Cleveland Guardians slugger Josh Naylor went all-out with his home run celebration in Game 4, but Yankees fans used it against him on Tuesday.
Josh Naylor’s home run celebration was heard across the baseball landscape in Game 4, as he took his time rounding the bases and even rocked the crib, taking aim at Yankees ace Gerrit Cole in the process.
Cole settled in nicely after the fact, seeming to use Naylor’s disrespect as motivation. The Yankees ace registered outs against 12 of the next 13 hitters after Naylor’s blast, and pitched seven solid innings of two-run baseball.
As FanSided’s Cody Williams wrote in the moment:
"“It’s completely understandable for a player to get hyped for a big moment in a postseason game, even if it might be a bit over the top as it was with Naylor’s celebration. With that said, it also runs the risk of causing the opposing team to zone in and get to work even harder. And that seems like it was indeed the case for Cole and the Yankees on Sunday night.”"
Yankees fans use Josh Naylor’s celebration against him
In Game 5, the Yanks and their fanbase did not forget about Naylor’s antics. They ruthlessly booed him in every at-bat, and even rocked the baby after he recorded outs.
As for Cole and manager Aaron Boone, neither seemed to pay mind to Naylor’s celebration after the game. Cole appeared bothered in his postgame presser, but he kept his composure, only to give a callous response in the end.
“Yeah, whatever. It’s cute… I didn’t see it in the moment. It wouldn’t have bothered in the moment and it just is kind of funny,” Cole said.
Boone’s response was a little more direct, even referencing the end result of Game 4.
“We can’t get caught up in that, we’re trying to win,” Boone said.
In the postseason, there’s unlikely to be any sort of retribution aimed at Naylor. But come next year, sparks may fly when these teams meet up again.