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Old 10-14-2003, 12:36 PM   #31
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Why should Pedro say he's sorry? He's hit people before and never had to? Why now? Because Zimm went mental? You could argue his handling of Zimm need an apology, that all I see.
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Old 10-14-2003, 12:48 PM   #32
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pedro doesn't have to do anything... the better man would appologize... and i guess we've already seen who the better man is, haven't we?
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Old 10-14-2003, 12:49 PM   #33
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Pedro's a punk! So is Clemens! It's fine to pitch inside, that's baseball. But when you move it upstairs near the batter's head, that's bullshit.

Too bad AL pitchers don't hit as they do in the NL. You would still get aggressive pitchers who pitch inside probably not so much near the head but at least the pitcher would have to go up to the plate and feel what it's like to have a 90 mph pitch coming straight at your head.
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Old 10-14-2003, 12:56 PM   #34
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I've never heard a pitcher offer an apology for plunking a batter. Why should Pedro do it now? It's part of the game. Mind you, it's ugly he threw it so high. If you want EVERY pitcher who ever hit a batter on purpose to offer apology, EVERY pitcher in MLB will have to make a statement.
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Old 10-14-2003, 01:38 PM   #35
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hitting people is part of the game... aiming at their head is attempted murder.

once again... pedro doesn't have to appologize. he doesn't have to do a damn thing. clemens didn't appologize after clunkin' piazza in the head, nor did he after throwing a jaded piece of bat at him. so no... pedro doesn't have to appologize for creating a near riot situation if he really doesn't want to...

and i repeat... we've already seen who the better man is, and it ain't pedro.
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Old 10-14-2003, 01:45 PM   #36
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You consider a fight on a ballfield a near-riot? I didn't read any reports about fans streaming on the field or tearing up the stands.
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Old 10-14-2003, 01:58 PM   #37
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are you going to tell me that the tension in the air after the 4th inning incident was't directly related to the incident in the bullpen in the 9th inning? i said "near-riot" situation... no, there was not an actuall riot. but the tension was so thick in those closing innings that one incident, even an accidental one, could have set the whole thing in motion. that place was a tinder box looking for a spark durring the later innings... thus why i said "near-riot."
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Old 10-14-2003, 03:58 PM   #38
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I wasn't in Boston. So I can't comment on the tension. But, I think 85 years of frustration and 26 championships make NY/Boston games alway electric. If someone had started something, there would have been a bench clearing brawl, and guys would have been suspended. Fenway wouldn't have burned, the cops wouldn't have tear-gassed the crowd. Just a fight. Then everyone involved in could blame on Pedro, cause he started it.


Mariano Rivera almost hit Shea Hillenbrand with a 95 mph fastball to the head back in May, why wasn't he threatened w/ arrest for attempted murder? Bloomturd! How come we haven't heard his apology?
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Old 10-14-2003, 08:53 PM   #39
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Seventh heaven
We all need the ALCS to go the distance -- especially Pedro

There is only one place where this twisted, unpaved and uncharted road called the American League Championship Series should rightfully end. After the divine (for Boston) intervention of rain, the WWF smackdown of septuagenarians and charitable schoolteachers, the literal undressing of relief pitchers and the figurative one of a future Hall of Famer's reputation, the dueling four-corners offense versions of God Bless America, the insipid, phony co-opting of cowboy values and all the transparent gamesmanship, the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees need this grudge match to go to a seventh game. And among them, nobody needs it more than Pedro Martinez.

Through Game 4 of the ALCS, the Sox and Yanks have played 23 times this season. New York has won 12, Boston 11. Boston has scored 122 runs. New York has scored 108. Might as well take it to the limit. Bring on three more battles for the AL title. Bring on the reprisal of Game 3. Bring on future Hall of Famers Roger Clemens and Martinez one more time -- for the sake of Pedro.



Clemens' reputation is secure, even heightened, after his steely effort in the face of lunacy in Game 3. He was a character out of a Hemingway novel, keeping his head and grace under pressure. He shamed Martinez, the petulant one, with not just his poise but with his stuff. Two months past his 41st birthday, Clemens threw harder and better than his opponent, 10 years his junior. If you don't understand why Clemens' work ethic allowed him that kind of staying power, you haven't been paying the slightest attention to one of the greatest underappreciated pitching giants of our time.

Clemens left his signature on the sixth inning. The Red Sox, down 4-2, had two runners on base, nobody out and Nomar Garciaparra and Manny Ramirez due up. The Fenway crowd smelled blood. Then, in eight pitches, the trouble was all gone. Clemens dismissed Garciaparra with three offerings, two splitters and a 93-mph four-seam fastball that had more hair on it than anything Martinez has thrown in weeks. The Rocket then took care of Ramirez with a barrage of semi-automatic fastballs that raged in at 93, 94, 93, 94 and 93 mph, respectively, the last of them splitting Ramirez's bat in half and resulting in a double play.

"I'm as proud of him for that as anything he's done," pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre said of Clemens. "He emptied the tank."

Of course, the hell that was loosed upon that memorable Game 3 was due to the fastball Martinez threw at the head of Karim Garcia. Forget for a moment what the Yankees said about it; they knew the pitch was intentional. This is all you need to know: later, while the players were milling about the field during that mini-skirmish caused by Ramirez overreacting to a pitch, several Red Sox players apologized to Yankees players for Martinez's behavior. "That's not how we play," one Boston pitcher told a Yankee. And after the game, nobody in the Boston clubhouse stepped forward to support Martinez or Ramirez.

Martinez diminished himself in that game, not just with the pitch to Garcia, but also when he pointed his finger at his head while jawing with Jorge Posada and then later dismissing Posada with a wave and a nasty look after whiffing him in the sixth.

"Did you see what Clemens did when he struck out Manny?" one veteran in the Red Sox clubhouse said. "Nothing. A class act. And our guy is acting up after he strikes out Posada."

It was not Pedro's finest hour. He took nothing to the mound, and the Yankees, down 2-0 after the first inning, slapped him around with comfortable swings. He didn't have the fastball to fight back, so he decided to intimidate people. Posada, whom Stottlemyre said has been the subject of personal, bench-jockeying insults from Martinez when the Boston right-hander is not pitching, would call him "a coward" the next day.

"You find out about a winner," New York manager Joe Torre said, "when he loses."

Moreover, Martinez expressed no accountability after the game. Give him a pass on body slamming Don Zimmer, the overly emotional Yankees coach who had no business charging Martinez and raising a hand to him. Age is no excuse for stupidity. (And give Zim credit for being man enough to apologize for flying out of control.) But Martinez needed to explain himself, needed to answer questions about throwing a showcase game into the realm of travesty. "I'm not talking," was all Pedro said following Game 3.

Well, not quite. It took him another 24 hours to work up his alibi. When he discovered his voice the next day, this is what he came up with: the pitch got away and the head-pointing was meant only to show Posada he would remember Posada's rant at him from the dugout. Right.

Similarly, Ramirez was negligent in taking any responsibility. The man charged the mound with a bat in his hands. OK, "charged" is stretching it. He took a few steps forward, making it clear he was more interested in having someone stop him than actually getting any part of Clemens. And he, too, refused to explain himself. Ramirez did his typical Olympic dash out of the clubhouse: showered, dressed and gone in about 10 minutes, recalling the wisdom of Ernie Banks: "He who's in a hurry to get out of the clubhouse is in a hurry to get out of baseball."

Martinez and Ramirez keep breaking dishes and leaving the cleanup responsibilities to their teammates who actually talk to the media. When Grady Little was asked if his players were growing frustrated with having to answer for the silent duo, the manager earned megapoints for honesty by saying, "Well, there is a lot of discussion about that in our clubhouse and hopefully in the future we can get that rectified. It's a shame that that happens, but that's the way it is right now. We've got to deal with it."

Cowboy Up? Please. Spare me. We have a pitcher who throws at hitters and doesn't answer questions, a left fielder who doesn't run out balls and doesn't answer questions, a shortstop (Nomar Garciaparra) who doesn't drive in runners or answer questions, a first baseman and master of schtick (Kevin Millar) who doesn't run out popups or flyballs, and a bench that pulled the most bush league prank I've ever seen on a ballfield by spelling out Ted Lilly's last name in masking tape on their backs to incite the crowd into taunting the Oakland left-hander during Game 3 of the Division Series. The whole cowboy nonsense has grown so out of hand that according to one source in the Boston clubhouse, ownership considered dressing the players in Stetson hats before Game 3.

Let's stick to playing the games hard and fair, which has been the case for the most part. The Red Sox received a huge break Sunday when the heavens opened up with rain and forced the postponement of Game 4. The contest in which John Burkett should have started became the one in which Tim Wakefield did, giving Boston a huge edge. What's more, the rain allows Derek Lowe to pitch Game 5 at home, where he is 11-2, rather than Game 6 on the road, where he is 6-5. And it allows Little to bring Wakefield back in relief for Games 6 and 7.

Wakefield threw a gem in the 3-2 win Monday night, while the Yankees lamented a feeble at-bat by Jason Giambi in a clutch spot -- fifth inning, men on second and third, one out; he had to get one run home, but instead popped up -- and a typically careless attempt at turning a double play by Alfonso Soriano that cost them a run. Boston's third run was set up by a Mike Mussina walk to Millar on a pitch that caught gobs of the plate.

"It was right down the middle," Mussina said, "but what [ticked] me off more was not turning the double play."

Those plays, the rain and Wakefield guaranteed the series will go at least six games. We need one more. Pedro needs one more. Martinez doesn't have the stuff he had two or three years ago and probably never will again, not with his undersized body and what one front office member suspects is a tear in his right shoulder "that is probably worse than people think. But he doesn't want to get it checked and fixed."

Pitchers often throw with tears, depending on the severity of the injury, before they eventually break down. Pedro Astacio of the Mets is a perfect example. He lasted long enough for his vesting option to kick in, then broke down. This is no time for Martinez to be getting his shoulder fixed, not when he's going into the last year of a contract. He will be paid $17.5 million next year. You are likely to hear him talk this winter and next spring about a new deal, just as he babbled last year about getting his option picked up. The Red Sox, who have coddled their franchise pitcher, will politely turn a deaf ear. They know the risk, given Martinez's size and health history, of making a long-term commitment right now.

"To be honest with you," one Red Sox source said, "he'd be better off as a closer, with fewer innings. He'd be another Smoltz or Eckersley. He's going to the Hall of Fame and he'd still go as a closer. He needs only 30 pitches to warm up for a start, so he could get loose quickly."

Boston isn't about to pay Martinez $17.5 million to pitch 60 innings. The Red Sox need to squeeze as many starts and as much magic as possible out of that wonderful right arm.

There have been the requisite sideshows to this carnival of a series. There was Zimmer walking to an ambulance, then dramatically being carried into it on a gurney. (That must have been some cut on his nose.) There were the Red Sox executives talking about Paul Williams, the dirt tender who was shamelessly cheering in the Yankees bullpen before Jeff Nelson and Garcia allegedly used him as a doormat to clean their cleats (next hobby: playing in the middle of Mass Ave.), as if he were Mother Teresa. He teaches mentally disabled kids, gives to the Jimmy Fund and flosses his teeth. No mention was made of how before Game 3 he worked himself up into the Cowboy Up mindset by getting the obligatory buzz cut. He was going to tend that dirt like it had never been tended before, all for the glory of the Sox, pardner!

You had Torre asking to see what was on or in Mike Timlin's cap in Game 1 and Little asking to see what was behind Jeff Nelson's belt and in his glove in Game 4, a trend we want stopped before it gets to David Wells' undergarments. You had Ronan Tynan milking God Bless America at Yankee Stadium in Game 2 (he's 4 for 4 this season in getting the opposing pitcher knocked out immediately after his slowdown tactics) and the Red Sox sending out their own impersonators in the seventh inning at Fenway in Game 4. (It worked. In every game of the series so far, the home team has scored after the slow show of patriotism.)

But the lingering image has been the meltdown of Martinez. I've always considered him a gamer. Give me one game to win and the pick of any pitcher to start it, and I've always said Martinez would be my man. I'm not so sure now (especially given the arrival of Mark Prior). I'd like to see Pedro get one more shot, even if it means losing with honor. He's better than he showed in Game 3. A better pitcher. A better man.

So bring on Game 7. Yankee Stadium has hosted 144 postseason games, but only four Game 7s -- and none since Lew Burdette of the Milwaukee Braves beat New York 5-0 way back in 1957. The Yankees are 5-7 in Game 7s (excluding those in best-of-nine series).

Boston has its own Game 7 goblins. The franchise is 1-4 in such contests (again, excluding those in nine-game series). And who has the only Game 7 win in Red Sox history? That would be Clemens, who beat the Angels 8-1 in the deciding game of the 1986 ALCS. So bring it on, Rocket vs. Pedro one last time. Winner take all.


Sports Illustrated senior writer Tom Verducci covers baseball for the magazine and is a regular contributor to SI.com.
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Old 10-14-2003, 08:59 PM   #40
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1 more win and i can stop rooting for the yankees... ughhh... unclean... unclean...
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Old 10-14-2003, 09:29 PM   #41
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1 more win and ill have to start rooting for the yankees... ughhh... unclean... unclean
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Old 10-15-2003, 10:31 AM   #42
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1 more Yankee win and I can stop watching baseball till April.
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Old 10-15-2003, 11:08 AM   #43
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i just noticed two things...

1, grady little sounds exactly like billy bob thornton in Slingblade...

2, take a look at the horror on the face of the person behind fat hands there in chizip's signiture... everyone's got their hands bent, or pulled back toward their face... except for fat hands, who's got a beautiful full extension right over alou's glove... wonderful
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Old 10-15-2003, 09:22 PM   #44
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I still doubt that Pedro was headhunting. I can perhaps believe that he tried to hit Garcia in the shoulder. But if that's what he tried to do, that's not a very smart move. You don't issue a IBB in that situation--runners on second and third, none out, the more dangerous Soriano on deck. Yeah, I know Soriano grounded into a DP, but that's not something you would count on.

And if I were Pedro and Don Zimmer rushed me, I'd be scared that he'd try to bite my fingers or my balls off.
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Old 10-16-2003, 07:54 AM   #45
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Pedro will get his chance to set things right tonight, he'll only throw over the plat to Karim "celebrate a bit too early in a game" Garcia...in fact he'll whiff him 3 times tonight.

Pedro will feed off all the negative energy the Yanks fans bring and pitch his best game ever.

Joe Torre went to PetCo last night and bought a big Gerbil leash and oversized habitrail system for the Yankee clubhouse to keep Zimmer wher he belongs tonight.

Bring it on.
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