October 11, 2003

Where is Roger? Pedro Jamie Martinez will try to bring his team and Red Sox Nation within two wins of the World Series, facing a bigger traitor to New England than Benedict Arnold. William Roger Clemens is making his final appearance in the park he called home for 13 years; it also could be the final start of his remarkable career. So, is this is the duel of the year? Yes, but it is much more than that. Arm-ageddon? That's more like it (though we should probably save that for a possible Game 7 rematch). I like Larry Stone's description in the Seattle Times: "This one is about the thrill of possibilities, inextricably mixed with the hint of danger. This one will take the revved up fans at Fenway Park and juice them right to maniacal levels. This one will be a flat-out, full-bore, roaring, crazy ice-blast of a ballgame."

The results of the previous four Pedro-Roger meetings. ... Damon insists he is playing today, but refuses to cut his hair. "Some of the players wanted to get me when I was still out on the ground [in Oakland]." ... Pitching coach Dave Wallace remembers Pedro from their days in Great Falls, Montana. ... A Red Sox haven in Manhattan. ... For Pedro, it is now more about precision than power. ... Grady might drop Millar in the order, perhaps flip-flopping him with Varitek; he added Millar would not be benched in favor of "Milk Carton" McCarty.

In a Herald pay column, Steve Buckley offers this aside: "It's like all those sportswriters covering this series who keep sending in those 'curse' columns. They can't help themselves. Rather than report on the real reasons the Red Sox haven't won the World Series since 1918 - such as racism, alcoholism and cronyism - they pick up the phone, call the sports editor and say, 'I have a great idea for a column: I believe the Red Sox are cursed.' 'I like it,' says the editor, back home in Kansas City, and we're off to the races."

Dear Boston bats: Please show Mr. Clemens to the Exit. Thank you.

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