Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter isn't backing down from the American League East's big boys.
In an interview in the April edition of Men's Journal, Showalter lashed out at Yankees captain Derek Jeter as well as Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein, according to a report in the Bergen (N.J.) Record.
"The first time we went to Yankee Stadium, I screamed at Derek Jeter from the dugout," Showalter told the magazine, according to the Bergen Record. "Our guys are thinking, 'Wow, he's screaming at Derek Jeter.' Well, he's always jumping back from balls just off the plate. I know how many calls that team gets -- and yes, he [ticks] me off."
Speaking about the Red Sox, Showalter mocked the notion that Epstein's biggest offseason acquisitions -- namely, left fielder Carl Crawford and first baseman Adrian Gonzalez -- were indicative of the Red Sox GM's savvy.
"I'd like to see how smart Theo Epstein is with the Tampa Bay [Rays] payroll," Showalter told Men's Journal, according to the Record. "You got Carl Crawford 'cause you paid more than anyone else, and that's what makes you smarter? That's why I like whipping their butt. It's great, knowing those guys with the $205 million payroll are saying, 'How the hell are they beating us?' "
Showalter told the Record last week that he might have been better off toning down his comments in Men's Journal, but he did confirm that he made them.
Asked Thursday about his comments, Showalter said he didn't mean to be insulting and acknowledged "maybe it is envy or something on my part."
On Thursday, Red Sox manager Terry Francona said he had been given "the short version" of the story through a Red Sox staffer.
Francona didn't want to respond to the story itself, but defended his general manager.
"Whatever," Francona said. "For the record, I think Theo's really smart, whether he has a high payroll or not. ... I'll stay away from that."
Francona paused a moment, then added: "I think Theo's proved with his choice of managers that he's pretty smart."
Information from ESPNBoston.com's Matt Porter and The Associated Press contributed to this report.