Have a seat, Joba Chamberlain. Take 5, Twit-tard Nick Swisher. After the Yankees were baffled by Hisanori Takahashi last night, The Legend Of Cecilio Guante‘s Cecilio’s Scribe nominated Bombers backstop Francisco Cervelli (“Johnny Bench, Mike Piazza and Benito Santiago all rolled into one — at least in his own mind”) as “My New Favorite Yankee To Hate”.
He’s over-exuberant, cocky, theatrical and antagonistic. No matter if it’s the fourth inning of a game they’re losing, the seventh inning of a blowout win or the top of the first, Francisco is fist-pumping and primal screaming on every inning-ending strikeout. If he throws someone out at second? Well, then be prepared for an even more enthusiastic celebration. The Terminator has eliminated you, Mr. Baserunner, and he will now show you up in his home plate mini-dance, fist-pump, animal roar routine.
You Yankees fans sitting there claiming sour grapes on a good, young player? You’ve got the second part right. From what I’ve seen, Cervelli is undoubtedly talented and the heir apparent to Jorge. He could learn a few things from Posada, though, on what it means to be a professional. I’m all for enthusiasm, but Cervelli’s routine borders on amateur hour. The best examples could’ve been his ridiculous theatrics around the plate last night on two balls in the dirt.
Despite picking both cleanly, Francisco immediately proceeded to dramatically turn behind him on multiple occasions acting as if the ball had scooted past him towards the backstop. The acts were so over-the-top that “gamesmanship” is too respectful a descriptor. Ruben Tejada’s laugh after casually returning to first after the first airing of the show were telling — Cervelli’s antics were a joke.
Cervelli’s behavior, funnily enough, comes under scrutiny the same day WFAN’s Mike Francesa — surely the arbiter of all forms of etiquette — cited the Mets’ Jose Reyes for the shortstop’s penchant for offending the Yankees. Hopefully Reyes’ two HR’s this afternoon in successive at bats against Phil Hughes were celebrated in a modest enough manner without violating the sacred ground that is the Nu Stadium.