Billy Martin, who has never run away from a fight, has thrown a verbal punch at the champion Cincinnati Reds.
“I made a New Year’s resolution”, announced the Yankee’s manager at a sports dinner. “I want the Reds to win the pennant, cause we’re going to win ours. I just don’t want any team in the National League….I want the Reds. I want to take Pete Rose’s ugly face and stick it in the mud. And when we win we’re going to pop off like they did.”
“I never tried to tell anyone I wasn’t ugly. It’s his prerogative to say it. We just expected more of a challenge,” Rose responded. “We played the second best team in baseball in the playoffs (Philadelphia) anyway.”
“I’m the guy they boo in New York, Los Angeles and Timbuktu. I don’t like anyone I play against to like me. It doesn’t bother me.”
NYT Boeck 1/22/77