The Yanks and the Red Sox are at it again this weekend in the Bronx. Ahead of the showdown, Sox rightyBronson Arroyo played Yanks counterpartCarl Pavanoin 2K Sports' Major League Baseball 2K5, on Xbox Live.
This wasn't as pressurized as other times Arroyo has faced New York-say, during Game 6 of last year's ALCS, when he relieved a bloody-socked Curt Schilling. Still, Arroyo, in a Titleist baseball cap, took things seriously. He arrived at a Fort Myers, Fla., Comfort Suites 45 minutes before the noon first pitch to warm up on the controls. A bit later Pavano showed up at a Tampa hotel, in khaki shorts and sunglasses, and began setting his lineup. "Take a look at this [Yankees] roster! This is sick!" said Pavano, who's 4-2 in his first year as a Yankee. He batted Tony Womack at leadoff, Alex Rodriguez at cleanup and tabbed Randy Johnson to pitch. ("I'll take Randy any day over me.") The Big Unit struck out the side in the first. "A 91-mph slider," Arroyo marveled. "Does he have that in his repertoire?" (He does.) Arroyo's pitcher, Sox ace Schilling, allowed a Hideki Matsui RBI triple in the first inning and a two-run triple to Womack in the second. "What do you play at home, Bronson?" Pavano asked into the two-way speaker. "Atari?"
The Sox closed to 3-2, but Arroyo killed a rally trying to stretch a Jay Payton double into a triple. Pavano's Yanks got nailed on the base paths, too. "If our managers were watching, they'd be mad," Pavano said. For the Yankees the running gaffes hardly hurt. Johnson pitched a complete game, and a late offensive outburst left Arroyo out for revenge. "I'll get another shot at him," he said, "on the real field."