New York Yankees manager Joe Torre is unhappy with a Toronto Blue Jays videogame promotion that featured young fans pitching to Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez.
In the middle of the sixth inning during the September 12 game between the Yanks and Jays, two Jays fans played a baseball videogame on the Rogers Centre’s massive scoreboard screen, which had them pitching to A-Rod. Two pitches were thrown at him, one of which hit.
“It’s ridiculous,” Torre said after the game. “Some of the videos they have period, it’s all about violence. There are certain cities, one of our players gets knocked down and they start laughing and cheering. I don’t understand it.
“To me, if you show it at a ballpark, you’re telling the youngsters it’s OK to do it, and that’s not a good message to send,” Torre continued. He suggested hockey might somehow have something to do with it – “It’s a little more of a violent game than ours” – and added, “It certainly lacks good sense, I think.”
The rivalry between the Blue Jays and Yankees was cemented in the 1990s, when the two teams vied for dominance in the American League East. The Blue Jays won baseball’s World Series in 1992 and ’93, while the Yankees claimed the coveted title in 1996, ’98, ’99 and 2000. The most recent bad blood between the teams comes as a result of Rodriguez’s actions during a May game, when he distracted Toronto infielder Howie Clark while running between second and third bases, causing him to drop a routine fly ball. According to the Jays, Rodriguez called Clark off the ball by shouting “Mine!” while Rodriguez claimed he merely said “Ha!”
Toronto lost the game, 4-1.