If it could even be considered a taunt.
The New York Post reports that Steve Lazarus, who has been serving beer at Yankee Stadiums for 35 years, was suspended for the first two games of the ALDS as the result of an exchange with former Yankee and current Red Sox pitcher Alfredo Aceves.
According to Lazarus, the vendor was with co-workers near a freight elevator when he spotted Aceves, started walking over and called out “Hey, you got ID?”
Aceves responded by grabbing his crotch and saying “I got your ID right here.”
Lazarus says it was a playful exchange that led to laughter all around, but that Yankees brass got wind of it and he was summoned by his supervisor during the game and escorted from the ballpark for harrassing a player.
“They take my badge — this is only my 35th year, by the way — and they escort me out like a common criminal,” he told The Post. “To suspend me, when I did nothing?”
Although Lazarus is fuming, it doesn’t sound like he’s interested in walking away. He’ll be eligible to return if there’s a Game 5 in the ALDS or if the Yankees advance.
Blue Jays closer Ken Giles hasn’t exactly turned things around since joining the Blue Jays on July 31, when the club sent embattled closer Roberto Osuna to the Astros. Giles posted a 4.99 ERA in 30 2/3 innings with the Astros, then put up a slightly less miserable 4.58 ERA in 17 2/3 innings with the Jays. Still, he’s much happier with the Jays than he was with the Astros, even after winning the World Series with them last year. He said to Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star, “I’m actually enjoying the game more than I did for my entire tenure in Houston. It’s kind of weird to say that because I won a World Series with that team. But it’s like, I just felt trapped there. I didn’t feel like myself there. Overall, I felt out of place.”
Giles also said “the communication was lost” with the Astros and it was something that came easy with the Jays. He said, “When I came here, they stayed patient with me. I said hey, I want to work on this thing till I’m comfortable. All right. OK, I’m comfortable, let’s move on to this next thing. Pitching, you can’t just try to fix everything at once. For me, I had to take baby steps to get my groove back. The Jays allowed me to do that. Yeah, the team was out of contention, but it doesn’t matter. It’s still my career. I still have to prove myself. Them being so patient with me, understanding what I want to do, was very, very big.”
Giles, 28, has two more years of arbitration eligibility remaining. He has shown promise despite his overall mediocre numbers. In non-save situations this season (with both the Astros and Jays), he has a 9.12 ERA. But in save situations, his ERA is a pristine 0.38. Giles could be a closer the Jays find themselves leaning on as they attempt to get back into competitive shape. Since it sounds like Giles is quite enamored with Toronto and with the Blue Jays, a discussion about a contract extension certainly could be had.