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There’s No Such Thing as a ‘Friendly Game’

Boy, those Red Sox and Yankees just don’t like each other, do they?

For you baseball fans who know what happened in a classic of a game last night, I was right there, at Fenway Park, to watch it all. Jealous much?

For the rest of you, here’s what happened in a nutshell (because a nutshell version is probably all that you non-baseball fans will tolerate):

The game started fifty minutes late, due to rain earlier in the day. That’s nearly an extra hour of drinking, folks. Bottoms up.

In the third inning of a close game, Red Sox pitcher Bronson Arroyo hit Alex Rodriguez — yes, that ‘ARod’; you’ve heard of him — in the back with a fastball. ARod didn’t like that much. Here’s a partial transcript of what happened next, based on what I could lip-read from the highlights later:

Rodriguez (to Arroyo): [ garbled garbled unreadable ] mother fucker! Fuck you.

Arroyo (off-camera, to Rodriguez): [ something very likely to be ‘No. Fuck you!’ ]

Rodriguez (to Arroyo): Fuck you! Fuck you!

Arroyo (still off-camera, still fifty feet away from ARod, and still forty pounds skinnier than ARod): [ probably something rude, spouted while backing up a step ]

Rodriguez (to Sox catcher Jason Varitek, who’s now trying to restrain him, and who outweighs ARod by a few dozen cheeseburgers): Yeah? Well, come on! [ Glrppfffhhh! ]

That last bit was sort of hard to read, but I imagine that’s the sort of thing one says when one has a catcher’s fist up one’s nose. From there, the benches cleared, punches were thrown, blood was spilled (literally, but just a little, from Yankee starting pitcher’s Tanyon Sturtze’s ear), and many, many more F-bombs were dropped. It was everything you’d want in a brawl, short of roly-poly Don Zimmer cartwheeling across the field.

(But we did that last year already. So there was no need.)

But that wasn’t the real highlight of the game. A highlight, to be sure, but not the highlight. For the moment, the umps threw out Varitek and Rodriguez, among others, and play resumed.

A couple of innings later, the Yankees erupted, unleashing six runs on the Sox. At the time, it was 9-4 Yanks, and the mood at Fenway was grim.

But the Sox came back with four of their own in the bottom of the inning, to narrow the gap to 9-8. The Yankees added one more along the way, and by the time we rolled into a beer-soaked bottom of the ninth, it was 10-8, and the Sox were facing Mariano Rivera, one of the best closers in the game.

And that’s where the real highlights came. Nomar Garciaparra doubled, and Kevin Millar singled — his fourth hit of the game — to drive him home. In between, Trot Nixon ass-smacked a ball nearly to the wall in right field — it would’ve been game-tying shot, but it was caught on the warning track. That just made it all the sweeter when Bill Mueller stepped to the plate, with the Sox down a run and Millar still on first, and walloped a ball in exactly the same direction, but thirty feet further, and over the wall for the walk-off win.

Now obviously, the fans in Fenway went nuts. I’m not sure I’ve been in a crowd that large and that crazy-happy before. And that’s certainly the best baseball game I’ve ever seen in person. If they were all that exciting, then the rest of you would be baseball fans, too. If only you knew what you’re missing.

Of course, even after all the late-July fireworks, the Sox are still eight and a half games out of the division lead, behind those damned — but vanquished, at least for a night — New York Yankees. Still, if Boston can keep some momentum, grab the wild card spot, and win their first playoff series… then we might have another veeeery interesting October.

(Probably with the same damned result, with the Sox going home without a World Series trip, but still — it’s a chance for another chapter to the story. And a chance to piss Alex Rodriguez off again. Who wouldn’t jump at that?)

Permalink  |  2 Comments

2 Responses to “There’s No Such Thing as a ‘Friendly Game’”

  1. Mike says:

    Kind of exactly the opposite of what happened in NY isn’t it?

  2. Steph says:


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