivalry was so heated, Boston's ace pitcher threw New York's 72-year-old bench coach to the ground. Alas, the two teams just don't seem to go at it with the same intensity these days.

That might have changed, at least a bit, with the flip of a bat Tuesday night.

It happened in the top of fifth inning in the Bronx. Yankees' rookie Hector Noesi nearly hit David Ortiz with a pitch - perhaps in retaliation for Mark Teixeira's plunking earlier in the game.

Big Papi brushed off the inside pitch and crushed a two-run homer, flipping his bat with a flourish.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi was not amused by the timber toss, the Boston Globe reports.

"I didn't care for it,'' he said. "I don't know if [Ortiz] was upset that he came in hard on him."

He went on: "I never had a problem with David. David has always played the game hard. I'm just protecting my young kid."

As for David, he laughed off the bat flip in typical Big Papi fashion - referring to himself in the third person.

"That's Papi style," Ortiz smiled. "It's not the first time and it's not my last one. I'm a home run hitter. It's not like I do it all the time. What can I tell you? Just another homer for Papi."

Seems harmless enough. But we'll see if "Papi style" adds any more spice to the rivalry when the teams meet again tonight.

  • Stephen Smith

    Stephen Smith is a senior editor for CBSNews.com

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