10/17/2003 1:04 AM ET
ALCS Game 7 game balls
Yankees AL Championship Gear
By Paul C. Smith / MLB.com
MLB.com is awarding "game balls" -- or, in this case, red socks, like the lads from Boston wear, and taxis, in honor of the New York City traffic -- for performances in this year's American League Championship Series.
Five cabs: VIP, police escort
Four cabs: Green lights, little traffic, life is good
Three cabs: Clean backseat, no accidents
Two cabs: Your driver takes "the scenic route"
One cab: Gridlock, 102 degrees in the city, no AC, missing window crank
Aaron Boone: With one swing of the bat, Boone turned his season, and the Yankees', into a great one.
Mariano Rivera: One inning. Two innings. Three innings. He was and still is the very best. MVP indeed.
Jason Giambi: Dropped to seventh in the lineup for Game 7, Giambi responded by keeping the Yankees in the game with a couple of early solo home runs. Take that.
Mike Mussina: When Clemens left early, Mussina took over and pitched three scoreless innings that gave the Yankees their chance to work their way back into it. Clutch performance by a classy guy.
Jorge Posada: Only one hit in the game, but it was a two-run double to tie the game, 5-5, with one out in the eighth. It was blooper but, yes, it counted ... twice.
Roger Clemens: When he walked off the mound in the fourth inning, he hoped his teammates could come back. They did, and now he will have a chance to go out the way he should -- a winner.
Five Socks: A perfect fit
Four Socks: Clean and comfortable
Three Socks: Has a couple of holes
Two Socks: Needs a washing
One Sock: Giving off a foul odor
Pedro Martinez: For seven innings, it looked like he might beat the Yankees, and anger Yankee fans everywhere, one more time. It wasn't his fault he stayed in too long.
Todd Walker: Normally a big-time contributor with the bat, he made his marks in the field in this one. He made heads-up plays all night long. From the first inning, when he advanced from first to second on Nomar's fly to deep right with one out, to the final innings, he was clutch. If he doesn't make the play on the ground ball behind second base with the sacks juiced and two outs in the bottom of the eighth, the game was all but over, three innings earlier.
Trot Nixon, Kevin Millar and David Ortiz: Their home runs gave the Red Sox a nice early lead and seemed to put the game out of reach in the eighth. But there was no hitting Rivera.
Mike Timlin: Unscored upon in the series, Timlin gave the Red Sox a chance late in the game by matching Rivera in the ninth. If Boston had won the series, he'd have to have been considered for MVP.
Grady Little: How could he use Pedro perfectly right in Game 5 of the ALDS in Oakland and exactly wrong in Game 7 of the ALCS in New York?
Paul C. Smith is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.