Spaceman speaks out
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
BOSTON - For former Red Sox pitcher Bill "Spaceman" Lee, watching Don Zimmer go after Pedro Martinez brought back memories of his verbal sparring with the man he dubbed the "Gerbil."
"Maybe it knocked some sense into him," Lee said in a telephone interview yesterday with The Associated Press, adding that he was impressed by Martinez. "It's pretty hard to grab a bowling ball by the ears."
Lee pitched for the Red Sox from 1969-78, a period that overlapped with Zimmer's 1976-80 tenure as manager. The two simply did not get along, with Zimmer refusing to speak to Lee at the end of the 1978 season and passing him over for a key start against the Yankees.
While most involved in Saturday's fight considered it a black eye for baseball and tried to put it behind them, Lee felt no such compunction.
"What amazes me is that he didn't bounce," Lee said. "I would have been sure he was full of helium."