The Baseball Desert

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Playing silly games

My favourite moment of the game came in the eighth inning, when Yankee reliever Jeff Nelson entered the game. Immediately after Nelson's very first pitch, Boston manager Grady Little came out of the dugout to ask the umpires to inspect Nelson's glove and his belt-buckle. There's no way that Little could have believed Nelson was tampering with the ball in any way - I think it was a clear case of Little getting his own back on Yankee manager Joe Torre, who asked the umpires to examine the cap of Red Sox reliever Mike Timlin in Game 1. You could see it as petty, but Little was just trying to make his point and, if possible, try to capitalise on the fact that Nelson had had to listen to the boos of the Fenway crowd most of the evening (thanks to his part in the incident Saturday with a member of the Red Sox ground crew) and was maybe in a position to get upset in a key game situation. It didn't work out - Nelson got the double-play he was looking for - but it was worth a try...