June 18, 2017

June 18, 1977: Billy, Jax Clash In Fenway Dugout

June 18, 1977: Yankees at Red Sox, on national television and in front of the largest Saturday afternoon crowd at Fenway Park in 20 years.

Boston had won 9-4 the night before, hitting six home runs, including four solo shots off Catfish Hunter in the first inning; Hunter had been yanked after facing only six batters.

In the bottom of the sixth on Saturday, the Red Sox led 7-4. After Fred Lynn singled, Jim Rice hit the ball into right field. Reggie Jackson was slow to field it, and Rice raced into second with a double.

New York manager Billy Martin made a pitching change and when he was back in the dugout, he sent Paul Blair out to replace Jackson in right field. Reggie jogged back to the dugout and he and Martin got into a lengthy shouting match. (I wish the clip in the link above had more of the lead-up to the confrontation.)

Martin, after the game: "If you don't hustle, I don't accept it. If a player shows up the club, I show up the player. ... He showed us up all over the country."

The Yankees lost the game 10-4 and were swept the next day 11-1.

Watching the dugout fireworks in the middle of that Saturday afternoon game is a very clear baseball memory from childhood. I was 13 that summer. (I swear I watched the first game of the series on TV, also.)

Boston hit 16 home runs in the three games. Those games came during a stretch of 10 games (June 14-24) in which the Red Sox clubbed 33 home runs. Less than two weeks later, on July 4, the Red Sox beat the Blue Jays 9-6 at Fenway. Of Boston's 11 hits in that game, eight were home runs. (No baserunners for the first four innings - and then BOOM!) The 2004 team will always be my favourite Red Sox team, but that 1977 team has got to be solidly in second place.

From Fangraphs' Sunday Notes, by David Laurila:
Mordecai "Three Finger" Brown won 20 or more games for the Chicago Cubs each year from 1906-1911. He logged 37 saves over that stretch, and he had two seasons where he led the National League in both complete games and saves.
Amazing. In 1909, Brown led the National League in wins (27), games (50), innings pitched (342.2), complete games (32), and saves (7). In 1910, he led the NL in complete games (27), shutouts (6), WHIP (1.084), and saves (7).

Brown also led the NL in saves in 1911 (13). In that season, he pitched in 53 games. He started 27 games (and completed 21 of them) and finished another 24 games as a reliever.

(Of course, saves were not a stat back then. These were compiled retroactively.)

And: Roger Clemens, on his baseball career (and seemingly a defense of his alleged steroid use): "I did it the right way and went out there and did what I had to do."


allan said...

From WEEI's transcript of Clemens's chat with "Dale, Holley and Keefe":

"Of course there are also in the back out of all our. Quite a little smaller election of the Crawford boxes a little bit smaller than you know Edward Parker course yet the monsters they do a little bit of Cuba. Some hard hit on the line but. ... And I'm not I'm not I'd love Angel Heatley at the pot and not put my carnal cat goes in that they'll love. Implement a point sometimes around draft David Crockett family over her that it got that and in not you know spring training gear than mainly."

laura k said...

The subject of this post -- huge early baseball memory for me.