John Lackey(notes) took umbrage Tuesday night, not only with Cervelli hitting his third career home run — out of Fenway Park, no less — but especially with the mighty clap he did at home plate to finish it off. Right in the face of catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia(notes) (also pictured).
So, the next time Cervelli came to bat, Lackey — who said he was only trying to knock him down — hit him square in the back with a pitch. Tempers flared, veins popped, benches cleared, players milled about. Ah, just another night at the office for the Yanks and Sawx.
And a signature annoying moment for Cervelli, whom the ProJo Red Sox blog describes as having "a reputation in the American League as one of its most demonstrative players." Cervelli defended his exuberance:
"Every time I get a base hit or a double, I clap. That's me, that's my game, and I don't try to do anything bad to another player," Cervelli said. "That's Cervelli."
That's SO Cervelli.
OK, it looks a lot like Lackey usually looks. But his eyes followed Cervelli all of the way back to the dugout. I can't say much for Lackey's timing — picking the fifth inning of a 4-2 game to enact his revenge/reckoning — but you could see it coming a mile away.
There aren't many backup catchers in the league who can get the goat of opposing players and fans — even his own fans sometimes — like Cervelli. With his cadre of excessive and ill-timed fist pumps, contorted faces, primal screams, saucy fashion photo shoots and enormous batting helmets, he's fast becoming the favorite to unseat A.J. Pierzynski(notes) as Major League Baseball's biggest li'l stinker.
So, before someone steals the idea, me and Tommy Lasorda are headed to Hollyweird to start a sitcom called "That's Cervelli!" — which is sure to be a hit for the catch phrase alone.