Anthony Rizzo's reaction to third Ben Rice home run shows he's ideal Yankees teammate

Fire us up. Sportsmanship!
Boston Red Sox v New York Yankees
Boston Red Sox v New York Yankees / Luke Hales/GettyImages
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The position where being "Wally Pipped" was invented appears to be undergoing another passing of the torch in the Bronx. Luckily, incumbent Yankees first baseman Anthony Rizzo doesn't seem to be too upset about it.

Or, at least, if he is rankled by Ben Rice's recent rhythm, he's not showing it publicly. In fact, quite the opposite.

On Saturday afternoon, only about 15 hours since the nadir of the Yankees' downfall, Rice stepped to the plate following a 1-2-3 first inning from Gerrit Cole and used his left-handed swing to send a message deep into the bleachers. It was not the final time he'd do so.

The next time Rice punished a Red Sox offering, it came after (clears throat) a bloop-filled Boston rally, Alex Verdugo preening and homering, Rafael Devers one-upping Verdugo with a 20-second pimp job, and some much-needed deliveries from Anthony Volpe and DJ LeMahieu. It was 7-4 when Rice responded further, adding three more runs and all but putting the game out of reach...

...something he did his next time up, stretching the lead to 10 and sending Rizzo into joyful hysterics. Check out the cutaway around the 12-second mark of the video below. Winning cures everything, but you can't fake that.

Yankees first baseman Anthony Rizzo celebrates passing of the torch to Ben Rice

The potential of the Yankees uncovering a homegrown, left-handed first base solution would help clarify their deadline, as well as their potential 2025 payroll with Juan Soto in tow. It would also make the decision on Rizzo's option, which has already likely been made, even easier.

But Rizzo, set to theoretically return sometime after the All-Star break, might be rejoining a Yankees team that could use his veteran leadership and patient approach off the bench more than his once-30-homer bat.

The more smiles in this dugout -- especially one day after a Clay Holmes disaster and Volpe/LeMahieu game-defining gaffes -- the better. The Yankees can't rest on a single game's worth of laurels, and will need to continue their surge heading towards the All-Star break for their possible playoff fate to remain relevant. But this powerhouse performance represented a fantastic start, and one reaction shot told a thousand-word story.

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