In the bottom of the fourth inning, Josh Naylor hit a solo home run off of Yankees starter Gerrit Cole. and proceeded to break out an extremely disrespectful celebration while trotting around the bases.
— MLB (@MLB) October 17, 2022
He began to “rock the baby” aggressively while rounding first base, and even appeared to mouth some profanity about Cole to his teammates while rounding third base, calling Cole his “little f***ing son”
Josh Naylor appeared to call Gerrit Cole his "little f—ing son" while rounding third base.
— Brendan Kuty (@BrendanKutyNJ) October 17, 2022
We have certainly seen celebrations in baseball become more prominent, but many believe that Naylor took this one way too far.
This is wild.
Josh Naylor was rounding the bases rocking a baby and calling Gerrit Cole his son. I’m a fan of bat flips and celebrating your work, but don’t make it disrespectful. This is quite disrespectful.
— Ben Verlander (@BenVerlander) October 17, 2022
Josh Naylor is an absolute psychopath
— Baseball Quotes (@BaseballQuotes1) October 17, 2022
Gerrit Cole now owes Josh Naylor a Father’s Day card every June
— PropSwap (@PropSwap) October 17, 2022
In seven years, we’ve gone from benches clearing because Jose Bautista tossed a bat to Josh Naylor rocking a baby with his team still trailing https://t.co/oEENSzzz8U
— Joon Lee (@joonlee) October 17, 2022
IS JOSH NAYLOR OUT OF HIS SKULL
— KevinGohD (@KevinGohD) October 17, 2022
It’s certainly a bold move the break out this kind of celebration while trailing in the game, but this is apparently something that Naylor has done before.
Triston McKenzie talked about Josh Naylor's rocking the baby celebration earlier this month: "Nayls, when he hits homers off people, he calls them his son. Hence the rocking the baby as he runs around the bases."
— Mandy Bell (@MandyBell02) October 17, 2022
With the Yankees facing elimination and holding a narrow lead, no retaliation was ever likely to come in Game 4.
That being said, brawls have started in playoff games for far less in the past and it was certainly a very controversial move from Naylor. And if Game 5 gets out of hand (particulaly if Cleveland is winning), a response wouldn’t be shocking.
Naylor has been a thorn in the Yankees’ side in the ALDS, driving in runs in each of the games in this series that the Guardians have won.
This celebration certainly won’t earn him any fans in New York, but Cleveland fans will certainly appreciate the passion and production that Naylor has shown off in this series.