10/09/2003 8:58 PM ET
Notes: Boone on Boone
Aaron backed up by brother Bret, Mariners All-Star
NEW YORK -- Aaron Boone's first postseason hasn't been the most productive from an offensive standpoint, but someone who knows him very well believes that the Yankees' third baseman will be able to handle anything that comes at him, no matter how hard things may seem to be.
By Mark Feinsand / MLB.com
Bret Boone, the Mariners' second baseman and Aaron's older brother, is getting a close-up look at his flesh and blood as a broadcaster for FOX Sports during the ALCS. Bret, who has played in the ALCS against the Yankees before, believes that his brother has what it takes to succeed in October.
"He's definitely not scared," Bret said. "When the trade was made, I told him that I love Yankee Stadium, I love hitting there, the atmosphere, the fans, everything. You have to be a certain kind of player to handle it, and I know Aaron is a tough son-of-a-gun. He can handle it here."
Manager Joe Torre agreed with Bret, saying that Aaron doesn't look afraid at the plate, but rather a little anxious.
"He's excited. I don't say nervous or scared, because I know he isn't," Torre said. "He's a little jumpy. Hopefully we're around long enough for it to straightened out. It will happen."
Boone is hitting just .167 (3-for-18) with no RBIs in the Yankees' five postseason games, with one extra-base hit.
"You watch him every day," Torre said, "and you can see some days his body is a little quieter."
Bret, who is broadcasting for the first time, said that watching his brother play in the postseason from the booth has been a positive experience, though he has to catch himself from vocalizing his bias.
"Of course I'm pulling for him. Anybody would understand that -- he's my brother. I'm biased, but I have to do my best to not let that come over the air," Bret said. "I'm rooting for him, though it's strange to be pulling for the Yankees. I guess I have to."
Calling on Contreras: Jose Contreras made his postseason debut in Game 1, allowing a hit and striking out three in one inning of work.
"I'm happy that I was able to pitch, but I'm not happy because the team didn't win," said Contreras through an interpreter. "I'd be happy if I didn't have to pitch at all, as long as we won every day."
"I was happy with Jose's ability to throw strikes and not having pitched for a while," Torre said. "If there's a plus side to losing, you've got everybody working that they didn't get in the last series."
Contreras gave up a one-out single to Manny Ramirez in the eighth inning, but came back to strike out David Ortiz and Kevin Millar to complete his first career October outing. The Cuban right-hander, who was the object of Boston's affection before he signed with the Yankees, said he had no extra incentive to pitch well against the team he spurned.
"I had no special feelings against the Red Sox," Contreras said. "I went after them like I would any other team. They're a very strong offensive team. One through nine, they're very strong hitters."
Big night for Bernie: Funny thing about Bernie Williams these days. No one seems to be mentioning his age too much anymore.
Oh sure, he had a tough Game 1 in the American League Division Series and right away people had him ready for retirement. Such an assessment couldn't be further from the truth.
Williams continued doing Thursday night what he has quietly done what he's been doing for so many years in The Bronx as the Yankees defeated Boston, 6-2, to knot the American League Championship Series at a one game apiece. The New York center fielder collected a pair of hits and an RBI and in the process, continued his assault on the record books.
He scored a pair of runs, making him the all-time leader in LCS play. Williams has scored 25 runs in LCS action, putting him one ahead of former teammate David Justice. His fifth-inning double was his 14th extra-base hit in the LCS, leaving him four behind all-time leader George Brett.
He also picked up his 22nd LCS RBI in third inning, leaving him five behind Justice for the top spot. Overall, his 60 post-season RBIs leave him three shy of the front-running Justice on the all-time list.
Garcia's game: Karim Garcia got his first start of the postseason on Thursday, as Torre replaced Juan Rivera in right field against Derek Lowe. Garcia, who platooned with Rivera for the last six weeks of the season, had not had an at-bat in the playoffs.
"He's 1-for-5 against him with a home run this year," Torre said of Garcia. "Left-handers have better luck against (Lowe), not necessarily with batting average, but power-wise."
Head games? Torre had home-plate umpire Tim McClelland check the hat of Red Sox reliever Mike Timlin, as the Yankees' manager believed he saw some kind of foreign substance on the cap.
Timlin had just gotten pinch-hitter Ruben Sierra to line out to first base in the eighth inning when Torre asked McClelland to examine the hat. The umpire looked at it and declared it clean, and Timlin completed the 1-2-3 inning.
"After he got Ruben out, he turned and something was shiny on his hat," Torre said. "It looked like it could have been a substance of some kind, so I asked them to check it out. He checked it, he was satisfied, so I didn't even ask what it was."
Timlin laughed the incident off.
"It just means that I have good stuff and I'm doing a pretty good job out there if they think I'm trying to get by with something," Timlin said.
Mark Feinsand is a reporter for MLB.com. MLB.com reporter Kevin Czerwinski contributed to this report. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.