Mike Napoli calls Masahiro Tanaka an “idiot” after hitting go-ahead ninth-inning home run

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Here’s the MLB.com video highlight of Mike Napoli’s go-ahead solo blast from Saturday night, which put the Red Sox on top of the Yankees for good in the top of the ninth inning …

Listen closely as Napoli reaches the Red Sox dugout and you can hear him saying “what an idiot, what an idiot” in reference to Yankees rookie ace Masahiro Tanaka, who threw a bad fastball on a 1-2 count rather than opting for his signature out-pitch, the splitter. Napoli acknowledged that sound bite after the game:

Napoli kept his head down around the bases and saved the jab for his teammates, so this wasn’t exactly a vicious thing. But perhaps we’ll see some sort of spillover in Sunday night’s series finale on ESPN.

Joe Girardi steps down as manager of USA Baseball

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Baseball is an Olympic sport once again and USA Baseball begins the road to qualifying for the 2020 Games in just a couple of weeks. They’ll be doing it with a new manager, though, as current team USA manager Joe Girardi has stepped down from the role in order to concentrate on his quest to return to managing in the big leagues.

Girardi has interviewed for the Cubs job already and is candidate for the openings with the Mets and the Phillies. His stepping down from the Olympic job suggests that he thinks he stands a pretty good chance of getting one of the seven current openings around the game. Or, at the very least, that he wishes to show clubs with openings that he’s serious.

Girardi will be replaced by Scott Brosius, who was poised to be Girardi’s bench coach with Team USA.

The team begins training in Arizona on October 21. It begins playing qualifier games in early November in Mexico. Eventually, the 2020 Olympic Games will feature a six-nation field.