10/10/2003 7:21 PM ET
Yankees feeling quietly confident
Heading into Fenway, Yanks will let play do talking
BOSTON -- Don't think the Yankees are walking around Fenway Park making all kinds of crazy predictions.
By Kevin Czerwinski / MLB.com
Don't think the chests are puffed out or anything, either.
Confidence is one thing. But don't expect the Bombers to provide any bulletin-board fodder for the Red Sox.
Sure, New York evened the American League Championship Series at a game apiece on Thursday night in The Bronx. And sure, they would seem to have momentum on their side with Game 3 looming Saturday afternoon.
But they're not letting it go to their heads. Not for one second. The prospect of facing Pedro Martinez with the might of the Red Sox Nation behind him has a way of keeping things in perspective. So the Bombers were keeping it low key after Thursday's victory in New York and were equally subdued Friday afternoon prior to their workout.
New York went 5-4 in Boston this season, winning 10 of 19 games overall against the Sox. The two teams were evenly matched during the regular season, a fact that's carried over into the playoffs. So don't go expecting any sweeps by either side this weekend.
"I don't think anyone is looking three games ahead," outfielder David Dellucci said. "The way you win a series like this is to worry about winning one game at a time. You can't worry about a game on Monday, though, because you have a game Saturday. If we win, that's nice but I'm not going to worry about the next game until it's there. It's crazy if anyone is talking about trying to win this thing in Boston."
The fans in Fenway probably won't give anyone in the visiting clubhouse the chance to talk sweep, anyway. They have a reputation similar to the fans in New York and have been known to make a difference in the past. Just ask Roger Clemens. He got an earful during the 1999 ALCS.
"It's going to be tough and loud and crazy on Saturday," closer Mariano Rivera said. "But it's still only a game. We have to go there and play. "
Jorge Posada is ready for everything the fans will give him on Saturday. He smiles when asked if the old building on Yawkey Way intimidates him.
"No, I love it," Posada said. "If anything, I think every player understands what the fans are going to try and do. It's going to be loud like New York. I'm actually looking forward to it.
Game 3 will be the first playoff game of Jason Giambi's career in Fenway Park. He's been in the House That Ruth Built during October as a member of the Yankees and Athletics. The big crowds have been for him and against him but he just blocks it out, just as many of his teammates do.
"Yankee Stadium obviously holds more people but I think it's the same type of crowd here," Giambi said. "The size is the only difference. They love their team here as much as the Yankee fans love theirs."
And that love will be evident this weekend. It will serve as a less than subtle reminder that the Yanks shouldn't be strutting around too much. Not just yet anyway.
"Andy [Pettitte] got us even [in Game 2] and now I'm like a swing guy if I can get us this game and put us in a better spot than we were yesterday," said Clemens, who is the Game 3 starter.
And then maybe the chest-thumping can start. OK, maybe not.
Czerwinski is a reporter for MLB.com. This
story was not subject to the approval of Major League
Baseball or its clubs.