A Secret July 24th Article Uncovered

Ed. Note: Apparently back in January as we were on the verge of acquiring Alex Rodriguez and Magglio Ordonez, a Red Sox beat writer wrote up an early version of the July 24th game – aka “The Fight”. Apparently this beat writer had a time machine. Fire Brand of the American League brings you the blow-by-blow recap here…
Demoralized Sox Hit an All-Time Low
The New York Yankees asserted their dominance as the Red Sox fell to third place behind the Devil Rays and a mere one game ahead of the Orioles for fourth place in the AL East.
Tony Clark hit a grand-slam with two out in the top ninth to send the Yankees to a 14-9 win over the Red Sox that saw Jason Giambi and Jason Varitek get violent with each other in the top third after pitcher Bronson Arroyo hit Jason Giambi with a pitch on his arm protector.
“It just shows you how much better we are,” said Giambi, among eight players ejected and forced to watch from their clubhouses. “Once you’re in the moment competing against a team you really don’t like … you can’t really control your emotions.”
Kevin Millar had one hit and former Yankee Ramiro Mendoza (0-9) earned the loss. Boston rallied from a 9-4 deficit to the final margin despite ten errors.
The game, which started after a 54-minute delay, almost was postponed. The grounds crew wanted to call it off but Yankee players argued for it to go on despite wet grounds — some Red Sox players, told the game wouldn’t be played, had already showered and left. This left the Red Sox without left-fielder Izzy Alcantara and DH David Ortiz who both were found an hour later at the Foxy Lady. Despite pleas to come back and rejoin the game, Alcantara and Ortiz refused and left to go into the VIP Club.
“The Yankees wanted to play today,” Millar said. “We didn’t have much choice,” he added. Millar, the day’s DH, was a vital part of the scrum as he lunged out of the dugout and made a beeline for teammate Alex Rodriguez, who was running from shortstop to the door leading behind the scoreboard in the Green Monster. A Red Sox official with intimate knowledge said that A-Rod wanted to avoid any damage to the face for he had recieved a recent Botox injection. Millar, who has long since lamented making the comment that he would rather have A-Rod than Nomar in the off-season and currently mired in a season-long slump, decked A-Rod, sending A-Rod flat to the ground. Millar was ejected, and A-Rod left the game and went to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with a Grade 3 concussion – which effectively ends his career.
“I’m very, very proud of what our players did today,” Yankees general manager Theo Epstein said. “We’ve been waiting to have this feeling all year.” Epstein was hired away from the Red Sox when Stienbrenner fired Brian Cashman on May 1st for oversleeping. Epstein was the man that engineered the Randy Johnson/Shea Hillenbrand trade that put them in pinstripes in exchange for Miguel Cairo, Felix Heredia, Dioner Navarro, and Robinson Cano.
With Boston trailing 14-8 in the ninth, the Red Sox attempted a rally when second baseman Cesar Crespo homered into the bullpen — just the first homer this year off Rivera, who had converted 32 consecutive save chances.
“I was biting my nails the whole time,” said Boston catcher Jason Varitek, who sparked the brawl when he hit Giambi in the face. “It was the hardest game I’ve had to watch. I think my head almost hit the ceiling in the locker room. I was that mad. I tried to fire up this team, and where does it get me? I’m going to demand a trade.” Red Sox GM Dan Duquette said he would do his best to honor the agreement.
The Red Sox, who also brawled with the Yankees during last year’s playoffs, are now 25? games behind New York in the AL East; they have never come back from more than 10 games to win the division. The Yankees currently lead all baseball with a .900 winning percentage.
“Our rivalry is probably — not probably, it is — like no other rivalry,” Yankees manager Joe Torre said. “It’s an emotional game. You’d like to believe you can play like a board game, but you can’t. There are people involved. There are emotions. It’s a high-energy situation.”
Hideki Matsui went 3-for-5 with three RBI for the Yankees. Ruben Sierra homered to lead off the seventh to make it 10-8 after the teams combined for 10 runs in a 1-hour, 5-minute sixth inning.
A noticeably bulked up Giambi, who has 40 home-runs already this season, took exception to a slider by Arroyo in the third. He did not like Arroyo’s little smile, and was yelling at Arroyo. Varitek smashed Giambi in the face and attempted to pick Giambi up by the crotch, but Giambi fell on him instead, crushing him while waiting for reinforcements.
The dugouts and bullpens emptied.
“I told him, in choice words, to get to first base,” Varitek said. “And then it changed from him yelling at Bronson to [us] yelling at each other, and then things got out of hand.”
Several scrums erupted, with Gabe Kapler battling Yankees starter Tanyon Sturtze, soon joined by Nixon and Cesar Crespo. Total, the ejections were Jason Giambi, Jason Varitek, Bronson Arroyo, Gabe Kapler, Kevin Millar, Trot Nixon (who replaced Alcantara in the lineup), Tanyon Sturtze, and closer Byung Hyun Kim, who came in and attempted to slay Giambi with a Hattori Hanzo sword. Red Sox manager Grady Little, hired the day before, was ejected later in the game for arguing a stolen base call with the umpire in the fifth, when Tony Clark stole his third base of the game.
“Two guys fighting. They’re gone. … We had to calm down the situation,” plate umpire Bruce Froemming told a reporter. “Then my partners got together and we picked out the guys who were the most flagrant. There were other guys fighting, too. But we can’t see everybody.”
Scott Proctor came in and held the fort until turning the ball over to Quantrill in the eighth.
Enrique Wilson went 2-for-3 with a two-run single in the sixth that made it 9-4.
New York took the lead in the second when Arroyo missed the bag while covering on a grounder to the second baseman. Jorge Posada singled to center and Matsui doubled into the left-center gap to score one; Posada scored on Tony Clark’s groundout to make it 2-0.
They made it 3-0 in the top of the third when Bernie Williams doubled, took third on Derek Jeter’s single and scored on Gary Sheffield’s double play groundout. That brought Giambi to the plate.
After Scott Proctor replaced Sturtze, Magglio Ordonez, the only Sox having a good season, singled in two runs to give Boston a 4-3 lead.
Matsui had a two-run double in the sixth, Enrique Wilson had a run-scoring single and Sheffield drew a bases-loaded walk as New York sent 12 batters to the plate. Boston sent 10 batters to the plate in the bottom half, getting a sacrifice fly from Mueller, an RBI double from Crespo, an RBI single from Damon and a bases-loaded walk by Ordonez.
Ed. Note: Maybe we are, in fact, better off.