"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
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Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
Writes Jim Caple at ESPN.com:Festive? The only thing missing was Clemens biting someone's ear off. But you never know. The series isn't over yet. Who knows what will happen Sunday in Game 4?
Newsday's Joe Gergen had out the crystal ball this past Wednesday with a column recalling epic Sox-Yankee dustups of the past.
But they have fought regardless of whether a pennant was at stake. They fought on May 30, 1938, before the largest official crowd in Yankee Stadium history (81,841). In the course of a Memorial Day doubleheader, Jake Powell became enraged at threatening pitches by Boston's Archie McKain and charged the mound. He was intercepted by Joe Cronin, the Red Sox shortstop and manager. The two slugged each other repeatedly, earning ejections from the game. They pledged to meet under the stands where, egged on by teammates, they continued the melee. Each was fined and suspended for 10 days.
Fourteen years later, responding to Jimmy Piersall's insults about the size of his nose, Billy Martin took on the Boston outfielder in a tunnel at Fenway Park. It was only later in the 1952 season, after Piersall was institutionalized, that people realized that the Red Sox outfielder had serious mental problems.
In 1973, catchers Thurman Munson and Carlton Fisk rolled around in the dirt after a collision at home plate in Boston. That set the stage for a wild brawl in 1976 precipitated by Lou Piniella's hard slide into Fisk at Yankee Stadium. Both dugouts and bullpens emptied after the pair exchanged a few harsh words and shoves. In the aftermath, pitcher Bill Lee was pummeled by Mickey Rivers and then Graig Nettles.
After the 1973 skirmish, Lee had goaded the Yankees with the observation that they fought "like a bunch of hookers swinging their purses." Although Nettles denied trying to hurt Lee, he wasn't particularly upset when the pitcher was diagnosed with a torn capsule and ligament in his throwing shoulder. "I'd like to know," the third baseman said, "does he look like he's been hit with a purse?"
Joe Cronin's 1938 sparring partner, Jake Powell of the Yankees, earned another suspension that year for an anti-black slur on radio, and 10 years later killed himself after being caught passing bad checks.