NEW YORK —-- The A's defended their actions Sunday after Yankees infielder Eric Chavez ripped them in the New York Post for what he saw as excessive dugout celebrating during Saturday's 14-inning game.
Chavez said the A's went over the top with their celebration after each of three home runs they hit in the top of the 13th, in a game in which New York eventually prevailed 10-9.
Chavez, as quoted in the Post, described it as "an orchestrated clapping, chanting" celebration that he labeled "high school-ish," "distasteful" and "a little slap in the face."
The collective response from the A's clubhouse:
What's the big deal?
"I think the most important thing is it happened in our dugout," veteran outfielder Jonny Gomes said. "It didn't happen between the lines."
The routine is based on the Randy Moss-related "One Clap" video clip that was all the rage on YouTube, and Gomes said the A's have done it all season in the clubhouse and on the team bus.
Somebody yells "One Clap!" and teammates respond with a clap.
"We have (14) rookies on this team," Gomes said. "You take the fun away and we're screwed."
A's manager Bob Melvin said he had no problem with his players letting loose in the dugout.
"We play the game hard and we respect it out on the field," Melvin said. "What happens in your dugout ... I think if you look around the league, you could pick some things out of any dugout. That's about as far
Then Melvin added: "We play the game the right way. If you try to keep things loose in the dugout, there's nothing wrong with that."
Chavez won six Gold Gloves while playing third base for the A's from 1998-2010 and is one of the most decorated players in the team's Oakland history.
He signed with the Yankees before the 2011 season after the A's declined his option, and there are only a few players left on the current squad that he played with — infielders Cliff Pennington and Daric Barton and reliever Jerry Blevins among them.
Chavez's brother, Casey, is the A's bullpen catcher.
Chavez was playing first base in the 13th and had a good view into the A's dugout. He said he thought the celebrations were out of place in the major leagues, especially at that point in a tense game.
"There's always a right way and a wrong way to go about it whether you win or lose," Chavez said in an interview before Sunday's game. "The game's not over until it's over. It's not time to celebrate until the last three outs are made."
Gomes said the controversy wouldn't have lingering effects in the A's clubhouse, but added of Chavez's criticism:
"I think they have one of the most animated guys in the game on their side in Nick Swisher. He does some stuff that I wouldn't do. But it doesn't bother me."