CLEVELAND — On the morning of Game 1 of their American League Division Series on Thursday, the Yankees trolled Cleveland by posting a photo on their official Twitter account of LeBron James holding up a Yankees hat.
The Yankees captioned the photo “#PinstripePride” — and one Indians player responded almost immediately.
All-Star infielder Jose Ramirez posted a photo of President Donald Trump wearing a Yankees jacket and apparently throwing out a first pitch. Ramirez later deleted the tweet.
James, who was a Yankees fan but switched allegiances to the Indians after returning to Cleveland in 2014, attended Thursday night’s series opener with some of his teammates but was not wearing any cap when he was shown on the leftfield scoreboard. James wore a red shirt with the word “witness” on it.
James put aside his previous Yankees fandom and was front and center in supporting the Indians during their run to the World Series last season.
“I think it’s pretty cool that they want to show up and support the Indians,” Cleveland manager Terry Francona said. “I think it’s neat. It’s not going to help us score any runs or get the Yankees out, but it’s pretty cool. I think everybody enjoys that.”
Reminded that James used to root for the Yankees, Francona said: “I had not remembered that, but I do now. I’m hopeful that he won’t be. How’s that? I don’t think I need to be telling LeBron what to do. I think he’ll be rooting for the Indians.”
Former Indian CC Sabathia, the Yankees’ Game 2 starter, smiled when asked if he knew whom James really would be rooting for in this series.
“I know he’s a Yankee fan,” Sabathia said, “but I think he has to put on a front for the city.”