Putting the sock in the Red SoxThe inside story behind the...

Off the beat

August 26, 1991

Putting the sock in the Red Sox

The inside story behind the fight Saturday night between the Boston Red Sox's Mo Vaughn and Mike Greenwell? Glad you asked.

One witness, Brian Macomber of Stats Inc., said Vaughn, who was taking batting practice in the same threesome as Greenwell, kept playfully tapping Greenwell on his neck. Greenwell told Vaughn to knock it off. Vaughn repeatedly called Greenwell a wimp in language laced with expletives, according to Macomber.

Macomber added that Greenwell said, "Don't touch me!" and "You ain't man enough!"

Soon after Greenwell and Vaughn exchanged blows, which left Greenwell with two marks on the right side of his face and one on the left side. Vaughn did not appear to have any visible marks from the struggle, which lasted two to three minutes.

Later, teammate Wade Boggs walked to the dugout and quipped, "Happens in hockey all the time."

Yesterday, one of the coaches wrote the normal information -- with a twist -- on the clubhouse blackboard: "Hitting: 11:35. No Infield. No Fighting."

No ordinary Joe

Two weeks ago, Minnesota Twins backup catcher Junior Ortiz changed his first name to Joe. Now he's changed it back -- and the other day, in his first game as Junior, had two hits, a walk, three runs scored and picked the Seattle Mariners' Harold Reynolds off first.

" 'Joe' is gone now," Ortiz said. "He stinks. He couldn't hit a foul ball. I sent him back to Puerto Rico and to the minor leagues. 'Junior's' a jerk, but at least he can play. In this game, you have to be a jerk."

The quote

Denver Broncos coach Dan Reeves on wide receiver Vance Johnson's new hairdo, a sweeping pompadour that rises before drooping over his right eye: "That is not possibly the worst -- it is the worst -- haircut I've ever seen. Really and truly, if [Don] Mattingly can't play for a day, then Vance ought to be out for the year."

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