Josh Naylor giving Yankees fans props for Game 5 reception deserves respect


Tuesday was a tough evening for Cleveland Guardians slugger Josh Naylor. After celebrating at Gerrit Cole’s expense in Game 4 (a contest the Guardians lost) following a big home run (that cut Cleveland’s deficit to 3-2), Naylor put himself in the crosshairs of New York Yankees fans everywhere.

He must’ve forgotten that his team needed to win on Sunday to avoid that Game 5 trip to the Bronx, where he would undoubtedly be berated by the crowd as a result of his antics.

Spoiler alert: that’s exactly what happened. Naylor went 0-for-4 in the 5-1 loss that eliminated the Guardians from the postseason. Naylor was the subject of “Who’s Your Daddy?” chants as well as baby rocking imitations from both young fans and Gleyber Torres, after he secured the final out in his glove.

But Yankees fans have to show respect when it’s due. And Naylor took the playful abuse like a champ.

Most players who are the subject of such boos and jeers end up whining about it or being critical of the Yankees fanbase, but Naylor wore it like a badge of honor.

Josh Naylor accepted the criticism from Yankees fans during and after Game 5 loss

Can’t knock the guy for accepting this for what it was. He poked the bear, he knew it, and he expected to take heat in return in the event the Yankees triumphed while he and the Guardians faltered. Sadly for Naylor, that’s exactly what happened.

When the Yankees wives and girlfriends are in on it, you know you got yourself into some trouble … in the best kind of way. They were rocking an actual baby. Gently!

Yankees fans won’t deny that Naylor is the kind of rival they’ll respect and tolerate down the road because he was a good sport about all of this. Myles Straw, on the other hand? Not so much. Opposite ends of the spectrum, though the Guardians outfielder managed to tune out the noise after hearing an earful in Games 1 and 2.

Naylor even gave the Yankees a nudge by saying “better win it all.” And you know what? He’s not wrong.