Game Ranked Sixth in Series Countdown of the Best Games of the Last 50 Seasons
Secaucus, NJ, April 7, 2011 – MLB Network’s MLB’s 20 Greatest Games continues on Sunday, April 10 at 6:30 p.m. ET when Aaron Boone, Pedro Martinez and Bernie Williams join series hosts Bob Costas and Tom Verducci to discuss Game Seven of the 2003 ALCS between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, which is ranked as the sixth best game of the series. Throughout the episode Boone, Martinez and Williams discuss the intensity of the series, former Red Sox manager Grady Little’s decision to keep Martinez in to pitch during the eighth inning, the Yankees’ Mariano Rivera three-inning shutout relief performance, and Boone’s walk-off home run to win the series. A clip of the episode detailing Little’s strategy during the eighth inning can be viewed here.
New episodes of MLB’s 20 Greatest Games, which counts down the best games of the last 50 seasons, will continue to air weekly through May 15. A list of the rankings to-date is available here.
Highlights from the episode include:
AARON BOONE ON NOT BEING IN THE STARTING LINEUP:
“I was having a tough series and I knew Enrique [Wilson]’s success against Pedro. But I’ll be honest, I was pretty disappointed that here it is, Game Seven, this game you dream of and you’re not in there. You get over that and realize it’s not about you, it’s about a chance to go to the World Series here, but there’s some disappointment about not being in that lineup.”
PEDRO MARTINEZ ON GRADY LITTLE LEAVING HIM IN TO PITCH DURING THE EIGHTH INNING:
“I just think that Grady felt like he had the better chance having me out there than putting someone else [in]. It probably happened because I was there for him all year. Whenever the situation got tough, I was there for him. …If you asked me to relive that and go back to doing it, I would just make better pitches.”
BOONE ON GRADY LITTLE LEAVING PEDRO MARTINEZ IN TO PITCH FOLLOWING THE BERNIE WILLIAMS AT-BAT IN THE EIGHTH INNING:
“Over on the bench when Grady went back to the dugout, we were surprised. We thought that was it. To see him stay out there, it was like, ‘Alright, they’re going with their guy.”
BOONE ON HIS APPROACH TO HIS 11TH INNING AT-BAT:
“As I’m walking out to the on-deck circle, Joe [Torre] just said, ‘Hey man, stay through the middle. [It] doesn’t mean you won’t go deep, but just stay through the middle.’ Meaning, ‘Hit the ball, think up the middle.’ Sometimes when I’d struggle, like a lot of guys, you get a little pull-happy and you start trying to do things you’re maybe not capable [of]. I think it was his way of just trying to slow me down a little bit mentally.”
BOONE ON HITTING THE WALK-OFF HOME RUN:
“There are moments in your career or life that are photogenic, but this is not one of them. I learn more from just seeing the replay, but one thing I remember running around the bases is telling myself to look around and take all this in and try to embrace and enjoy this moment. To this day, it’s a real foggy memory for me.”
“A heavyweight fight of two great teams in the heat of this rivalry. Just an epic game of so many heroes, so many sub-plots, the drama that led up to this game to end this way, I thought was pretty cool.”
MARTINEZ ON LOSING THE GAME:
“I remember feeling so heavy inside about not being able to bring it back to Boston. …The media right away jumped on Grady [for] leaving me in, second-guessing what Grady did. You know what, I don’t regret it to be honest. To this moment, I don’t regret it. I’m extremely proud to have been asked [to finish the eighth inning].
BERNIE WILLIAMS ON WINNING THE GAME:
“As a young player, you dream about playing in games like this. …I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to participate in arguably one of the best games in the history of the game.”