October 12, 2003

It's the ALCS, Gump, Please Try To Win Every Game. I'm still annoyed that Grady Gump did absolutely nothing when Clemens came up and in to Millar in the 4th inning -- after all it was Clemens nearly beaning Millar back on July 5 (Pedro hit Soriano and Jeter two days later) that may have been the genesis for all the craziness we saw yesterday.

I shouldn't be surprised, considering Gump's "yeah-whatever" attitude all year, but this was obviously a crucial game and letting Clemens reestablish the inside half of the plate (and get his emotions under control) without an argument is unforgivable. Any decent manager should know he has to raise hell with the umpire.

If Grady does his job, one of two things could happen: (1) Clemens gets ejected and Torre is forced to go to middle relief (unlikely) or (2) Clemens realizes he really can't pitch inside or he'll get tossed, so he starts pitching off the plate, Boston hitters get comfy and start banging hits. A third possibility is that the umpires do nothing, but Clemens gets miffed at the protest and falters (which is what Torre might have been doing when he asked the umps to check Timlin's cap in game 1). But Grady Little couldn't be bothered to fight tooth and nail for any small advantage for his team in one of the most important games of the year.

Martinez, Ramirez, Zimmer and Garcia were fined by MLB. There was no word on the amount of the fines or what exactly they were for. Zimmer should also be suspended for the rest of the post-season; yes, he's old and looks funny, and everyone (except Red Sox and Cubs fans that had to deal with him (mis)managing their teams) loves him, but coaches that attempt to attack opposing players on the field should be punished. The Boston Globe has footage (from a fan, I think) showing Zimmer "jogging" into the group of players, seeing Martinez, moving around the pile, cocking his right hand in a fist, then putting his hands up to meet Pedro's hands and getting tossed aside. The clip is 34 seconds.

The Boston Globe asked for readers' comments on the 4th inning. I liked this one from Dick Damon, Wayland, Mass.: "Clemens complaining about a Martinez brushback pitch is like Bin Laden complaining about a terrorist attack." ... New York City Mayor Bloomberg thinks Pedro should have been arrested. ... An 11:00 pm New York newscast last night apparently reported a third Yankee (possibly Jeff Weaver) may be charged with assault, but I haven't heard any follow-up to this.

Two fans at the game: FoxInSox: "The first thing I noticed was a uniformed Yankee player (presumably Garcia) streaking full-tilt toward the bullpen, so I looked that way and saw a huge pileup, with a bunch of Yankee players all in a heap, beating the living hell out of somebody. ... I saw the lanyard and ID badge the guy was wearing and determined that it was a Fenway employee. I initially thought he was probably security, and had gotten involved in the fight, but then I saw the cops leading him out of there." ... SeanBerry: "I was sitting in Box 95...which is like right between the Pesky Pole and the Yankee Bullpen. ... see Jeff Nelson whaling on a guy...really hitting him...rest of bullpen makes circle around victim ... and were beating him up. Garcia jumps over the wall and does his share."

Seth Stevenson: "[T]he media cliche holds that Red Sox fans are a crew of quivering Calvinists ... under the spell of a powerful curse ... I cannot stand this image. It makes me want to punch Tim McCarver in the kidneys, which I had already wanted to do, but when I hear the words 'the Curse of the Bambino' suddenly want to do it even more."

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