Wednesday, July 09, 2003

Game 88 - Red Sox

Red Sox 2, Blue Jays 1 (12)
Record: 51-37

Saw very little about this game, except that Wakefield pitched really well and the Sox ran into another hot starting pitcher in Roy Halladay. This time, though, they toughed it out and picked up the win, as Wake and the bullpen kept the Blue Jays' sliding. 4 runs in 3 games for the league's best offense, so today might be a good time to lay one on the Jaybirds. Even moreso because I'll be watching this one on ESPN2.

Today's New York and Boston papers bring more carping from the Yankees about how upset they are that Pedro drilled Soriano and Jeter on Monday. I'm at once red-assed infuriated and gleeful about the situation. I'm pissed because the Yankees aren't even acknowledging that Clemens threw at Kevin Millar's head on Saturday, and I'm giddy like a little schoolgirl because of Millar and Pedro's public statements in the wake of the series - and the Yankees oddly prissy reaction.

Today's Boston Herald column by Tony Massaroti calls out the Yankees for their childish reaction, from Steinbrenner to Jeter and everyone in between. The piece also quotes Millar,

"The thing I didn't like was Clemens' remarks that players just don't get out of the way of pitches like they used to,'' said Millar, recalling comments that Clemens made following Saturday's Red Sox victory. ``Being a veteran guy, that's a tired remark because he just threw a 95 mph fastball at my face. That's unprofessional. A classy thing to do would have been to call the other (clubhouse) and see how I was doing. That's what I would have expected from a guy like that.

``If Pedro was trying to drill somebody, we'd put somebody in the hospital,'' Millar said. ``I don't understand why it's such a big deal. They're the ones who started ruffling the feathers with a comment like Clemens'. . . . If you want to start that (expletive), well, you know what, I don't want to face Pedro when he's angry.

``Put it this way: In a Clemens-Pedro matchup, see how many times Clemens throws at somebody,'' Millar said. ``I guarantee nine guys in the Yankees lineup would say (to Clemens), `Please don't throw at someone today.' Put together a Clemens-Pedro matchup and we'll see how many times he throws at people.''

The Boston Globe had this from Millar:

''When's the last time he hit?'' Millar said of Clemens. ''Ask him why he didn't take the ball [at Shea Stadium] after the last time he hit [Mike] Piazza in the head.''

Millar suggested the Sox exacted their just revenge. ''You want to hit guys, then hit guys,'' he said. ''But the next guy goes deep, and it's 2-0 Sox. The next thing you know, it's 8-0 Sox.''

What's more, Millar had this message for Clemens: ''Try to beat us for once, instead of [going] five innings and [giving up] eight runs. It's not our fault. Make some pitches.''

Pedro chimed in with the following:

``(Steinbrenner) said he was going to go to the league and I don't have any problem with that,'' Martinez said before the Sox' 2-1, 12-inning win over the Toronto Blue Jays last night. ``He might be able to buy the whole league, but he's not going to put any fear in my heart.''

I love this stuff. I love that Millar has become a true force in the Sox clubhouse, a gritty leader who inspires the team's ace to get his back. I love that Pedro continues to show no fear of any man in baseball. I love that the Sox are talking smack to the Yankees, and not backing down from a confrontation that seems certain to play out for the rest of the season. I love that the Yankee organization is whining about being hit instead of taking it like men (and, for the record, both Soriano and Jeter were swinging on the pitches that hit them). I love that Kevin Millar stayed in the game against Clemens and hasn't come out of a game since, while Soriano and Jeter left the game after being hit by Pedro and haven't played since. The Sox may not win the AL East - hell, they may not even make the playoffs - but they've stared down the Yankees and won in terms of toughness.

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