OK, so the illustration sort of looks like the Wicked Witch of the West tangling with Don Fanucci in "Godfather Part II." It's a much better pitching matchup than that, however, at least in theory. And much more rare, too. Not in 14 years have reigning Cy Young Award winners faced each other's teams, when Tom Glavine of the Braves beat Roger Clemens of the Yankees.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times explains further:
For just the third time since Cy Young Awards were given to winners in each league starting in 1969, the two reigning winners will meet [Thursday] night, with Rays LHP David Price, who is 1-3, 6.25, taking on former Mets/now Blue Jays RHP R.A. Dickey, who is 2-5, 5.36.
Glavine and Clemens weren't exactly tearing it up in July '99 when they met.
Glavine came in with a 4.14 ERA, and though he bettered Clemens that day at Yankee Stadium, he finished the season with a 4.12 ERA; way below average for him. Clemens got booed by the home fans, reportedly, and finished the game with a 4.98 ERA.
Here's the reaction of a Yankees fan who was at the ballpark that day. It's probably not atypical:
@answerdave I remember being at that game, being mad that Maddux wasn't pitching, and then booing Clemens with vigor.
— Rob Iracane (@iracane) May 9, 2013
Yeah, well, too bad it didn't work out how you wanted, pal. Clemens' ERA came down a little by the end of the regular season, and the year ended happily for the Bronx after the Yanks beat the Braves in the World Series, with Clemens dominating in the deciding Game 4.
Price and Dickey also expect to fix their rocky seasons:
Rays manager Joe Maddon said he feels Price "is just a smidgen away from really looking like he had in the past. I firmly believe that."
Price insisted the problem is not physical, though he didn't exactly say everything was perfect, either.
"I feel fine, I really do," he said.
Dickey and Price are both from Nashville, Tenn., and share the same agent: Bo McKinnis. This would be the third time they've shared the same mound in the same game. Dickey and the Mets beat the Rays with a one-hitter a season ago in June. Price got knocked out after five innings. Perhaps this meeting will be more memorable for both.