ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Chase Headley and Joe Girardi took issue with Joe Maddon's use of the word "graze."
Maddon took issue with Joe Girardi presuming to tell the Rays how they should instruct their pitchers on the art of pitching inside.
And so it went as the ill-feelings created by a Derek Jeter hit-by-pitch Tuesday night spilled into Wednesday.
Although Chris Young was hit by a curveball in the fifth inning of the Yankees' 3-2 victory that allowed them to finish this trip 2-5, there were no further incidents between the teams.
Jeter getting hit on the hand by rookie Steve Geltz, on an 0-and-2 fastball, in the top of the eighth inning of Tuesday's 6-1 loss touched off a series of events, including Girardi getting ejected when he objected to the warnings issued by plate umpire Rob Drake, and then the odd sight of the Yankees manager screaming and pointing at the pitcher as he left the field.
When David Phelps nearly hit Kevin Kiermaier with his first pitch in the bottom of the eighth, he was ejected and both benches emptied.
Afterward, and again Wednesday, Girardi fumed about five Yankees getting hit by Rays pitchers over the course of five games, with Headley taking a Jake McGee fastball off his chin last Thursday freshest in everyone's minds.
"I think we had a right to get upset just because of what happened the last [five] games against them," Girardi said Wednesday. "Obviously, the one that sets you off the most was the way Chase was hit. That can ruin someone's career. We saw the blood down his neck [still visible]. It's a reminder every day what happened."
Tuesday night Maddon said he understood the Yankees' frustration but didn't help matters when he used the word "grazed" in describing Headley's beaning.
"Certainly I feel like if one of his players had been hit like that he would have chosen his words a little bit differently," Headley said Wednesday. "I was pretty lucky."
Maddon tried to clarify Wednesday.
"I didn't mean it in any lack of respectful way," he said. "My point was I was happy he wasn't hit more squarely and hurt on a more permanent [basis], for instance what happened to [Giancarlo] Stanton recently. If I offended him by using the wrong word, my point was the fact that he was not hurt more seriously."
But Maddon didn't completely backtrack.
"Well, if he was [hit flush] he wouldn't have been playing yesterday," Maddon said.
Girardi has not accused the Rays of intentionally hitting his batters, but all but accused them, and by extension Maddon and his pitching coach Jim Hickey, of recklessness.
"There's been a lot of balls that have been awful high, that's what bothers me," Girardi said. "You have to pitch inside, I encourage our guys to pitch inside, but you always remind them it has to be down."
Maddon all but scoffed.
"It's about organizational philosophies," he said. "Some guys pitch better down in the zone, some guys pitch better up in the zone, but we're not trying to throw at anybody's noggins. But believe me, man, I would never tell the Yankees how to train their pitchers."
Pitchers that, entering Wednesday, have actually hit more Rays this season than Rays have hit Yankees, 8-7 for those scoring at home. And if you go back to 2010, Yankees pitchers have hit more Rays by a tally of 41-24.
"You don't keep track from year to year," Girardi said. "I'm looking at the last [five] games and what's happened, it's disturbing to me."Maddon mentioned former Yankee Cesar Cabral hitting three Rays in one inning earlier this season.
"I didn't say anything because I knew he wasn't trying to," Maddon said. "I don't like to see it happen. But it's part of the game of baseball. It happened last night."