When Mike Napoli hit an eventual game-winning home run off New York Yankees ace Masahiro Tanaka on Saturday night, his comments heading back into the Red Sox dugout were caught by broadcast mics and camera, as the former Rangers catcher and fan favorite called Tanaka an "idiot," presumably for the pitch selection he used.
Tanaka's countryman and friend Yu Darvish, who also happens to be friends and former teammates with Napoli in Texas, took to Twitter to defend his former catcher, who had taken a lot of criticism for the comment.
マイク・ナポリ@MikeNapoli25 の発言が物議を醸してるみたいですね。 チーム内ではよく使う言葉だし、試合の中での話だからいちいち反応しなくてもなぁと思います。 何より彼は最高のチームメイトで人間でした。1年目も本当に助けられました。
— ダルビッシュ有(Yu Darvish) (@faridyu) June 30, 2014
"Looks like Mike Napoli's comments are arousing criticism," is how it basically translates.
“These expressions are used very often within the team,” he wrote. "Above all, he is a great teammate and person. He really helped me out during my first year as well."
Trash talk is part of sport, and is usually done in competitive, fun nature. Hard to criticize Napoli for something that goes on all the time, but just happened to be caught on camera this time.