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The media horde arrives at 3 p.m. to watch the savior, Clemens, give his inflamed right shoulder a test. At 4:30 he still hasn't thrown, leading suspicious writers to guess that Clemens has done his work earlier in the day, privately. "He hates the Boston press," says one teammate. "He'd do something like that just to tick them off."
However, at 4:45, Clemens, Morgan, pitching coach Bill Fischer and catcher John Marzano walk to the bullpen. Approximately 25 writers and a handful of photographers follow. As Clemens begins throwing, the media hover in the bleachers, staring down at him like medical students observing an operation.
The session lasts 80 pitches. Morgan is thrilled. "I feel like he could pitch today," he says. Clemens has no comment. He will return to Boston tomorrow to have the shoulder examined by Arthur Pappas, the team physician. If all goes well, Clemens will start on Sunday in New York. "We've got our automatic back," says pitcher Greg Harris.
Morgan is beaming. Earlier today he visited the White House, where he had salmon for lunch ("delicious"); he has brought back a box of White House M&M's for his grandson. "The man [ President Bush] was just leaving as we got there," says Morgan. "Off to Denver, then Buffalo, then back home. What a job."
What a job starter Tom Bolton does for Boston in the first six innings. Looking on is commissioner Fay Vincent, along with Red Sox fan/Supreme Court nominee David Souter. Too bad for Boston it isn't Bruce Sutter; the Red Sox bullpen could use him in the seventh inning. Bolton has a no-hitter and a 1-0 lead, but three singles and then a homer by rookie David Segui give Baltimore a 4-1 lead. Red Sox loyalists surely feel an extra twinge of pain: Segui's father, Diego, who once pitched for the Sox, gave up a damaging home run during Boston's September collapse of 1974.
The Red Sox go down without a whisper. The Blue Jays win 3-2 in the ninth, their fourth ninth-inning victory in their last five games. The race is tied. There are no victory belches tonight.
Instead, with the clubhouse full of reporters, Boston catcher Tony Pena stands at his locker, kicks his chair twice, picks it up and heaves it against the wall. "You're a bunch of— —quitters the way we played this— —game," he screams at his teammates. This is the same Pena who will be profiled the next morning in USA Today as a cool and calming force on the Red Sox. Curiously, Pena's tirade draws little immediate reaction from the other players. Says pitcher Wes Gardner, "What the— —, it ain't the last game of the year." Things calm down quickly. Before he leaves, though, Mike Greenwell walks past Pena's empty locker and kicks the chair again. Shaughnessy notes that it is a folding chair.
WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 19
Before the game, Greenwell blasts Pena, saying, "Nobody on this team is a quitter. If you have something to say to the team, say it 10 minutes before the press comes in. As far as I'm concerned, he owes this team an apology." Replies Pena, "When something is inside yourself, you've got to get it out, so you don't have a heart attack and die. If I offended my teammates, I have to apologize! I just had one bad moment."
The game is filled with bad moments for the Red Sox. The score is 2-2 in the fifth inning when Harris, the Boston starter, throws a terrible pitch—a fastball up—to a former Red Sox player, Sam Horn, who lines it into the right-field seats for a three-run homer. "No way I should get beaten by that man," says Harris later.