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Dreadsox 10-13-2003 09:58 AM

Grow Up Pedro!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
Pedro is the one at fault
By Dan Shaughnessy, Globe Columnist, 10/13/2003

This Red Sox-Yankee playoff, which could still be one for the ages, has at least temporarily deteriorated into a WWE steel-cage match. There's a rumor the Sox have hired Hells Angels to guard the Yankee bullpen tonight.

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Let's not forget that we are here because of the irresponsible actions of one man: Pedro Martinez.

Excluding the Paul Williams-Yankee bullpen ugliness (nobody ever knows who starts a barroom brawl, but it certainly seemed like the Yankees piled on once they had him down), Pedro's the one who got everybody into this mess. Which begs the question: How come Sox stars behave like babies when they are here, then mature when they go someplace else?

Which one would you rather have now, Sox fans? Roger Clemens -- who kept his composure and behaved like a professional Saturday night, winning the game for his team despite his obvious anger? Or Pedro, the baby who hits a guy after he blows a lead, then points at his head and at Yankee catcher Jorge Posada, threatening "you're next"?

Pedro said a few words yesterday and claimed that gesture was actually him telling Posada that he'll remember Posada's angry words. Sure. And he wasn't trying to hit Karim Garcia. And those young women hang out with Donald Trump because they really dig his hair.

Sox fans don't like to hear this, but Pedro was an embarrassment and a disgrace to baseball Saturday. He gets away with it because he's Pedro. And the Sox front office enables him, just as they do Manny Ramirez. Just as they did with Roger when he was here and Yaz when he was here and Ted when he was here.

The tail still wags the dog around here. The Sox have no control over their stars. That's the way it was for Clemens when he was here. Roger had to go elsewhere to grow up. And we all know it took a while.

Everyone in baseball knows what Pedro was doing in the fourth inning. He'd blown a 2-0 lead. The Yankees were kicking him around Fenway. The old magic was gone and no doubt he was frustrated. It can't be fun knowing your team is 9-15 when you start against the Yankees. So what did he do? With first base empty and a righty on deck, he threw a pitch behind Garcia, grazing him in the shoulder.

Then it got worse. After Garcia's slide into second baseman Todd Walker, and angry words with Pedro, the Yankees and Sox started coming out of their dugouts and Pedro made his outrageous threats. (Oh, I forgot, it wasn't a threat. He was actually telling Posada he needed a haircut.)

No. This was: You're next. I'll hit you in the head, too.

Pretty brave stuff when you never have to bat. Pretty good way to take the attention away from the fact your skills are declining and you have trouble beating this team.Notice how none of Pedro's teammates have rushed to his defense? When he puts that tape around his locker, it's as if he's putting himself on his own island in his own clubhouse.

It's interesting that the $17.5 million, 14-game winner is always talking about respect, yet his actions provoke baseball people to lose respect for him. More now than ever. The stuff still plays pretty well when he throws those four-hit shutouts, but there haven't been many of those lately. His ERA and strikeout ratios are still great, but he wore down in both Oakland games and had nothing when it counted against the Yankees. Do Sox fans still feel good about him as their Game 7 starter? Maybe. But not like before.

The weird part is that Clemens was often a big baby when he played here. He wanted everything his way. He distanced himself from teammates. He didn't pitch well in the postseason. Ownership gave him a long leash. His self-immolation in the fourth game of the 1990 playoffs was a complete disgrace. But now he's equal parts Audie Murphy, Winston Churchill, and Cy Young. Why couldn't he have been that guy when he was here? And why can't Pedro be that guy now?

This isn't about Pedro's non-takedown of Don Zimmer. Martinez had little choice in that matter. He was being charged. The photos look bad, but it's unfair to rip Pedro for Zimmer's misbehavior.

But how come Zimm's the only one apologizing around here? Could Pedro one time stand up and admit he's wrong (angry e-mailers get back -- I already admitted I was wrong about David Ortiz)? He can't admit he threw at Garcia, no one ever does that, but could he apologize for losing his head when he pointed to his head? No. He has to reinvent the gesture.

Maybe it doesn't matter to Sox fans, but that fuzzy Cubs-Red Sox World Series may not be America's dream matchup anymore. The Red Sox have done a lot of damage to themselves in the last two days and last night's ridiculous press conference featuring John W. Henry, Tom Werner, and Larry Lucchino only contributed to the madness. In violation of the commissioner's order (don't these guys remember that Bud Selig ordered bagman John Harrington to deliver the team to them?) the three amigos stood up and defended everything that happened Saturday, including Pedro's obvious head-hunting.

The new baby Pedro apparently needs demons in order to perform at his best. Throughout this year, he has found imaginary enemies to inspire his talents. His big complaint is always "lack of respect."

His critics are no longer imaginary. Now that they are real, maybe he'll be the pitcher the Sox need in Game 7.

MissVelvetDress_75 10-13-2003 10:32 AM

anger management.

he should talk to Rocker. :wink:

MrBrau1 10-13-2003 10:39 AM

or Roger, who also has a rep as a head hunter (or is that forgotten now?)

Dreadsox 10-13-2003 10:46 AM

Roger is mentioned in the article.

gherman 10-13-2003 11:27 AM

Zimmer is a prick. I'd like to kick all the Yankees asses.

Eventhough a friend of mine has played for the yankees a few times this year... I still hate them.

Hewson 10-13-2003 11:28 AM

"Roger had to go elsewhere to grow up"????
Is Bozo Shaugnessy suggesting Clemens has grown up because of 1 game where he didn't go off his noodle.
Remember Roger threw a bat barrell at Mike Piazza not so long ago. His excuse "I thought it was the ball"...OK Rog, since when do you throw a fielded ground ball at the batter? Why didn't you throw the bat to Tino Martinez?

None of these overpaid overgrown boys are really "grown up", especially Clemens and Manny, thats the unfortunate nature of today's athlete.

Hewson 10-13-2003 11:31 AM

Also interesting that Bozo conveniently says "excluding the Paul Williams-Yankee bullpen ugliness".
Yeah we should just overlook that Bozo. Nelson and Garcia are merely alter boys who had a bad night, and Pedro is the only bad guy on the field.

MissVelvetDress_75 10-13-2003 12:03 PM

Apparently the Yankees can do no wrong. :down:

I hate them!

WildHoneyAlways 10-13-2003 12:59 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by gherman
Zimmer is a prick. I'd like to kick all the Yankees asses.

Eventhough a friend of mine has played for the yankees a few times this year... I still hate them.


Isn't Mr. Henson going back to football next year? I saw him when the Yankees played the White Sox at the end of the season but by then the reports were that he was going to play football again.

Headache in a Suitcase 10-13-2003 01:22 PM

he should... no offense.

i will never forgive roger clemens for what he's done in the past. remember, i am a met fan...
https://www.whitecleats.org/rocket/bean_piazza.jpg
... but roger had nothing to do with this entire incident. this entire fiasco started over pedro martinez. i'll say this about roger... he'll throw at you after a big homerun, if you're digging in to tight to the plate, if you've taken him deep one too many times (as in the case of piazza). throwing at people is part of the game... always has been. roger does cross the line, though, when he throws at people's heads. pedro seems to only throw at people's heads, and he does it for no reason whatsoever. he'll throw at someone's head as a substitute for intentionaly walking someone or throwing around them. and not only does he throw at them, he then taunts them. he's a dick, and should come back to the national league where he'd have to face his in the batter's box... i have a feeling he wouldn't be as eager to throw at someone's head if he himself had to then face the music the next inning (same goes for roger).

manny ramirez is a real big man... let me tell ya'. he over-reacts to a tense situation when clemens' fastball didn't even come close to his head, and then instead of just charging roger, he brings his bat with him. good job tough guy. and wouldn't ya know... the very next pitch, after the mele is settled, manny bails out on a swinging strike three that was about 2 inches outside. this is the same man who sat out a crucial late season series with the yankees 'cause he had those deadly "flu like symptoms," yet was caught later that same night having drinks with a yankee's reliever in a hotel bar. there's the red sox problems... yeah you mgiht have brought in some tougher guys... cowboy up woo friggin hoo whatever... but your two key players, pedro and manny, are a couple of bitches who look for a way out come the first sign of trouble.

if a 72 year old man charges at me, unless he did something to my family, i'm not fighting him back. and if you can't get away from a 72 year old overweight man with a steel plate in his head without tossing him head first into the ground, then you are a pansy. and if you're not a pansy, then you're just an asshole.

DaveC 10-13-2003 01:38 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by Headache in a Suitcase
if a 72 year old man charges at me, unless he did something to my family, i'm not fighting him back. and if you can't get away from a 72 year old overweight man with a steel plate in his head without tossing him head first into the ground, then you are a pansy. and if you're not a pansy, then you're just an asshole.
So you're suggesting he should have run away? How would that look? "Pedro flees from 72 year-old overweight man with steel plate in head". He'd be mocked relentlessly. He did exactly what he should have done. Zimm charged, Pedro ended the "fight" without causing much damage to Zimmer. Pedro could have punched him in the face...then what would we be saying. The guy was just knocked to the ground and got a cut on his head. Boo hoo. If Pedro had have punched him or kicked him or whatnot or actually injured the man, yes I could understand the backlash. But all it was was the guy got knocked down, cut his head, and Pedro won quickly and decisively without hurting Zimmer. It could have been worse.

And anyways, people are forgetting that none of this would have happened if Don Zimmer hadn't taken a run at Pedro in the first place.

Think about it.

Dreadsox 10-13-2003 02:51 PM

Dave,

The grow up had to do with him throwing at garcia which ultimately was the root cause of the entire debacle!

MrsSpringsteen 10-13-2003 04:04 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by Hewson

None of these overpaid overgrown boys are really "grown up", especially Clemens and Manny, thats the unfortunate nature of today's athlete.

Exactly. I've been out of town and didn't see the whole sick incident, but obviously there's no excuse in the world to go after a 72 year old man like that. It made me ashamed of the Red Sox.

Rivalry aside, they should all just grow up, and have some dignity and class.

Pedro should have gone into the stands after Bennifer instead ;) :wink:

Dreadsox 10-13-2003 06:08 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by MrsSpringsteen


Exactly. I've been out of town and didn't see the whole sick incident, but obviously there's no excuse in the world to go after a 72 year old man like that. It made me ashamed of the Red Sox.

Rivalry aside, they should all just grow up, and have some dignity and class.

Pedro should have gone into the stands after Bennifer instead ;) :wink:

Wait a minute....

Pedro DID NOT go after the 72 year old man. The 72 Year old man went after Pedro full speed ahead throwing a left hook. Pedro had every right to defend himself.

verte76 10-13-2003 06:12 PM

Damn. This is ugly stuff. I love baseball but sometimes I get pissed off at some of the players.:mad: :madspit: :censored: :censored: :censored:

Dreadsox 10-13-2003 06:18 PM

Vote: Sox-Yanks Fireworks

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
SportsNation

Thank you for voting. See below for the results from across SportsNation.

Your responses in bold text below.



1) Which team are you rooting for?

55.5% Red Sox

37.6% Yankees

6.9% Neither


2) What best describes what happened on Saturday?

57.2% Disgraceful

42.8% Entertaining


3) Did Pedro Martinez intentionally throw at Karim Garcia?

80.9% Yes

19.1% No


4) How would you describe Garcia's slide into Todd Walker at second base?

52.4% Too late and malicious

47.6% Just part of the game


5) How would you describe Roger Clemens' high-and-inside pitches to Manny Ramirez and Kevin Millar?

60.0% Just pitching inside

40.0% Sending a message


6) Did Ramirez overreact to Clemens' pitch?

87.9% Yes

12.1% No


7) What is your opinion of the skirmish between Pedro Martinez and Don Zimmer?

62.1% Martinez was only defending himself.

37.9% Throwing a 72-year-old man to the ground is inexcusable.


8) Based on what you know, what's your opinion of the bullpen incident in the ninth inning?

57.9% The Yankees viciously attacked a Boston fan for his exuberance.

42.1% The Yankees were rightly protecting themselves.


9) What was the worst incident on Saturday?

28.5% The bullpen incident

24.9% Pedro's throwing down Zimmer

18.4% Zimmer's lunge at Pedro

15.2% Pedro's pitch to Garcia

10.4% Ramirez' reaction to Clemens' pitch

1.9% Garcia's slide against Walker

0.6% Clemens' pitch to Ramirez


10) What do you expect in Games 4 and 5?

71.1% Calmer heads

28.9% More of the same


Total Votes: 52,937

WildHoneyAlways 10-13-2003 06:39 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by Dreadsox

7) What is your opinion of the skirmish between Pedro Martinez and Don Zimmer?

62.1% Martinez was only defending himself.

37.9% Throwing a 72-year-old man to the ground is inexcusable.

Did Pedro really feel threatened by a 72 year old man? I think not. I only dislike Sammy Sosa more than Martinez...

Chizip 10-13-2003 07:17 PM

pedro was damned if he did, damned if he didnt

if he got decked by a 72 year old man, then he was the guy who got beat up by an old geezer

if he defended himself, which he did, people say he beat up an old man

he is a bit of a punk, but i dont think he did anything too wrong here

nbcrusader 10-13-2003 07:19 PM

Zimmer only did it for the drama - this wasn't about a fight, it was about posturing in front of the other team

MrsSpringsteen 10-13-2003 08:10 PM

It didn't look to me in any of the clips I saw that Zimmer was throwing a left hook, or about to. In any case, there's such a thing as "being the bigger man", in this case a man less than half Zimmer's age. And of losing your gigantic ego (which I think Pedro *might* have :D) And what is the story w/ that groundskeeper?

It's just a matter of opinion I guess :) It's sickening the way the media is hyping all of this, but that's just entertainment of course :yawn:

The game is starting, so it's time to prepare for heartbreak :(

I just wish they wouldn't show Bennifer :scream:

Mr. BAW 10-13-2003 11:42 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by nbcrusader
Zimmer only did it for the drama - this wasn't about a fight, it was about posturing in front of the other team
Coach Zimmer was having flashbacks about being struck in the head himself; the rumor is that he has a steel plate in his head; he doesn't, he only had evidence of where the screws were...obviously, a few must be loose by now....but, he was sympathetic to his guys getting hit just like he was a hundred years ago...

And another thing, I did some research...I checked the Civil War indices and found that Nathan Foster, a Confederate soldier, while running toward a troop of Northern infantryman, was the first to yell at the top of his lungs "Yankees suck" back in 1863,,,

By the way, the word has it that Foster was shot dead in his tracks ...anyway..!

Boston in 7...

MissVelvetDress_75 10-14-2003 12:06 AM

Yankees SUCK!

*this coming from a southern gal :wink: *

Mr. BAW 10-14-2003 12:13 AM

This just in...further checking revealed that Nathan Foster was married to a Mrs. Garcia, whose descendents included Sanchez, Gomez, Lopez and Sarabia....hmmmm????

Its also written that the original saying was Jankees Suck!!!!

:lmao:

MissVelvetDress_75 10-14-2003 12:16 AM

actually, i did have an ancestor who was a Confederate Gen.

Mr. BAW 10-14-2003 12:19 AM

I am also related to a General; General Pancho Villa himself!!!

No chit! General Pancho Villa is my grand, grand Tio from the Pueblo de Chihuahua Mexico..

if he were alive, he was also say Jankees Suck!!!

MissVelvetDress_75 10-14-2003 12:20 AM

Viva Mexico!








wait a min, you may be related to me. no kidding, my great grandfather is from that part of Mexico. :| :no: :laugh:

















:der: wtf does this have to w/ the yankees/sox match?
those damn mexicans. ;)

Mr. BAW 10-14-2003 12:24 AM

The first baseball classic was the

Chihuahua dogs versus the Monterey perros...

We won!

Orale'

:heart: the Mexicans

IWasBored 10-14-2003 12:51 AM

i've seriously seen it in replays too many times this weekend to know what to think anymore. everything from hearing the game broadcasted on a ny station with pro-yankee commentating to the espn-cam thing showing zimmer running around the back of the crowd on the field to find pedro. i was happy to see the sox win tonight, that's all i know.

Quote:

wtf does this have to w/ the yankees/sox match?
like a group of 8 year olds yelling yankees suck at a UMASS/UCONN hockey game, abosultly nothing...

bonoman 10-14-2003 11:06 AM

Is anyone thinking about the yankees pitchers in the bullipen who apparnatly beat up a gorund crewman. This is what is dispeicalble.

Headache in a Suitcase 10-14-2003 11:31 AM

i dunno... i find it tough to believe that nelson just up and decided to attack a fenway groundscrew member for no reason what-so-ever :shrug: that's just me.

i worked home events staff durring college. for football games, i was normally a ball boy on the opposing team's sideline, tossing footballs to the ref and stuff. first thing they told you before the game was to keep your loyalties aside and do not get involved in any rooting, fighting, etc. with the other team. i had no problem with this whatsoever, 'cause when you're standing next to a 350 pound O-lineman, ya' don't really wanna piss him off by rooting for the team he's trying to beat. that's besides the whole issue of class and acting professionaly.

if this guy was waving a towel and rooting heavily for the red sox INSIDE the yankees bullpen, then I don't blame nelson one bit for confronting him and telling him to ask. now what happened from there... who threw the first punch? that's all hearsay... if the guy did stop and nelson kept pursuing him and further instigated a situation that could have been handled differently, then i agree... charge him. but it seems that all the witnesses are a bit partial... the boston people all say the yankees were at fault, the yankee people all say the groundskeeper was at fault. unless we have a camera in the bullpen, i guess we'll never know for sure.

as for karim garcia, he shouldn't be blaimed for anything. as a former athlete i can say this for sure... if i all of a sudden turned around and saw one of my teammates in a fight, especially that close to what had become an unruly crowd... i'm jumping in and helping him first, thinking about it later. you always defend your teammates.

and back onto zim and pedro... zimmer was in the wrong for charging pedro like that. he let his emotions get ahold of him, and as a coach he's not allowed to do that. and he has since appologized for his part. on the other hand... pedro instigated the ENTIRE incident by hitting garcia, then threatening to bean posada in the head with a fastball, and has yet to even say a word, let alone appologize. and i still say that anyone who can't stop a 72 year old man from charging without tossing him head first to the ground is a pansy-ass. yeah... he coulda slugged him, and that woulda been worse. but he also could have just held him back until zim either got ahold of his emotions or was pulled away by torre or someone else. buyt hey, that's just me

MrBrau1 10-14-2003 12:36 PM

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.

Headache in a Suitcase 10-14-2003 12:48 PM

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?

U2ME3 10-14-2003 12:49 PM

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.

MrBrau1 10-14-2003 12:56 PM

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.

Headache in a Suitcase 10-14-2003 01:38 PM

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.

MrBrau1 10-14-2003 01:45 PM

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.

Headache in a Suitcase 10-14-2003 01:58 PM

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."

MrBrau1 10-14-2003 03:58 PM

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?

rafmed 10-14-2003 08:53 PM

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.

Headache in a Suitcase 10-14-2003 08:59 PM

1 more win and i can stop rooting for the yankees... ughhh... unclean... unclean...

Chizip 10-14-2003 09:29 PM

1 more win and ill have to start rooting for the yankees... ughhh... unclean... unclean

MrBrau1 10-15-2003 10:31 AM

1 more Yankee win and I can stop watching baseball till April.

Headache in a Suitcase 10-15-2003 11:08 AM

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

speedracer 10-15-2003 09:22 PM

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.

Hewson 10-16-2003 07:54 AM

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.

MrsSpringsteen 10-16-2003 08:23 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by Hewson

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

I hope he bought a muzzle for cry baby Roger :D

Hex on you Roger :madspit: :wink:


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