Monday October 13, 2003
ALCS SERIES (YANKEES LEAD SERIES 2-1)
NLCS SERIES (CUBS LEAD SERIES 3-2)
DISCUSSION QUESTION OF THE WEEK
ALCS SERIES (YANKEES LEAD SERIES 2-1)
There was just one game in the American League Championship Series this weekend. Sunday’s game was rained out, meaning that Game 4 will be on Monday night and Game 5 will be on Tuesday afternoon. On Saturday, it was the matchup that everyone was waiting for; Pedro Martinez for the Red Sox and Roger Clemens for the Yankees. This is one of the best, and oldest rivalries in baseball. But after this game, that rivalry was taken to a whole new level.
Most have seen the highlights, and know that the Yankees took the 2-1 series lead with a 4-3 victory. The only thing being talked about is the extra-curricular activity that occurred throughout the game. And of course, I have an opinion on those things.
Let’s start at the beginning. Pedro Martinez was getting lit up by the Yankees. Pedro had given up 4 runs already and he wasn’t fooling anyone in the Yankee lineup. With runners on 2nd and 3rd, he plunked Karim Garcia near the head. Some may say it only hit him in the shoulder… the top of the shoulder… close enough! But, this is how Pedro works. When he struggles, he nails someone near the head and makes the opposition afraid to step into the box on him. Well, in actuality, that’s exactly what happened. With the bases now loaded, he got Alfonso Soriano to step-in-the-bucket on an outside pitch, which he grounded to shortstop for a double-play. After that point, Martinez was nearly unhittable.
In the bottom of the inning, with an 0-2 pitch to Manny Ramirez, Roger Clemens through a fastball that was a little high. However, the pitch was right over the place, no where near inside, and no where near his head. Ramirez, who clearly expected to be drilled by a pitch, bailed, then started yelling at Clemens and walking toward the mound, with the bat. Posada held Ramirez and his bat back. Both benches cleared, including Pedro Martinez from the Red Sox bench. At this point, Don Zimmer (repeat, 72 year old Don Zimmer) came charging at Martinez, and raised his arm as if to throw a punch at Pedro. Martinez grabbed Zimmer by the head and threw him to the ground. Thankfully, Clemens’ next pitch was a fastball on the outside corner that Ramirez flailed at to strike out.
Then in the 9th inning, things got even more strange. The Red Sox had just turned a double-play, and a bullpen attendant, stationed in the Yankees bullpen started cheering loudly and waving a towel. Well, Yankees reliever Jeff Nelson took exception to man’s action and (allegedly) assaulted him. When going out to RF, Karim Garcia saw the melee in the bullpen and went out to help his teammate. There was blood, it was ugly.
So there are the events, here are my thoughts:
· My thoughts on certain Red Sox (namely Manny Ramirez, but also Pedro Martinez and Derek Lowe) were proved to be fairly accurate with the events. Is it possible that maybe I was right in thinking that Martinez is more trouble than he’s worth and should be traded?
· If anyone has any doubt that Martinez was purposely trying to hit Karim Garcia, you’re fooling yourself.
· Garcia showed incredible restraint, knowing that had he charged the mound, he probably would have been ejected and suspended from the rest of the series.
· Martinez should have been ejected immediately. He was yelling at Garcia and Zimmer and others on the Yankees bench, while pointing to his temple. No good can come from that type of behavior!
· Manny Ramirez has issues. He was so sure that Clemens was going to hit him, that he let a pitch that was nowhere near him cause a bench clearing brawl.
· Manny Ramirez was not going to drop his bat when he went toward the mound.
· I enjoy bashing Pedro Martinez, but I can’t do it for him throwing Zimmer to the ground. Zimmer was running hard at him, and had every intention of hitting him. Martinez had the right to protect himself. No matter what he did in that situation, Martinez could only look bad.
· I completely appreciate Don Zimmer’s emotional reaction to the near-beaning. In 1953, while playing minor league ball, Zimmer was hit in the head with a pitch. He spent thirteen days in a coma. He, more than anyone, understands why pitchers need to stay away from the batter’s head when pitching. Hit them in the ribs or down, stay away from the head!
· The Yankees are brilliant! Sending Zimmer to the hospital in an ambulance after the game was smart! I’m sure that was at all an attempt to get baseball’s disciplinarian, Bob Watson, to check out the situation more thoroughly. They would want Pedro to get suspended for the rest of the series (if not the postseason or more), and then he wouldn’t be able to pitch a potential Game 7!
· I was actually impressed by the restraint that Roger Clemens showed. Known totally as being a head-hunter, Clemens maintained his control and did not sink to the Red Sox level.
· The Red Sox bullpen attendant/groundskeeper should be fired. He should not be cheering for the Red Sox while being assigned in the Yankees bullpen.
· Jeff Nelson should be charged for assault since he instigated the ruckus that occurred there.
· Karim Garcia, despite using his spikes as a weapon against the man, should not be charged. I’m sure he looked out and saw his teammates involved in something, and went to help out his teammate. I look at it the same way as when the Royals players went after the fans in Chicago who were beating up Tom Gamboa.
· We knew this series would be intense. Well, there are at least two more games in it, and up to four games. It could get more interesting.
· Again, I feel the need to restate that I only am talking about Pedro Martinez, Manny Ramirez and Derek Lowe. The others, I can’t say much bad about!
· For some additional thoughts on ALCS Game 3’s events, be sure to check out the following:
· Bronx Banter
· Pride of the Yankees - discusses New York mayor Michael Bloomberg’s statements that if it had happened in NYC, Pedro would have been arrested!
· Aaron’s Baseball Blog - Great points and really great pictures!
· Will Carroll Weblog - I just like the following quote:
If Don Zimmer threw a punch at me, I'd tumble him too. The guy is an idiot and shouldn't be on the field anyway. Pedro is a very bad man, and messing with him leads me to believe Don has more problems that just hemorrhoids.
· The Bad Twin - He admits I may have been right in my assessment of the Red Sox!
· Take a look at many of the links I’ve got on the left hand side of this screen. There are many good accounts of this game and these actions!
· Let me know your thoughts on the Red Sox and this who debacle? Send me an e-mail! You never know, you could be published on this site!!
NLCS SERIES (CUBS LEAD SERIES 3-2)
Hey, the Cubs and Marlins played three games over the weekend. The Cubs won Friday night and Saturday night, while the Marlins won on Sunday, thanks to the 2-hit masterpiece thrown by Josh Beckett.
They just played ball. No bench-clearing brawls. Clutch hitting, some good pitching. Just good baseball!
On Saturday, the T-Wolves beat the NY Knicks 96-77 in New York. Michael Olowokandi, Latrell Sprewell and Wally Szczerbiak still didn’t play, but Kevin Garnett. He did score 20 points and grabbed 10 boards in 27 minutes. Troy Hudson scored 15 points with 5 dimes, and Sam Cassell chipped in 14 points and 9 assists. Tonight, the Wolves play at 7 against Atlanta in another preseason game.
Last night, the Wild lost 3-2 to San Jose to fall to 1-2 overall. Friday night, they got their first win of the season, a 5-3 home opener win against the New York Rangers. After falling behind, 3-1 midway through the 2nd period, the Wild scored 4 unanswered goals for the win. The Wild now do not play until Thursday, but that game starts a stretch where they will play four games in six nights.
The Twins decided on Friday to pick up the $4.5 million option on Corey Koskie. When I wrote my thoughts for the Twins 2004 roster, I didn’t include Koskie, thinking the Twins would chose not to pick up the option. So, how does this affect things? Well, first, if the Twins do, in fact, stick with their $55-$60 million budget, Koskie’s $4.5 million contract must be taken from somewhere else. I think that really means that Shannon Stewart won’t be back. We have to wonder about Doug Mientkiewicz, AJ Pierzynski and Jacque Jones status with the Twins. The second thing that it affects is this week’s Discussion Question of the Week!
Was I the only person in Minnesota just laughing out loud as the 4th quarter went on, and the Gophers 21 point lead dissipated? It was so obvious to me what was going to happen. The running game and decision-making of Asad Abdul-Khaliq were great for three quarters. Marion Barber III accumulated 265 total yards.
The Gophers held a 28-7 lead heading into the 4th quarter. But then, the defense gave up 31 4th quarter points and the team lost to Michigan 38-35.
The whole time, I kept thinking, “I can’t wait to hear the Glen Mason Show on Sunday morning!!” What I am surprised at is that no on called in and questioned the Gophers strength of schedule as a possible reason for a 4th quarter meltdown.
DISCUSSION QUESTION OF THE WEEK
I’m sure you’ve got plenty of comments on my thoughts on the 2004 Twins. We’re going to make this another discussion question. There are many new readers to the site since the last time we had a Discussion Question, so let me again explain how this works.
1.) Take a look at the below question and take some time to think it over.
2.) Send me an e-mail (by Wednesday) with your thoughts on the subject.
3.) Check back on Thursday, when I post your thoughts on this web site.
So, here’s the Question of This Week:
“The Twins had a very good 2003 season. Terry Ryan has some very difficult roster decisions to make. IF YOU WERE TWINS GM TERRY RYAN, what would you do this offseason? What would your priorities be? Who do you think will be on the 2004 Minnesota Twins team roster?”
Thanks for thinking about it, and I can’t wait to hear the responses. Please be sure to e-mail me.
Well, that’s it for today! It was a sports-filled weekend. If you have any thoughts on the Twins, AL or NL Championship Series, the Wolves, the Wild, the Gophers, send me an e-mail! Tomorrow, be sure to check back to see how those in our Expert Football Picks are doing this week. Have yourself a great week!
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