Pedro Martinez will forever be linked to Don Zimmer.
It was the video that still gets air-time to this day. When Martinez was pitching for the Red Sox, things were getting chippy with the rival yankees during the 2003 ALCS.
Pedro Martinez threw a pitch over the head of a Yankees hitter. And when Roger Clemens returned the favor, the benches cleared. At that time, 72-year-old Don Zimmer went running up to Martinez, before the pitcher threw the poor old man aside.
This week, Pedro Martinez opened up about what went down with Don Zimmer.
Martinez admitted that he didn’t even see what led to the benches clearing brawl, and came out of the dugout a little bit confused.
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“Manny was like angry, yapping, this and that. I’m in the bathroom, so I came out a little later,” the legendary pitcher told Master Tesfatsion in a recent interview for Bleacher Report’s Untold Stories. “When I came out, the brawl was already [happening], because I’m zipping up my pants quickly and I’m trying to get to see what’s going on.
“I see Zimmer rushing towards me and I’m like ‘What?’ He got close to me, said some bad words that I didn’t expect from Zimmer either. He actually tried to jab me. So I pulled it, and that’s why it looks like I grabbed him.”
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 14, 2021
Pedro Martinez has expressed remorse for how he handled the interaction with Don Zimmer in the past.
“When 72-year-old Don Zimmer came barreling toward me, I wish I had not grabbed his head and pushed him to the Fenway grass as he stumbled and fell forward,” he wrote in his book “Pedro”, which was released in 2015. “Some days I feel more people remember me as the angry young man who pushed down a defenseless old man than as the pitcher who won three Cy Young Awards and a world title and wound up in the Hall of Fame. In my entire baseball career, my reaction to Zimmer’s charge is my only regret.”
Pedro Martinez now provides colorful commentary for Fox, as well as MLB Network for the postseason.