Clemens breaks Mets and the rules

It is only Game Three of the 2000 World Series tonight, but here across the Atlantic they are already paraphrasing Gary Lineker: baseball is a game played between two teams of nine men (or 10 if you are operating under American League rules allowing a designated hitter) which the New York Yankees always win.

It is only Game Three of the 2000 World Series tonight, but here across the Atlantic they are already paraphrasing Gary Lineker: baseball is a game played between two teams of nine men (or 10 if you are operating under American League rules allowing a designated hitter) which the New York Yankees always win.

That, at any rate, is how it seems to the New York Mets, and every other self-respecting Yankee-hater across the United States now that the team from the Bronx has taken what may be a decisive 2-0 lead after the first segment of the 2000 World Series against the Mets.

There could be few arguments about Sunday's Game Two, in which the Yankees swept to a six-run advantage behind the imperious pitching of Roger Clemens, only to be pegged back by a couple of Mets homers after he left the game at the start of the ninth inning. The final 6-5 scoreline flattered the Mets, who had managed just two hits against Clemens and his utterly overpowering fast ball, scorching through the chilly night air at up to 99 mph.

The most dangerous thing he threw during the evening however was not a baseball - but the business end of a shattered bat which a few seconds earlier had belonged to his nemesis, Mike Piazza of the Mets. There is seriously bad history between the two of them, culminating in Clemens' pitch which smashed into Piazza's helmet on 8 July, putting the Mets' catcher on to the disabled list for two weeks.

When they came face to face again in the top of the first inning, Yankee Stadium was crackling, and on just the fourth pitch the place almost exploded. Piazza fouled the ball off, but his bat splintered into three pieces, with the barrel flying towards the pitcher's mound.

Instead of waiting for the usual batboy to scamper out and collect the debris, Clemens picked up the jagged piece of wood and flung it in the direction of Piazza who was trotting down to first base. Mercifully, tempers quickly cooled, but Mets fans yesterday were still wondering why Clemens had not been thrown out of the game there and then. But he wasn't - and the Mets never had a chance thereafter.

Game one, the night before, however, was a very different story, with the Mets typically contriving to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. After squandering a bucketful of chances, they finally got their noses in front. But the Yankees, helped by a marvellous gritty at-bat by Paul O'Neill, sent across the tying run at the bottom of the ninth to make it 3-3, and the baseball gods had spoken. Although it took the Yankees until the bottom of the 12th inning of what, at 4hr 51min, was the longest game in World Series history, there was only going to be one winner.

So now from the Bronx to Queens, and Shea stadium where the Mets have home field advantage. But already this Subway Series is shaping up like most of its predecessors in the 1940s and 1950s, when every neutral was with the underdog Giants or Dodgers - but, almost always, those damned Yankees won.

History has not completely abandoned the Mets, for teams do come back from two games down to win the best-of-seven Series; the Yankees themselves managed it against the Atlanta Braves in 1996, and so did the Mets against the Boston Red Sox 10 years earlier. The 2000 Mets, however, will have to play a great deal better to join them.

First they have to win two of the three Shea games, and behind their weaker starting pitchers, to send the Series back to the Bronx. If they manage that, Clemens will be waiting for them again.

As for the Yankees they are playing just like the Germans play - or used to play - football: not particularly well when it does not matter (as in the end of the regular season), but well enough when the chips are down. Their trump card so far has been sheer experience. The Mets must pray the momentum of Sunday's late, but insufficient, rally carries over tonight. Otherwise, the Yankees will have a lock on their third straight Series - what would be the first hat-trick since the 1972-1974 Oakland Athletics.

WORLD SERIES: NY Mets 5 NY Yankees 6. (Yankees lead series 2-0).

News
newsAnother week, another dress controversy on the internet
Life and Style
Scientist have developed a test which predicts whether you'll live for another ten years
health
Life and Style
Marie had fake ID, in the name of Johanna Koch, after she evaded capture by the Nazis in wartime Berlin
historyOne woman's secret life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
News
news... and what your reaction to the creatures above says about you
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Telesales & Customer Service Executive - Call Centre Jobs

£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...

Ashdown Group: Finance Manager - Covent Garden, central London - £45k - £55k

£45000 - £55000 per annum + 30 days holiday: Ashdown Group: Finance Manager - ...

Ashdown Group: Systems Administrator - Lancashire - £30,000

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: 3rd Line Support Engineer / Network ...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Web Developer

£26000 - £33000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Web Developer is required to ...

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn