With the American League Championship Series tied at a game apiece, the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees took their rivalry to another level on this Saturday afternoon at Fenway Park.
Game 3 of the 2003 ALCS marked an epic pitchel duel between Boston's ace Pedro Martinez and former Red Sox ace Roger Clemens. Early on, Martinez threw a ball behind the head of Karim Gracia of the Yankees, which sparked some words between the two and force umpires to warn both benches. In addition his altercation with Gracia, Martinez made a gesture pointing at his temple towards Yankee catcher Jorge Posada.
Things settled down for the remainder of the inning but in the bottom of the next inning, Boston's Manny Ramirez took exception to a high pitch from Clemens (which realistically wasn't anywhere near Ramirez) and stormed out to the mound trying to confront The Rocket. Ramirez was restrained but both benches did clear.
Amidst all the hooplah was arguably the most memorable moment of the game between Pedro Martinez and Yankees (and former Red Sox manager) bench coach, 72-year-old Dom Zimmer.
Zimmer had ran towards Martinez when the ace took Zimmer by the head and threw him down to the ground. After the game, an emotional Zimmer said he was embarrassed by actions of both teams.
I remember all-too-well where I was that day. I was getting ready for work and just about to shut off the TV when Ramirez rushed out to the mound. As a result, I was forced to sit and watch. Needless to say, the events of the brawl gave me a shot of intensity and I was on my way to work more pumped than I had ever been before - sort of like The Incredible Hulk, only not green.
The Yankees won Game 3 but lost the next Game 4 and ultimately the series went the full seven games.
What an afternoon!
DISCLAIMER: ASide from a little gash on the head, Don Zimmer was okay and was on the bench for Game 4.