Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
October 4, 2003
BASEBALL: Got the Trots
Trot Nixon has his Carlton Fisk moment tonight, keeping the Red Sox alive to torture their fans another day. It had to be a better feeling than seeing Don Zimmer on Thursday night's Yankees-Twins telecast, sitting there in his Yankee uniform and smiling as he wrapped up an interview about the 25th anniversary of the Bucky Bleeping Dent game. What an absolute classic tonight's game was, with great pitching performances by Ted Lilly, Derek Lowe, Mike Timlin, Scott Williamson, Chad Bradford and Jim Mecir. Memories of 1999 abounded, with Manny in a 1-for-series slump and Pedro warming up down in the Fenway bullpen.
It may surprise you to learn that I'm not a baseball rulebook afficionado, but those who are will have a field day with this one between Nomar's re-play on Chad Bradford's quick pitch, the play where Tejada was called out while arguing that he should have scored on an obstruction play, and Eric Byrnes overrunning home plate and getting tagged out at the backstop. The Tejada play brought back memories of David Cone and Chuck Knoblauch holding the ball to argue calls, but in this case it's more excusable if Tejada didn't understand that it was a live play -- but what's the Oakland third base coach for if not to get Tejada safely to a base while this is going on?
Bobby Valentine on the A's mental state for Game 4: "If they're angry they're cool; if they're feeling sorry for themselves, they're in trouble." That's Valentine in a nutshell. He's right, of course. Ted Lilly had this look on his face all night like, "tell me again why I'm not winning this game?" Maybe he always looks like that.
Marty Marion was nicknamed "the Octopus" for his leaping grabs, but Mike Timlin looked like he was auditioning for the moniker with some of his spears tonight. Scott Hatteberg had some jumping to do as well, due to a few too many high throws from the left side of the Oakland infield.
On another note, nothing looked scarier today than Robert Fick's very intentional-looking collision at first base with Eric Karros; if you didn't see the play, Fick was running up the first base line and held his hand out to basically knock the glove off Karros' hand after he's already caught the throw from Kyle Farnsworth for the force-out. It definitely brought back visions of Todd Hundley barreling into Cliff Floyd back in 1995, to horrific effects on Floyd's career for several years. Jason Steffens has the postgame reaction to the combative Fick's latest antics (you may remember his suspension for his part in a massive brawl and his use of obscene gestures when he was with the Tigers), and David Pinto has some harsh words for Fick as well.