Yanks v Sox
“Stories from Saturday’s game are going to be passed down (and exaggerated) from generation to generation but the best way to sum up the day is to say that the 72-year-old Zimmer left Fenway Park in an ambulance (somewhere Bill Lee is smiling) and the Boston police issued a dragnet for two Yankees players who allegedly fought a Red Sox groundskeeper in the bullpen.
All this transpired just because Pedro threw a pitch behind right fielder Karim Garcia’s head and hit him in the back in the top of the fourth inning. And because Pedro faced the Yankees dugout and pointed to his head. And because Clemens had to be held back from storming the field. And because Garcia took out second baseman Todd Walker with a vicious late slide. And because Manny stepped menacingly toward Clemens after a pitch that was nowhere near him in the bottom of the fourth.
Oh, and because these two teams have hated each other for decades. The staggering moment from the game we will long remember however was in that amazing fourth inning, when the two great rivals were angrily storming the field, shouting obscenities and issuing threats — and a seething Zimmer came racing around the bend, violently charging Pedro with such passion and energy that the Notre Dame Victory March should have been playing.”
“Andy Pettitte and I went over there and I saw a bald head on the ground,” Clemens said, delivering what may be the most bizarre quote in postseason history. “We weren’t sure if it was Zim or (David Wells). I was like, Oh, my gosh, and he wasn’t getting up. We went over and Andy and I were talking to Zim and we were just glad he was healthy, a man of his age. But that’s Zim, he’s got more fire than half those guys in the dugout and that’s why I love him.”
“Zim was probably out of line, too, but you have to consider his age,” reliever Jeff Nelson said. “What, Pedro couldn’t dodge him? The guy is 75 years old, how is he going to hurt you? You have to have more respect than that for someone like, an elderly man. You have to get out of the way.”
Nelson is one to talk. He was involved in such an ugly incident in the bullpen during the ninth inning that he may face arrest.
Depending on whom you believe, a Boston groundskeeper either got out of control and tried to punch Nelson (that’s the Yankees version) or the Yankees tried beating up a groundskeeper who was just rooting hard for his employer (the Red Sox version). The truth, no doubt, lies in between.
All anyone knows for sure is that while closer Mariano Rivera was warming up on the mound for the bottom of the ninth, the Yankees and Paul Williams — a special ed schoolteacher by day — were going at it in the bullpen. It got so wild that Garcia left his position in right field to join the fray.
“The guy was waving a rally flag in our face most of the game,” said Nelson, who denied he hit Williams. “I asked him nice to stop and then he got in my face. … And all of a sudden crap broke loose.”
“I thought it was a fan, so I went, “All right, I want to watch them beat up the fan,’ ” Sauerbeck said. “Then I saw it was our grounds crew guy and we all felt kind of bad.
“Whoever started it, it was classless. If their guys started it, it was classless and if our guy started it, it was classless.”
Classless. Yes, that sums up the game. Oh yea, and the Yanks won.