4. Roger Clemens and Mike Piazza
The Yankees-Mets rivalry reached a new point in 2000, with the “Subway Series.” The Yankees had won back-to-back World Series in 1998 and 1999, and three World Series in the previous four years. SPOILER: They’d make it three in a row and four of five by taking down the Mets in five games.
Roger Clemens started Game 2 for the Yankees, and he had some history with Mets catcher Mike Piazza after hitting him in the head with a pitch during the 2000 season. In Piazza’s first at-bat of Game 2, his bat shattered when he fouled a pitch off. Pieces of shattered wood went out toward Clemens, but did not really threatening his safety. Then he blindly threw the fairly intact barrel of the bat toward foul territory along the first base line in the general direction of Piazza, who had ventured down the line for some reason on a ball that wound up in the dugout.
Clemens’ decision to throw a sharp piece of wood was clearly dangerous and foolish (as analyst Tim McCarver called it), in a blind fit of (steroid?) rage. He probably didn’t realize Piazza had moved the way he did, which doesn’t excuse the move but made the whole incident funny in a “fake rage” sort of way on all sides (including the broadcast booth). The fact benches cleared only added to the hilarity. Hilarious and dangerous at the same time, the Clemens-Piazza thing was also something of a surreal and spooky World Series moment.