- Last Updated: 7:39 AM, July 9, 2012
- Posted: 2:20 AM, July 9, 2012
BOSTON — They haven’t come to blows like Alex Rodriguez and Jason Varitek, but the feud between Mark Teixeira and Boston reliever Vicente Padilla shows no signs of mellowing.
Teixeira has never tried to mask his dislike of Padilla for both his belief that he has thrown at him and caused him to get thrown at by plunking opposing hitters when they were teammates, and now the right-hander is firing back, telling Spanish-speaking reporters that the first baseman has an issue with Latino teammates.
“The problem is he talks about all the wrong things that others have done, but the things he’s done — against the Latinos [on the Rangers] — he doesn’t open his mouth about,” Padilla told NESN in Spanish Saturday. “He once threatened me and said he was going to hit me with a bat, and that’s when we were playing on the same team. And then, he also had problems with Frank Francisco. ... But he doesn’t talk about that, does he? Then, of course, he goes on and makes those comments about me.”
Teixeira denied that he’s ever had a problem with any Latin teammates — other than Padilla — after Padilla’s comments were relayed to him.
“Hilarious,” Teixeira said. “If that’s the case, interview every one of my Latin teammates in this clubhouse right now and ask them. ... It’s completely erroneous.”
Both Robinson Cano and Freddy Garcia defended Teixeira.
“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,” Cano said. “I judge a guy by the way he acts with me. If there’s something in the past, I don’t know about that.”
Garcia called him, “a great guy, a family guy. He respects everybody. ... Anybody can say what they want to say.”
And Padilla will. He added Teixeira is simply afraid to hit against him.
“I just think he’s scared to face me,” Padilla told NESN. “I don’t throw at people to hit them on purpose. I throw inside, and I’ve always thrown inside. It’s not my problem if the ball hits someone. ... In this sport, as competitive ball players, we get pretty fired up. So I think, maybe, [Teixeira] picked the wrong profession. I think he’d be better off playing a women’s sport.’’
Teixeira largely laughed that off, joking that “women’s boxing is pretty tough,” but stood by his belief that Padilla is a headhunter.
“The fact is certain things happen in this game and hitters don’t have the same powers ... pitchers do,” said Teixeira, who has been hit three times by Padilla in 18 plate appearances. “Pitchers can do those kinds of things and then say whatever they want about it. Hitters just have to take it.The only other thing I could do is charge the mound. ... I’m not gonna charge the mound and get my teammates hurt.”
Teixeira also pointed to an incident with the Rangers when teammate Michael Young got hit and Padilla was seen laughing on the bench.
“That was the last straw in Texas,” Teixeira said. “He was released that day.”
And now the two of them find themselves in an intense rivalry — with Teixeira hitting a triple off Padilla on Friday that gave the Yankees the lead.
“If you connect a big hit against me, then it means you were capable of doing so,” Padilla told ESPN Deportes in Spanish yesterday before refusing to answer questions in English.
As for the war of words, Teixeira hopes it’s over, but doesn’t intend to seek out Padilla.
“That would be an interesting conversation,” Teixeira said. “If he wants to keep throwing at people, that’s his prerogative.”Follow @NYPostsports