Schilling Has His Motivation

Times Staff Writers

Red Sox ace Curt Schilling said watching his team’s 5-4, 14-inning victory over the New York Yankees on Monday night was “was exciting, it was electric ... like Round 13 of a 15-round prizefight, two heavyweights. It was just unbelievable.”

Tonight, Schilling will lace up the gloves -- and his custom-designed, high-top right cleat -- against the Yankees, returning from an ankle injury that many thought would knock him out of the playoffs to start Game 6 in Yankee Stadium.

A dislocated tendon in his right ankle limited Schilling to three innings in Game 1, when the veteran right-hander gave up six runs and six hits of a 10-7 loss, but after two bullpen sessions using his new shoe, and two Red Sox victories in Games 4 and 5 to stave off elimination, Schilling will get another crack at the Yankees.


“It’s a chance to get us one step closer to the World Series, a chance to make up for Game 1, a chance to pick up my teammates,” Schilling said. “They have been picking each other up for the last couple of days. There’s just so many things that go into this. I couldn’t ask for anything more.”


For the first time in nine years, Don Zimmer is not by Yankee Manager Joe Torre’s side in the dugout for the playoffs, but the former Yankee bench coach is still full of opinions this October.

“I’m sitting down here in front of my TV set watching all these games, second-guessing ... both managers and loving every minute of it,” Zimmer told the New York Daily News.

Though Zimmer managed the Red Sox from 1976 to ‘80, there is no doubt where his allegiances lie in the Yankee-Red Sox rivalry.

“I kept reading how much [the Red Sox] wanted the Yankees. Well, I guess they got ‘em, didn’t they?” Zimmer said. “Talk is cheap. I read all the stuff about Pedro [Martinez] calling them his daddy. That’s nice. And the other big guy [Schilling] saying how he was going to shut up 55,000 fans. Just shut up and go play ball.”


Playing off the Yankee Stadium chants that taunted Martinez, the Fenway faithful Monday chanted during Gary Sheffield at-bats, “Who’s your dealer? Who’s your dealer?”


In the Back Bay, it came out as, “Who’s yawe deala?” but everybody got the gist.


John Olerud, who left Game 3 because of a bruised left instep and did not play in Game 4, had improved Monday but was not in Torre’s lineup. Tony Clark started at first base again.

Because Olerud was on crutches Sunday, Torre said, the Yankee medical staff feared his injury was more serious.

“But the fact that he’s walking around today, [though] not a player yet ... that’s good news,” Torre said.

Olerud’s two-run home run in Game 2 provided the Yankees their winning margin against Martinez and the Red Sox.

Meanwhile, the games have seemed to find Clark. He hit with runners on base eight consecutive times over Games 4 and 5 and had one infield single, then doubled in the ninth with Ruben Sierra on first.


In an item that did not carry a byline in Sunday’s Boston Herald, Sheffield was quoted as saying about the Red Sox: “They’re a walking disaster. They act like they’re tough, how they care so much about winning, but it’s all a front. They’re just a bunch of characters.”


Monday night, Sheffield denied ever saying it.

“It was something somebody came up with on their own,” he said. “I wouldn’t say anything to fuel another team. If that’s what they want to do to rile up their team, so be it.... I’m surprised somebody would stoop so low.”


Johnny Damon, on popping up a bunt attempt in the 11th inning: “Most of Boston wanted to hang me, and I wanted to help them out.”



New York leads best-of-seven series, 3-2:

GAME 1 New York 10, Boston 7

* Yankees take 8-0 lead behind Mike Mussina; Mariano Rivera gets a save.

GAME 2 New York 3, Boston 1

* Jon Lieber takes a shutout into the eighth; Rivera saves the game again.

GAME 3 New York 19, Boston 8

* Gary Sheffield, Hideki Matsui, Alex Rodriguez team for 12 RBIs, 13 runs.

GAME 4 Boston 6, New York 4, 12 innings

* David Ortiz’s two-run shot wins it in 12th; Bill Mueller’s RBI ties it in ninth.

GAME 5 Boston 5, New York 4, 14 innings

* Ortiz’s two-out RBI single wins it after Red Sox tie it in the eighth.

GAME 6 Tonight, Boston (Schilling, 21-6) at New York (Lieber, 14-8), 5 p.m., Channel 11

GAME 7* Wed., at New York, 5 p.m., Channel 11

* If necessary; all times Pacific.