NEW YORK - Veteran pitcher CC Sabathia went on the offensive against the Rays again Friday in supposed defense of his Yankees mates.
Sabathia came quite inside with a fastball that Rays DH Austin Meadows had to maneuver to avoid, then was caught by TV cameras as he walked toward the dugout yelling, "I definitely was trying to hit his a--.”
Meadows said he didn't think at the time it was intentional, but when showed the video clip by a reporter after the game had a different perspective.
"Honestly in the moment, I didn’t think anything of it,'' Meadows said. "But now seeing that afterwards, obviously he was trying to (hit me). ... You know CC, he’s been around a long time. He’s a competitor. He obviously wanted to take a shot there, but it is what it is. Obviously we had a beef back and forth. It's part of the game honestly. Luckily I didn't get hit. But it is what it is.''
Sabathia worked another inning, and seemed to be yelling into the Rays dugout when he was leaving the mound in the sixth, though Rays manager Kevin Cash said he didn't notice.
Sabathia was the most upset Yankee last Saturday at the Trop, when Rays pitcher Yonny Chirinos hit two New York batters.
"It’s the same thing, hit a homer and they throw up and in,’’ Sabathia said then. “It’s stupid.”
That came after a late-season incident last year, when Sabathia retaliated for Andrew Kittredge throwing behind Austin Romine by drilling then Rays catcher Jesus Sucre. Sabathia was ejected, which kept him from reaching a $500,000 innings bonus the Yankees paid anyway, and suspended the first five games of this season. He yelled into the Rays dugout then also.
The Rays were aware of what Sabathia said last weekend, but Meadows said he didn’t expect there to be retaliation on Friday.
"You just want to go and compete and if something happens then your teammates will have your back,'' he said. "You don’t want to go into it having that fear, having that expectation of something happening or getting hit. If something happens they’re going to have my back, but nothing happened.''