Is it wrong to have been slightly rooting against my Cubs in Sunday’s Game Five? Not that the Marlins needed my help; Josh Beckett’s Game Score v2.0 of 97 bushwhacked the Cubs, forcing a Game Six that I’m lucky enough to be attending. With Prior on the hill versus a Marlin To Be Named Later (MTBNL), it should be interesting–perhaps one for the ages.
I’m still about 10 days away from unveiling the plan to celebrate the World Series that John Goalder and I hatched back in our college days, helped by malt beverage products o’ plenty. I’ll just tell you it involves 30,000 cheering fans, 100 railroad ties, 225 feet of rolled steel, and the Sears Tower.
So onto the injuries before…
I know Don Zimmer has become this cuddly-cute baseball icon, especially in New York, but the man ran across the field and took a swing at the opposing starting pitcher. Martinez, in an impossible situation with a 72-year-old man bearing down on him, did the best he could to deflect Zimmer’s blow without taking aggressive action. Unfortunately for Martinez, he pushed Zimmer to the ground in the process, which made him look like a bully.
Of all the inexcuable behavior that occurred Saturday afternoon, Zimmer’s actions were the most out of line. The Yankees’ milked the situation by having Zimmer taken to the hospital in an ambulance. I know they said he was dizzy and had a pulled muscle, but it looked for all the world like a publicity stunt designed to make Martinez and the Red Sox look as bad as possible.
I’m not excusing anyone, but take the individual names off of the page and just describe what happened: a coach ran across the field and tried to punch the other team’s starting pitcher. Just because the coach has been in baseball since before chewing tobacco and the pitcher was a jerk who might well have deserved to be decked doesn’t change the fundamental fact that the act was so far out of line as to be absurd. The situation could have been so much worse; it’s entirely possible that Martinez could have hurt himself dodging the blow, in which case you would have had the Sox’ ace taken out of the game by the Yankees’ bench coach.
Don Zimmer is embarrassed for what happened on Saturday. Joe Torre thinks it was a great example of team play. Larry Bowa speaks in something other than grunts. Pat Gillick sadly steps down. And the Tigers are more than happy to avoid imfamy. All this and many more quips from around the league in your Monday edition of The Week In Quotes.