Nine years ago Thursday, the bad blood boiled over.
During Game 3 of the American League Championship Series between the Yankees and Red Sox, starter Pedro Martinez triggered fireworks when he drilled New York outfielder Karim Garcia.
Shortly thereafter, Yankees starter Roger Clemens tossed a fastball that soared around Manny Ramirez's head. At that point, Ramirez took exception, and the antics sparked a big brawl between the two storied franchises.
But the sequence that overshadowed the madness was the mini melee between Martinez and Yankees bench coach Don Zimmer. Amid the fracas, the 72-year-old charged the Red Sox pitcher, who subsequently tossed him onto the ground.
"I'm embarrassed at what happened," Zimmer said a day later as he fought back tears. "I'm embarrassed for the Yankees, the Red Sox, the fans, the umpires and my family."
While the rivalry between the Yankees and Red Sox has cooled off in recent years — as a result of Boston's struggles — the memory of the melee is still etched in the minds of each team's respective fans.
Nine years later, Martinez can laugh about that game. When Kevin Millar mentioned Garcia's name in a news conference celebrating the 2004 World Series championship last month, Martinez cracked a joke.
"Excuse me?" he said, pretending he had no clue of Garcia's existence.
Sandwiched between the stoppages back in '03, a baseball game was played. It featured a pitcher's duel between Martinez and Clemens, who combined to rack up 13 strikeouts in the matchup.
But in New York's 4-3 victory, Clemens edged his counterpart. Through six innings, he struck out seven batters while surrendering just five hits and two earns — a performance that allowed Mariano Rivera to close it out.
Martinez, meanwhile, yielded RBIs to Garcia, Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada through seven frames. He finished with six strikeouts and surrendered just six hits along with one walk in the loss.
Let's take one more look at the lineups that day:
Enrique Wilson, 3B
Derek Jeter, SS
Jason Giambi, DH
Bernie Williams, CF
Jorge Posada, C
Nick Johnson, 1B
Hideki Matsui, LF
Karim Garcia, RF
Alfonso Soriano, 2B
Roger Clemens, P
Johnny Damon, CF
Todd Walker, 2B
Nomar Garciaparra, SS
Manny Ramirez, LF
David Ortiz, DH
Kevin Millar, 1B
Trot Nixon, RF
Bill Mueller, 3B
Jason Varitek, C
Pedro Martinez, P
In the end, the Yankees completely vanquished the Red Sox in Game 7, when Aaron Boone launched the game-winning home run off Tim Wakefield in the 11th inning of the contest.
It was a historic series in many ways, and it was one that gained steam in Game 3.
Check out the video below to relive the crazy day.
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