Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
2003-07-10 08:07
by Alex Belth


Are the Yanks and Sox headed for a brawl? If the press has anything to say about it, you betcha. I'm sure if you polled most Yankee and Red Sox fans, they'd be all for it as well. Imagine? The talk radio shows would have enough material to carry them through the second half.

This story will do nothing but gain momentum over the next couple of weeks. The Yanks and Sox next meet for a three game set in Boston, July 25-27th. According to the Globe, Pedro Martinez may not start in the series. You know the Yankees will hope to avoid starting the volatile Rocket Clemens as well.

Boss George avoided a war of words with Pedro for the time being, but that could always change. Martinez took exception to Steinbrenner's comments that he intentionally tried to hit Alfonso Soriano and Derek Jeter on Monday. But George has a long history of crying when a Yankee gets hit.

In the last week of the 1981 season, Reggie Jackson, who suffered through a rough and tumble fianl season with the Yankees principal owner, got into it with pitcher John Denny of the Cleveland Indians. I vividly remember the encounter (I was ten years old). According to Dick Schaap's book, "Steinbrenner!:"

Knocked down by John Denny...Jackson got up and headed toward the mound, seting off a free-for-all tha emptied the Yankees' bench. Jackson and Denny both survived the scuffle, and the next time Reggie came up, he drove one of Denny's pitches into the right field stands. When he finished his home run trot, Jackson and Denny charged each other again, and a fresh battle erupted. Teammates had to pull Reggie away, and as they did, he clapped his hands. He was having great fun, for one of the few times all season. Steinbrenner, from his Tampa base, joined in the fun. He threatened legal action against pichers who knocked down his players. "I will not tolerate our hitters being assaulted with a deadly weapon," Steinbrenner said. "The Yankees are knee-deep in lawyers, and we will use them to protect our players."

At the very least, perhaps the Sox want to retain legal counsel, just in case.

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