Red: If you’re talking the single most bizarre moment in any Red Sox game, let alone a Sox-Yankees mash-up, it has to be that bit with Don Zimmer tackling Pedro Martinez, or attempting to tackle as it were, during the 2003 ALCS. Seriously. I mean, David Lynch couldn’t have scripted something more f@#ked-up than that.
Denton: That was messed up, but let me harken you back to the unforgettable ’86 season for the most bizarre Red Sox-Yankees moment. None other than Jim Rice patrolling left field in Yankee Stadium, tracking a pop fly as it drifts into the stands. A Yankees fan reaches out and snatches Rice’s cap right off his afro. Being the original Commander Kickass (at this point in time Josh Beckett was probably playing with Tinker Toys and terrorizing the kindergarten playground), Rice doesn’t hesitate to jump into the stands to retrieve his cap.
Red: Okay, a Red Sox player jumping into the Yankee Stadium stands is bizarre. But most bizarre? Dude, a goddam 80 year old, two-hundred and fifty-pound dude with a metal plate in his head came charging like a flippin’ rhino out of the visitor’s dugout, across the Fenway infield, and got tossed to the ground by our ace pitcher. How the f@#k does something like that even happen?
Denton: But Zim was just rampaging through a few dumbstruck players. On the other hand, the Yankee Stadium stands are packed with 60,000 unemployed trash collectors who’ve been getting their drink on for 5 or 6 hours. But the truly bizarre part comes next, when Sox bench guy LaSchelle Tarver comes out of nowhere sporting a batting helmet and brandishing a Louisville Slugger, and jumps into the fray to help out Rice.
Red: I do remember that. But I still have to give the edge to Zim versus Pedro. I sometimes wonder what was going through Zim’s head. I mean, that morning, while eating breakfast, was he like, “If Pedro pulls any crap today, he’s goin’ down.” Or was it more like he just blew a gasket at that moment? Either way, I can imagine his poor grandkids watching it unfold on TV. “Mommy, has Pop-Pop lost his shit?” I have to admit, it took some guts.
Denton: I’d say it took some stones to do what Tarver did as well. Of course, Tarver broke into the bigs that very season, and 25 at-bats later his career was over with a batting average of .125. Odds are, if he tried to use the bat to hit anyone, he would have missed. Rice, on the other hand, could have taken on the entire section one at a time or all together and it would have been even money in Vegas. He was one bad mother.
Red: I’d always suspected that the Zim Rhino Charge was a sort of Manchurian Candidate thing. Like Steiney and Cashman figured Zim was the most expendable guy in the dugout and hypnotized him to become a walking timebomb.
Denton: On the plus side, it did give us the single greatest NY Post headline ever.
Red: Man, just thinking of that 2003 ALCS gets me depressed. That whole series was the weirdest f@#king thing I’ve ever seen, between the Zim throwdown and Jeff Nelson fighting with people in the bullpen… But I truly thought our chances to beat the Yankees and head to the World Series were pretty good. Turns out, I just had to wait a year.
Today’s post bought to you by Don Zimmer… and Gillette: