With his team trailing, 2-0, in the World Series, New York manager Joe Torre drastically shook up his lineup for Tuesday night's Game Three.
Torre sat first baseman Tino Martinez and replaced him with Cecil Fielder. Also, Darryl Strawberry, who sat out Game Two because of his broken right big toe, replaced Paul O'Neill in right field and Charlie Hayes started at third for Wade Boggs.
Torre had said before the series that he was inclined to start Martinez over Fielder out of loyalty when the series shifted to Atlanta, where there wouldn't be a designated hitter. But with the left-handed hitting Martinez without an RBI in 41 postseason at-bats, Torre decided to go with Fielder, a right-hander against Atlanta lefty Tom Glavine. Fielder had two hits in Game Two, a double in Game Three and leads the Yankees with 12 postseason RBIs.
O'Neill, who played in the National League with Cincinnati before joining the Yankees, has never hit Glavine well.
Strawberry had an RBI single.
Torre has used Hayes during the postseason against left-handers, so his addition wasn't a surprise.
Atlanta manager Bobby Cox said he wasn't going to talk about the work of home plate umpire Tim Welke of the American League. But when the game was over, he couldn't resist.
"I said I wasn't going to complain about anything," said Cox, but he then talked about the 3-2 called strike on Andruw Jones by New York reliever John Wetteland for the first out in the ninth inning after Javy Lopez reached on an error.
"He (Wetteland) was struggling to throw a strike and the guy appeared to throw the ball 8 to 12 inches outside. If it is off a little bit, it is a strike. If the guy is banging them, call them. But to give a guy 10 inches, who isn't throwing strikes, well. . . . "
As Greg McMichael headed for the Atlanta dugout in the eighth inning, this hospitable city became New York.
The boos, perhaps the most rancorous in Atlanta's recent history, began when the battered Braves reliever handed the ball to Cox. They lasted until McMichael stuck his head under the dugout roof and disappeared down a dark tunnel.
"Anytime you don't do your job," McMichael said, "you have to expect that."
McMichael had allowed a one-run New York lead to balloon, giving up hits to all three batters he faced. All scored.
"McMichael has been throwing great," Cox said. "He threw great against L.A. and great early in the St. Louis series. He had that one bad inning against St. Louis, but tonight he was throwing great on the side."
Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Brett Butler, who came back from throat cancer this season, threw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to Game Three.
Chipper Jones tried but couldn't keep a straight face.
During batting practice Jones was interviewed by Calvert DeForrest, better known to TV viewers as Larry "Bud" Melman of the "Late Show with David Letterman."
Standing next to Jones down the first base line, Melman asked three questions:
1. "How'd you get the nickname Chipper?" To which Jones responded, "It's like Chip off the old block. My father named me that."
2. "Do you plan to spit on any umpires?" Jones: "No, but I might use some choice words."
3. "Do you ever get distracted by the sight of Ted Turner and Jane Fonda making out?" Jones didn't even touch that one; he was doubled over in laughter.