View from New York

May 21, 1998|By Roch Kubatko

Tabloid heaven: New York newspaper columnists had a field day with fight coverage, throwing punches at Benitez and slumping O's.

Not surprisingly, the New York tabloids were unrestrained in their accounts of Tuesday's brawl, with instigator Armando Benitez absorbing stiffer blows from the writers than any thrown on the field.

George King of the New York Post wrote: "Then, after the gutless Armando Benitez drilled Tino Martinez in the back with the next pitch, the Yankees knocked the stuffing out of the Birds."

Post columnist Steve Serby referred to Benitez's errant fastball as "a senseless, malicious and cowardly act." He later wrote of hatred within the league toward the Yankees, "especially by a cream puff Orioles team with a $74 million payroll and no chance."

Benitez's contention that he wasn't trying to hit Martinez "is too laughable to warrant comment," Serby said.

The Daily News chimed in, as well, with Ian O'Connor writing: "Benitez crossed the line. He didn't just send a message, he stamped it at 100 mph. The Orioles were completely humiliated, more than they were by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays over the weekend, more than they've been in this train wreck of a season."

The Yankees had lured fans to Sunday's game by giving away Beanie Babies. Peter Botte of the Daily News couldn't resist using this in a jab at Benitez: "From Beanie Babies to the Beaning Baby."

Pub Date: 5/21/98

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