John Farrell on 'idiot' comment: Mike Napoli, Red Sox have 'utmost respect' for Masahiro Tanaka

June 29, 2014 - 2:51 pm

NEW YORK -- It was a spontaneous moment in response to a pivotal moment in a game. Mike Napoli, who had swung and missed at what seemed like 87 splitters from Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka, jumped on an elevated 96 mph fastball on the outer part of the plate from the New York ace and lined it just over the fence in right for a ninth-inning solo homer that proved decisive in the Red Sox' 2-1 lead. And then...the controversy. Napoli approached the dugout beaming in celebration and shouted boisterously, "What an idiot! What an idiot!" (In the clubhouse postgame, Napoli acknowledged his surprise that Tanaka threw him a fastball in that situation.) Yet instead of remaining incomprehensible to all but lip readers, the exclamation to teammates was caught by the microphones of the FOX broadcast of the game. Red Sox manager John Farrell attempted to offer some context for the remark.

"My understanding is that they'€™re looking to capture and emotion that might enhance the telecast. From my understanding those mics aren'€™t directly inside the dugout but are powerful enough to pickup things that can be said inside there. The one thing we don'€™t ever want our players to be is non-emotional," Farrell said on Sunday. "I know, I'€™m aware of the comment made last night. I didn'€™t hear it at the time but I know this, we'€™ve got the utmost respect for Tanaka and I know Mike Napoli does. So if his comment was based on an emotion in that moment, it wasn'€™t directed to be derogatory towards him. It was a reaction. To me the microphone is part of the package that FOX buys from MLB. That'€™s part of what we live with."

Here's the homer: