"Near the end of the seventh inning of Game Seven, with Boston in control, my mind drifted back to the eighth inning of Game Seven the year before. Aaron Boone should never have had the chance to end Boston’s season in extra innings. Pedro Martinez was 115 pitches into the red, jammed up after back-to-back hits to Derek Jeter and Bernie Williams. The Sox had relief help available, but manager Grady Little left Pedro on the hill.
A week later I heard a story that said it all.
A devout Red Sox fan got stuck in London on business at the time Game Seven was to be played. He went from pub to pub, looking for one with the necessary satellite equipment and that was going to be open all night. He didn’t find any that were good on both counts, but he found one with a satellite and an owner who agreed to stay open for a price. The fan settled in to watch the game.
It was near daybreak in London as Pedro gave up hit after hit and the lead slipped away, the Sox fan raging and writhing in agony while a half-dozen Brits drank away the night. Finally one of the inebriated Londoners looked over at him in concern, looked back at the television, and asked, 'Excuse me, sir, but would the rules permit those fellows to employ a substitute for the bowler? He seems to be laboring a bit.'
Grady Little had failed to comprehend what was apparent to a drunk, half-asleep Englishman who had never seen a baseball game before. Pedro was toast."
Yeah, I know, a lot of you don't get it. Get used to it, it's baseball season.