Who’s Your Favorite Yankee “Frenemy?”

I was watching CNN tonight, and Anderson Cooper filed a brief report on this.

Would you say these two looked happy together? I didn’t think so. “The frenemies met today to discuss how to get the country back on track,” said Cooper.
Hmm. Because my mind always takes me to Yankeeville, I began to ponder which Yankees are frenemies with which players, either from other teams or within their own organization. There must be genuine dislike between guys – they’re only human after all – and yet they still have to show up on the field together and pretend nothing’s amiss.
I could go back to ’77, for example, when Billy and Reggie had their issues.
And, staying with the intra-squad stuff for a moment, there was that squabble between JoPo and El Duque in ’83.
When the Yankees and Orioles went at it in ’98, lots of frenemies blossomed.
You remember. Armando Benitez drilled Tino, Graeme Lloyd ran in from the pen to take exception, Strawberry swung at Armando, and Alan Mills bloodied Straw. So much emotion that day.
2000 was the year of Clemens’ falling out with Mike Piazza.
Not that I blame Mike. Who wants to get hit in the head, then have a bat thrown at you?
In ’03, a famous frenemies relationship sprang up between Pedro and Zim.
It was followed the next year by the now-legendary A-Rod/Varitek coupling.
And on that very same day, two more players became frenemies: Tanyon and Gabe (with Oritz trying to horn in).
While I watched the World Series this year, I thought about Shelley Duncan and Jonny Gomes and the way they bonded in spring training.
Frenemies for sure.
There were sparks between various Yanks and Jays last year and physical contact between some Yanks and O’s this year. And even though they said they were sorry, I’ll bet Torii and Pudge are still frenemies after their shoving match in September.
But the relationship I’m really keeping my eye on is the one between Youkilis
and Joba, who looks positively radiant every time he sees Kevin.
If there are any frenemies I’ve missed, I hope you’ll let me know. Today was a slow news day, so we have to do what we can to fill the void.



  1. levelboss

    how about the Rays vs. the Yankees (Spring Training)
    and the Rays vs. the Red Sox spawned quite a few frenemies..

    James Shields vs. Coco Crisp
    Coco Crisp vs. Akinori Iwamura
    Manny Ramirez vs. Kevin Youkilis (in the dugout)

  2. steve_t

    If you take it off the field, I’d say:

    George Steinbrenner and Billy (You’re Hired! You’re Fired!) Martin
    George Steinbrenner and Dave (“Mr. May”) Winfield
    George Steinbrenner and Hideki (“The Fat Toad”) Irabu
    George Steinbrenner and Yogi (“You Promised Not to Fire Me”) Berra

  3. thegoodofthegame

    Watching Pedro pull an “ole!” on Zimmer is still a classic. Don had no business on the field, but he’s feisty and Pedro could have done much worse.

    And Joba Chamberlain is a fraud… It’s just Frank Caliendo doing his best Roger Clemens impersonation.



  4. pinstripepride3

    In the ’70s Thurman Munson and Carlton Fisk truly disliked each other. I believe Jorge Posada and Jason Varitek are still carrying on the Yankees-Red Sox backstop feud today.

    There’s Cliff Johnson and Goose Gossage, but they didn’t really dislike each other. Still, there was that one fight.

    Billy Martin and the Marshmallow Salesman (or really anyone not named Mickey Mantle that Billy came into contact with when he was drinking), but Billy didn’t have to pretend to like the salesman after the fight.

    Leaving the Yankees, we currently have Manny Ramirez and the Red Sox organization.


  5. Jane Heller

    I covered the Rays-Yanks spring training incident, levelboss. There’s a shot of Shelley after he high-spiked Iwamura and Gomes rushed in for some fun.

    Julia, your guys and TB do seem to have heated exchanges!

    Steve, you’re totally right about George and just about everybody. I should have included those for sure.

    Fisk and Munson. Absolutely, pinstripepride. And Billy Martin and the Marshmallow salesman! LOL. Great one.

    And yup, Jeff, I think McCain and Bush qualify as frenemies. 🙂

  6. radhamesgo@hotmail.com

    George Steinbrenner and “The Fat Toad” bring back some memories lol

    Joba and Youk should be fun to watch next year, hopefully theres actually something on the line vs just Yankee-Red Sox pride.

    Love the Marshmallow salesman comment. nice

  7. happyyoungster

    Graeme Lloyd, the big Aussie. He used to be a Brewer! Is that Gabe Kapler in that picture? I didn’t know he had that kind of feisty side!?

    that’s hilarious. Caliendo does Clemens?

    One of my all-time favorite Brewers frenemy moments is when then Manager Phil Garner and former White Sox Manager Terry Bevington started fighting during a game back in ’95 or so. Priceless!!


  8. Jane Heller

    George and the fat toad do bring back memories, Rad. I really miss the guy (George, not the toad).

    Yes, that’s Gabe in the picture, happyyoungster! You should see all the beefcake shots of him on the web. Apparently, he takes his fitness very seriously.

    Scott, that line about Clemens was funny. I must have overlooked it the first time around!

  9. marks8@optonline.net

    The first one was reported- Posada and the Big Unit.
    The second was is conjecture-Hank and his “Pissant emploee-Cash.”
    Get the feeling that if Hank sticks around he may go in the “frenemies” Hall of Fame

    Mark/Baseball Hot Corner

  10. flairforthedramatic

    My favorite… well, the shoving match between Pudge and Torii was pretty hilarious, especially since it was a complete misunderstanding and a total waste of manliness. But, I gotta say I miss me some tanyon sturtze and his underdog battle facing kapler, ortiz and nixon. However, hands down, my favorite frienemies are kyle farnsworth and any of the multiple guys he’s headhunted throughout the years. farnsy is just a beassstt. everyone knows you can’t buy a better retaliation gun than him.
    V – http://flairforthedramatic.mlblogs.com

  11. Jane Heller

    Jeff, you’re absolutely right. I’m ashamed of my bad manners and I’ll hop right over to RSBS to apologize. In the meantime, CONGRATULATIONS, ALBERT. YOU’RE THE BEST PLAYER WHO EVER LIVED. How’s that?

    Good point, Mark. Hankenstein might very well end up with a lot of frenemies, not the least of whom is Selig. Hank had a little hissy when Wang got injured running the bases. He took a shot at the National League for being, well, the National League.

    I miss Tanyon too, V. He couldn’t pitch but he could throw a punch and didn’t mind doing it. Ditto: Farnsy. Good enforcer. Bad reliever.

  12. raysrenegade

    Jonny Gomes still talks about that Spring Training game as the precursor to the Rays becoming one for the season.

    Because of the team unity, that might have been our bonding agent for the season for sure. But the best thing is that it ended there and did not make the season series edgy and stress-filled for any of the 17 games.

    Rays Renegade


  13. Jane Heller

    Sometimes fights like that do galvanize a team, raysrenegade. I just think Maddon had your guys playing hard right out of the gate.

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