AMERICAN SPORTS ALERT!
So, over here, there’s this sport that resembles cricket, in a way, except the ball-hitting implements aren’t as flat, and the hurlers throw differently, and, sometimes, the people playing this sport tend to treat it like a mix between the football gaming essayed in both North America and Australia. For example: Game 3 of the American League Championship Series.
And after having talked down to you in the first paragraph, I’ll switch gears and talk like you know what the hell’s going on. (And you might’ve read this on ILE already – it reads better the 2nd time, though.)
Granted, Pedro Martinez acted like one of those social pariahs former Boston GM Dan Duquette was fond of collecting (cf. Jose Canseco, Carl Everett, Mike Lansing, Dante Bichette, etc etc etc), but Pedro’s a little better than those folks (combined) (times 100), so head-hunting / rope-a-doping incidents like this have been tolerated. I’m still not sure why he was egging on Karim Garcia, and I’m also not sure why, aside from the throwing-at-head thing (which, duh, is a big deal) (and undoubtedly the impetus behind Yankee bench coach Don Zimmer cowboying up and taking a run at Pedro), 4th-outfielder posterboy Garcia A) took SUCH umbrage @ Pedro deigning to throw a baseball near his personage and B) felt it necessary to exact revenge by sliding into Todd Walker @ 2nd base long after Walker had gotten rid of the ball (which is how I understood what happened on that double play) – it’d be a neat trick to see a runner break up a double play when the ball’s already 3/4ths of the way to 1st. Of course, given the purported cleat massage that Garcia (& super-terrific good fella Jeff Nelson) gave to the groundscrew member, perhaps it’s not too surprising to see Garcia act like such a chump.
As for Pedro’s run-in with Zimmer, I’ve heard some rumblings regarding Zim’s less-than-cherubic personage, though I would like some stories to back this up. Regardless, it might’ve behooved Pedro to not toss Zimmer aside (but, heat of the moment, damned if I wouldn’t have done the same), though it might’ve behooved Zimmer to not charge a guy half his age. Never mind the whole “I’m gonna hit you / I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” shift of the entire encounter. And never mind the Yankees playing up the travesty of the entire fracas by having poor old defenseless plate-headed Don Zimmer shipped off to the hospital, while anyone with alleigances to the Yankees and New York City called for retribution. Of course, none of this would have happened had Manny Ramirez realized how far Clemens’ pitch was from hitting him and reacted accordingly.
Given what went down, the umps should’ve either A) tossed Pedro after the head-pointing thing & warned both sides or B) let Clemens stoke the fires with a little chin music & warn both sides. Issuing a warning immediately after the Garcia confrontation totally screws the Yankees, in that Manny’s overreactive fucknuttiness regarding a middle-of-the-plate ball can actually be vaguely justified, and morons like Garcia feel the need to channel Ty Cobb in exacting vengeance.
Ideally, I would hope / had hoped that Garcia would simply take his base, swallow his pride, and let his teammates get back at Pedro’s insolence by smacking him around. Of course, that’s what they were doing prior to The Pitch – the Yankees had scored 4 runs through 4+ innings – and I guess Pedro was successful with The Pitch (if his intentions re: The Pitch were to establish dominance again and get his slop-throwing self back on track). That said, the Yankees (& Clemens, in particular) showed a LOT more restraint than I thought possible, & I might throw up in my mouth after typing this, but it’s that sort of professionalism that typifies the Yankees and their pseudo-mythical ability to win the big games.
Honestly, I’d feel better about sympathizing with the Yankees’ plight were it not for the YES Network’s post-game coverage and their inability to even attempt to fashion a feasable facade of journalistic impartiality. Like, y’know, if you’re going to comment on how harping on all the Pedro / Garcia / Zimmer nonsense detracts from the greatness of the actual game (and, yeah, the game was pretty good, as most of the games involving the Red Sox have been this post-season), then how about backing that shit up by practicing what you preach?
Of course, what I just did here goes entirely against what I wanted YES to do, and this insta-punditry isn’t much different than what professional sports writers cobbled together this weekend, so, in conclusion, I’ll shut my yap and defer to what Baseball Prospectus writer Joe Sheenan offered in his eloquent summation of Saturday’s events:
1. Karim Garcia acted like a moron
2. Then Pedro Martinez acted like a moron
3. Then Manny Ramirez acted like a moron
4. Then Don Zimmer acted like a moron
Oh, and, hey, how about them there Cubs?