It was the top of the ninth, the Yankees were down a run with nobody out, and Mark Teixeira had one final chance to troll an opposing crowd in what would be the final road at bat of his stellar 14-year career.
And in true Mark Teixeira fashion, he socked a 416-foot, game-tying bomb to right-center, and then pimped the shit out of it.
Wait...what? The fact that Teixeira hit a home run isn't surprising; he has 408 of them, more than all but a handful of men in Major League history. But the staredown? The extra-slow trot? And that bat flip at the end? That hardly seems like the dude known by fans as one of the most straight-laced, white-bread player in a sport that does not lack for them.
But Teixeira already announced his retirement at the end of the season, and with a mere six home games left in his career, he is clearly in don't-give-a-fuck mode. He admitted the bat flip was a personal milestone for him: "I've never done it before. Like I said, it could be the last home run I hit. So why not bat flip on it? Sure."
The usually agreeable first baseman didn't even let up in the locker room following the Yankees' 7-5 come-from-behind victory, talking some quality smack on Blue Jays reliever Jason Grilli:
I was like "Ooh...sorry, the ball went a long way.
I was just letting him know that he blew the save.
Who is this guy??? To add a bit of context, this was quite a contentious affair between New York and Toronto. Yankees starter Luis Severino hit reigning MVP Josh Donaldson during the first inning. It clearly wasn't intentional—Severino walked two batters during the inning and was clearly battling control issues—but Jays pitcher J.A. Happ retaliated by twice throwing at Chase Headley. The benches cleared, and Yankees skipper Joe Girardi was ejected.
Severino responded by hitting Justin Smoak in the bottom half of the inning, prompting a more serious donnybrook:
The umps ejected Severino, pitching coach Larry Rothschild, and bench coach Robbie Thompson while nobody on Toronto's side was tossed. Clearly Teixeira was pissed. He had to wait until the ninth, but he got his revenge, and a final road dinger he'll never forget.