Few can argue that Pedro Martinez was the definition of bad-assery. His starts weren’t just games; they were events. We slapped on the Yoda masks and printed up the K cards and waited to see batters dispatched with extreme prejudice. After the 1999 season — in which Lil’ Petey went a staggering 23-4 with a 2.07 ERA, put on a show at the All-Star Game at Fenway and orchestrated the Sox’ only win in the ALCS — he entered that elite club of folks who should never have to pay for a beer in this town again.
Of course, Pedro was never afraid to go up and in on an opposing batter. And during an August 2000 game against the Devil Rays, he plunked lead-off batter Gerald Williams on the hand, inciting a brawl for the ages. Petey really didn’t acquit himself well in the donnybrook — he looks kinda like a rag doll swatting at flies — but Jason Varitek reaffirms his value to the team with a magnificent take-down, protecting his pitcher and, at the time, the Sox’ most valuable asset.
What the Rays didn’t know was that you can’t kill Pedro, you can only piss him off. And for the balance of the game, he tore into them mercilessly, carrying a no-hitter into the ninth. The no-no was broken up, tragically might I add, by former Sox catcher John Flaherty. I was so pissed, I put my fist through a wall. I then finished my beer and walked straight out the door, spending the next hour wandering aimlessly through the neighborhood, working off my aggressions by shouting at trees and squirrels.
Here’s that fight again, courtesy of the good peeps at NESN. Check the bit where none other than Timmeh Wakefield steps into the fray to maintain law and order. And be sure to watch for the sidecar battle between Brian Daubach and Roberto Hernandez.