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Martin’s feud with Diaz adds odd twist to big win

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The Yankees got a big win last night, a win they badly needed heading into today’s off day.

“It’s nice, 4-2 so far on this road trip sounds a lot better than 3-3,” Joe Girardi said. “It’s perspective. If you start off 0-3 and end up 3-3, you’re pretty happy, but starting out 3-0 and the way we lost Monday, it’s a nice win.”

[2]It’s a win that changes the way this team looks heading into a weekend series in Detroit. But in a long season, big wins come and go and often blend together, it’s the odd moments that truly stand out. That’s why, even after last night’s win, people are still talking about Russell Martin’s bizarre run in with Laz Diaz.

“Laz actually hurt my feelings,” Martin said. “The umpire wouldn’t let me throw the ball back to the pitcher. That’s never happened to me before. That’s a good story, right?”

It’s a strange story, that’s for sure. Martin said he and Diaz got into it a little bit early in the game, and from that moment on — even after Martin took a ball to the neck — Diaz wouldn’t let Martin throw new balls back to the pitcher.

“I even told him, because there’s guys on base, I like to keep my arm loose,” Martin said. “Nope. (He said), ‘I’m not letting you throw the ball back.’ That’s pretty strange, to me. … He told me I have to earn the privilege. Now, thinking back, I should have shown him the gold Rawlings sign on my glove. Unbelievable.”

Equally unbelievable: Martin brought it up. I honestly didn’t notice it during the game — how often do you pay attention to whether the umpire or the catcher is throwing a fresh ball back to the mound? — and I don’t think any reporter would have asked about it had Martin not brought it up. He even went so far as to use a dirty word to describe Diaz, then said Diaz hold grudges. All of this could easily get Martin fined, but he seemed to not care in the slightest.

It was odd, and even after a game like last night, you always remember the odd things in this game.

“That was strange,” Martin said. “I was kinda mystified.”

Associated Press photo