With the Yankees facing Pedro Martinez in Thursday’s Game 2 of the World Series, I got to thinking about the past. In fact, I almost forgot about all the drama surrounding Martinez. It feels as if it has been years and years since the Yankees last faced Pedro Martinez as a member of the Boston Red Sox.
The two biggest things that pop out are when Pedro threw 72-year-old Don Zimmer to the ground in the middle of a bench clearing brawl in 2003. Martinez came out Wednesday and spoke about the issue for the first time. Zim had come out charging at Pedro, most likely because Pedro was throwing at Yankee batters.
Pedro essentially said he thought Zimmer was going to punch him in the mouth, so he had to take care of things. “It was an ugly scene,” Martinez said. “Zim charged me and I think he’s going to say something, but his reaction was totally the opposite, [he] was trying to punch my mouth and told me a couple of bad words about my mom. I just had to react and defend myself.
Zimmer disputed his recall of the events. “Pedro is full of crap,” Zimmer told the St. Petersburg Times. “It’s what, six years later? If Pedro wants to be a big man, I don’t care what he says.” That’s why I still love Zimmer.
BUT….I think the most dramatic point came after a pretty bad loss to the Yankees in late 2004. In a pretty fiery interview after the game, Martinez said, “They beat me. They’re that good right now. They’re that hot. I just tip my hat and call the Yankees my daddy”.
Well, understandably, the NY media went nuts and printed the quote everywhere. “Who’s Your Daddy” t-shirts appeared at Yankee games and chants were made every single time Pedro came on the field. Unfortunately, the fun ended at the end of the 2004 ALCS. Pedro and the Red Sox went on to come back from a 3-0 deficit to win the ALCS from the Yankees and beat St Louis in 4 games to capture their first World Series in 86 years.
Martinez then signed with the NY Mets as a free agent in the off-season, never to face the Yankees again with such drama. Now, with the Yankees down 1-0 in the series, there is a crucial importance to this game.
I for one, just hope that the “Who’s Your Daddy” chant comes back for just one more night.