Out of nowhere, Yankee catcher Russell Martin -- who nearly signed with Boston last winter -- declared Thursday that he "hates the Red Sox" and "anything to get the Red Sox out of the playoffs would be awesome with me".
And how, pray tell, did Martin -- who played the first five seasons of his career with the Dodgers and only joined the Yanks last offseason -- develop this hatred?
"I guess it just comes with the territory," Martin said. "When you wear the pinstripes, you just kind of learn to be that way."
He added: "They are fun to play against because they have a quality team and they are gritty and they play hard and stuff, but I would love to see them lose."
Manager Joe Girardi smiled when told of Martin's comments, but was quick to add he doesn't hate the Red Sox and doesn't want to add intensity to the rivalry.
"I don't ever like to fuel anything," Girardi said. "Boys will be boys."
It was suggested to Martin that the Yankees, who host three games against the Sox this weekend, would do well to eliminate Boston from the playoff race, since they're 4-11 against the Sox this year.
"They have given us a hard time all year, but I don't think we are scared of them or anything," Martin said. "If we play them in the playoffs, we play them."
Martin added he doesn't hate the Rays or the Angels, the two teams battling the Red Sox for the wild card.