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Monday, October 20, 2003
Updated: October 23, 1:14 PM ET
Series tied going to Wrigley

By Jim Caple
Page 2 columnist

The Page 2 alternate universe is better than the one in which we live.

In the Page 2 alternate universe, ordinary people are able to call telephone solicitors each evening and interrupt their dinners. The DMV is open 24 hours a day and Denny's is always closed. Beer has no calories, bottled water costs less than gasoline, CDs are easy to unwrap and Tom Green doesn't have a TV show.

And most importantly, in the Page 2 alternate universe, the Red Sox are playing the Cubs in the World Series.

Sadly, ESPN is still negotiating the broadcast rights to the alternate universe, so you can't watch the actual games on TV. (It's sort of like if they were being broadcast on the YES network.) But through the wonders of telepathy and tin-can technology, Page 2 is able to bring you the dispatches from our alternate correspondent ...

Fenway Park
The Red Sox in a Game 7 against the Yanks? Hey, who wouldn't put the logo down early.
FRIDAY, OCT. 17
BOSTON -- Less than 12 hours after defeating the Yankees 7-6 in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series, the Red Sox hastily prepared as best they could for the World Series. While the Fenway Park grounds crew painted a "Boston Red Sox -- 2003 World Champions'' logo behind home plate, manager Grady Little placed the Boston bullpen phone on the national Do Not Call list.

Little also announced that despite pitching all 15 innings Thursday night in New York, Pedro Martinez will be his Game 1 starter against the Cubs. "He's our ace," Little explained. "He's the best guy I have and I think he has enough gas left in his tank."

Chicago manager Dusty Baker countered by saying he will go with a two-man rotation during the series, relying on Mark Prior and Kerry Wood to bring home Chicago's first championship in 95 years. "Prior and Wood and it's all good," Baylor said.

Boston is enjoying Indian Summer, and the weather forecast for Saturday's opener is for sunny skies and a high of 68. Hell, meanwhile, is expected to see record low temperatures.

GAME 1, SATURDAY, OCT. 18
BOSTON -- With an estimated worldwide TV audience of more than one billion, the long-awaited World Series between the Red Sox and the Cubs got off to a disturbing start when the ceremonial first pitch was thrown at Sammy Sosa's head.

Kerry Wood
Kerry wears his World Series patch as a badge of honor for all of Chicago.
Thus began a wild and frequently-violent opener, with Pedro and Wood matching each other inning for inning and beanball for beanball. The two pitched inside so often, in fact, that Pedro even threw at Ted Williams' head.

The Cubs finally pieced together three runs in the seventh inning on two singles, Nomar Garciaparra's throwing error and four hit batters.

Boston had a golden opportunity to tie the game and possibly go ahead in the bottom of the inning, but their bases-loaded rally died when the Cubs caught Nomar napping on the old hidden ball trick.

"I got distracted thinking about the wedding," Garciaparra said of his poor play in Game 1. "There are just so darn many decisions to make, and Mia isn't helping at all. Buffet or sitdown dinner? Chicken or fish? DJ or a full band? It's tough."

With Wood going the distance and throwing 176 pitches, the Cubs secured their 3-0 shutout on one of the most amazing plays in World Series history. Sosa robbed David Ortiz of what would have been a two-out, ninth inning, game-winning grand slam when he leaped into the Chicago bullpen and was somehow able to hold onto the ball even after Fenway Park groundskeeper Paul Williams kicked him repeatedly, hit him over the head with a shovel and attached electrodes to his genitals.

Unfortunately, Fox missed the historic play because its cameras were instead focused on the new "Joe Millionaire," who was sitting in the stands.

GAME 2, SUNDAY, OCT. 19
BOSTON -- Grady Little shocked the baseball world once again by starting Pedro in Game 2 on no days rest. "He's our ace," Little explained. "He's the best guy I have and I think he has enough gas left in his tank."

ALCS champ Red Sox shirt
"Red Sox American League champs shirts! Get 'em while they're hot!"
The violence of Game 1 continued with Pedro again repeatedly pitching inside. After Pedro hit Sammy in the head with a pitch in the fourth inning, an enraged Darren Baker raced out of the dugout and charged the mound. Pedro grabbed the Cubs batboy by the head and tossed him into the stands -- where, fortunately, he landed safely in the arms of J.T. Snow.

Broadcaster Tim McCarver quickly blasted Pedro for his outlandish behavior, insisting for five innings that the pitcher should be suspended for manhandling an old man and a small boy in the same postseason.

Pedro was quick to defend himself. "Don Zimmer is 72 and Darren Baker is four," Pedro said. "So the average age of the guys I'm fighting is a perfectly respectable 38."

The Red Sox evened the series with a 4-3 victory on Trot Nixon's home run in the bottom of the ninth inning. The game's most dramatic moment, however, was in the fifth inning when Manny Ramirez made World Series history by running out a ground ball for the first time in his career.

The two teams now travel to Chicago for the middle games of the series. The Cubs and Red Sox will fly. Pedro will walk. "The exercise will do him good," Little said.

(Page 2 will bring you exclusive coverage from Games 3, 4 and 5 in Chicago on Wednesday.)

Jim Caple is a senior writer for ESPN.com.