True fantasy baseball

September 28th, 2008 → 1:15 pm @

Let’s say the Mets and the Brewers both win — or lose — today, and there’s one final regular season game tomorrow. The game goes into extras, as it should. In the top of the 11th, one in the endless stream of ineffective Mets relievers plunks Corey Hart to give the Brewers a man on first, no outs. Rickie Weeks proceeds to dump a bloop single into right field; with a hit-and-run on, it’s first-and-third, no outs, and nothing but the Mets bullpen to keep the Milwaukee from being three outs away from the playoffs. Except…Hart is sent home. And he’s thrown out at the plate. And the Mets win on a Reyes walk-off.

Sound crazy? Only for those folks out there who didn’t watch then-Red Sox third base coach and current improbable Brewers manager Dale Sveum lead three Red Sox to getting gunned down at the plate by the Rays’ Rocco Baldelli in the course of one week in 2004 — including two in successive at-bats.

(For the record: I always thought Dale got a bad rap. Which doesn’t mean the above scenario wouldn’t be a fitting end to the ’08 regular season.)

Post Categories: 2008 Playoffs & 2008 Season & Brewers & Dale Sveum & Mets

The original gangsta

September 28th, 2008 → 1:02 pm @

Today’s do (and possibly only delay death by a day) or die Mets game makes me, once again, mourn for the great Pedro Martinez of yesteryear. I know Johan was gangsta and all that–but it was Pedro circa 99-00 who was the real assassin. I’m not talking about the whole “use your head” imbroglio or even the throw-down


with Zimmer. I’m talking about days like days like September 10, 1999, when, save for a right-field porch Chili Davis shot and a first-batter Chuck Knoblauch HBP, Pedro was perfect, piling up 17Ks on route to one-hitting the eventual Series champs. It was the height of Dominican fervor, and fans up in the nosebleeds above left were posting Ks in the Bronx, mind you; afterward, there were chants of “Pedro-Sosa” throughout the streets surrounding the Stadium. It was the most beautiful game I’ve ever seen pitched. (And yes, I was there: with four comrades from Newton North. Things got ugly there towards the end of the night. At one point, I appealed to a cop for help. His response? “What do you want me to do?”)

Post Categories: 2008 Playoffs & Johan Santana & Mets & Pedro Martinez

Now that you mention it, that’s another reason it made sense to sign with the Mets

June 28th, 2006 → 11:32 pm @

Pedro Martinez, 2006

NL East
3.02 ERA
10.00 K/9
.86 WHIP

AL East
4.76 ERA
7.94 K/9
1.29 WHIP

Post Categories: Mets & Pedro Martinez & Red Sox

Pedro 2006: Revisionist history, reunions, and reality

June 28th, 2006 → 10:23 am @

This morning’s Providence Journal has an obligatory item about Pedro’s return. “For whatever reason, the Red Sox’ brass just didn’t believe Pedro,” the piece begins. “They didn’t believe him when he told them he had gotten a four-year contract offer from the New York Mets.”

One reason the Sox didn’t believe him could be because Pedro never said that at the now-famous Domincan Republic airport meeting; the four-year offer he was referring to in his press conference yesterday (“I could tell Lucchino like I did before…that I got four years and he goes, ‘No, bullshit.'”) supposedly came from the St. Louis Cardinals, the team the Sox had swept in the World Series two months earlier. The Mets’ offer of four guaranteed years didn’t come until the night he agreed to sign with the team, and that was only in response to a Boston offer of three guaranteed years that trumped what New York had on the table.

Did the Cardinals really offer Pedro four years that December? Perhaps…or perhaps it was like the six-year deal Johnny Damon supposedly had on the table before he left Boston for the Yankees. (I know this refrain is getting old…but there’s lots more details about what really happened in both of these situations in Feeding the Monster.) But before everyone gets all choked up about how much Pedro loves Boston, how he wore his heart on his sleeve when he told John Henry and Larry Lucchino he wanted to stay in the Hub, remember this: On October 24, 2004, several hours before Curt Schilling was scheduled to pitch against the Cardinals, Pedro was not thinking about the game, or his start two nights later in St. Louis, or what it would mean to the city of Boston to have the Sox finally win a World Series. He was thinking about free agency, and he was thinking about the New York Mets. When he saw Mets PR chief Jay Horwitz in the bowels of Fenway Park, he had a message he felt so strongly about imparting he repeated it twice: “Say hello to Omar.” As Minaya later told New York Magazine‘s Chris Smith, “When you’re a free agent, that’s a pretty clear coded message: ‘Hey, keep me in mind.’ The time of it tells me, this isn’t Pedro being polite; this guy’s interested. Especially since Pedro told Jay, ‘Say hello to Omar’ twice.” It is a clear message. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Baseball, despite what many of us would like to believe, is a business, and players and management alike should be looking out for their self interests.

I’ll be on my feet cheering when Pedro walks to the mound tonight (and I’ll be on my feet cheering every time a Red Sox player gets a hit), and I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to watch Pedro pitch in Boston. I’m also thankful that this is a Red Sox ownership that doesn’t feel compelled to engage in a pissing match with the best pitcher ever to take the mound as a member of the Red Sox. (Remember, that wasn’t always the case.) But when Pedro says he wanted nothing more than to return to Fenway and finish out his career with the Sox, a little context would be nice. Pedro–one of the proudest men ever to put on a uniform–hated the fact that Schilling had supplanted him as the team’s ace. He hated it so much that he didn’t travel to New York for Game 6 of the ALCS against the Yankees, when a bloodied Schilling took the mound and did what Pedro hadn’t been able to do since 1999: beat the Yankees in the playoffs. He resented the fact that the Sox had juggled their World Series rotation so it was Schilling who got the Game 2 start at Fenway. (That way, Schilling wouldn’t need to bat and risk running on his ankle.) Pedro had been a savior in Boston, and he wanted a chance to do the same thing in New York. “Fenway Park changed almost 100 percent from the time I got there the first day to the time I left,” he told the New York Times earlier this week. “I’m glad I’m in the middle of it again, changing what seemed to be a dead atmosphere at Shea Stadium.” Pedro loves to be The Man. For almost seven years, he was in Boston, and tonight, he will be again. But let’s not allow the misty-eyed tributes to cloud a clear-eyed view of reality.


Anyone interested in the inside dope on Pedro and his return to Fenway would be well served by keeping up with the Herald‘s Michael Silverman. No reporter was closer to Pedro when he was with the Sox, and if there are any exclusives to come out of the next several days, I bet Silverman’s the guy who’ll have them.

Post Categories: Curt Schilling & John Henry & Larry Lucchino & Mets & Michael Silverman & New York Magazine & Pedro Martinez & Providence Journal

So it’s no Pedro-Roger in the ’99 playoffs…

June 21st, 2006 → 9:34 am @

June 28, Fenway Park: Josh Beckett versus Pedro Martinez. I’m taking odds on how many times they show the two pitchers’ respective records versus the Yankees in the playoffs.

Martinez: 1-2, 4.72 ERA
Beckett: 1-1, 1.10 ERA, plus a complete game shutout on three days rest to clinch the ’03 Series.

Post Categories: Josh Beckett & Mets & Pedro Martinez & Red Sox & Yankees