|The Ultimate World Cup of Hockey Preview||LeBron James: A Performance for the Ages||RIP Muhammad Ali: The GOAT||Steph and the Warriors came out to play|
With the final series of the 2011 season between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox looming and right around the corner, here’s a look at the first of five top moments that have aided in making the Yankees and Red Sox the most headed, the most talked about, and the most historic rivalry in all of sports.
Derek’s brave and impressive effort didn’t quite make the countdown but if their was a 6th spot in this Top 5, it would have made the cut. Since their isn’t, it can only simply get an honorable mention. After all, does the guy need any more recognition?
Well, since he is Derek Jeter, i’ll give him a little…very little.
With runners on second and third, two outs, in the 12th inning, Trot Nixon popped one up into shallow left. The captain quickly tracked it down and made the catch but not before diving into the stands, unable to slow down his momentum. This proved to be the play of the game and helped cap off a three game sweep of the Red Sox.
Just another moment to add to the repertoire and never-ending highlight real.
In the left corner, weighing in at close to three hundred pounds, at a staggering age of 72-years-old, metal plate in his head and normally equipped with an army helmet…Don Zimmer!
In the right corner, fastball clocking in at over 95 miles per hour, notorious for hitting below the waist, ugly Jheri Curl and all…Pedro Martinez!
What is to be said about this occurance? Was Don Zimmer really trying to attack Pedro Martinez? Was it really necessary for Pedro Martinez to put his hands on a current AARP card holder? Regardless of anyone’s justifications of this event, New York versus Boston simply riles up the crazies and stirs up trouble.
In the third game of the 2003 American League Championship Series, with the environment already hostile and the venue even more hostile at Fenway, tempers flared up even more when Pedro Martinez plunked Karim Garcia (who?) after relinquishing the lead to Hideki Matsui’s run-scoring double. The dugouts did not clear but Garcia heavily stared down Pedro, beefing up an already tense situation. Round 1.
After Karim Garcia slid hard into second, he and Todd Walker began a shoving match, leading to the cavalries finally emerging from their respective dugouts. Don Zimmer and Roger Clemens made the most noise and Pedro threatened to hit Jorge Posada in the head. Typical…on both ends. Round 2.
You know it wouldn’t be a fight or an argument or a controversial issue without Roger Clemens getting involved. Throwing up and in on Manny Ramirez, the benches cleared once again. In a matchup of what would be two future felons, Clemens and Ramirez went after each other but kept the jabs to a minimum. Don Zimmer stormed towards Pedro Martinez like a bull seeing red but his pursuit was put on hold after being tossed to the ground by Pedro. Ronnd 3…Knockout.
After a ten minute delay, baseball resumed. Clemens struck out Manny and later in the game Pedro struck out Posada. (Maybe we should have kept our mouths shut, huh?) The Yankees went on to win the game, 4-3, and took at two games to one series lead.
Does Pedro have a personal vendetta against the elderly? Should Don Zimmer have gotten involved and did he have any business attempting to run as fast as Usain Bolt? Who knows?
But there is one certainty stemming from this incident.
“We’ve upgraded from a battle to a war.”
Grady Little, Red Sox manager at the time, could not have said it better. Any time the two teams face in the regular season it is a big deal. But put the two rivals in the postseason, facing each other, forget it…things like this happen. The game set the tone for the rest of the series; a series that would provide much more fireworks than just a battle of old versus young, Karim Garcia being remembered for something, Manny being Manny, and Clemens laying out a path for his future endeavors.
Stay tuned and keep reading tomorrow for #4 on the countdown of the Yankees and Red Sox best moments.