Chances are I'm either right or I'm wrong. For the most part, my wife, my parents, and society in general believe me to be wrong about 80 percent of the time. My estimation is about 50/50, but then again I could be wrong.
From the end of the offseason until just recently, I have stood my ground and proclaimed that the Mets need to forget about Pedro Martinez.
Martinez’s main objective during his tenure was to legitimize the New York Mets organization. Signings such as Carlos Beltran and others were proof of Pedro’s far reaching sphere of influence.
The Mets were no longer the team that you watched because the Yankees weren’t on. No longer the place where talent like Roberto Alomar and Mo Vaughn went to die.
They learned how to win and in large part that was due to the signing of Pedro Martinez.
I thought it was time to cut the chord.
Maybe I was wrong.
By no stretch of the imagination can Pedro’s stats truly divulge everything he brought to this franchise and I’d forgotten that.
Maybe it was lost in the yearly injury reports the fans had to endure. It seemed every time I turned on the radio I’d hear it again, “In other Mets news, Pedro Martinez resumed throwing off a flat ground today.”
As time went on, the pitching staff learned to live without Pedro, but everyone waited for him to return to ride the Mets through the postseason.
Then, last year, came Johan Santana and the thought of a healthy Pedro close behind. But the excitement went just as quickly as it came. In his first start of the season Pedro was shut down.
He never really looked quite right after his return. In fact, he became very hittable and that mystique was gone. It was strange because throughout all those injuries the one thing Pedro seemed to do was know how to pitch whether he was throwing 79 MPH or 89 MPH.
When the season ended I truly believed in letting the past be the past. Thank you, Pedro and best of luck.
As the meaningless games of spring work towards the significant summer, I began to look at the men vying for the fifth spot. Livan Hernandez, Freddy Garcia, Tim Redding, and the outside chance of Jonathan Neise.
Livan Hernandez is a horse but sported a cumulative ERA of 6.05 in Minnesota and Colorado. Garcia has ability but has pitched all of 73 innings over the past two seasons. Tim Redding is 17 games under .500 during his career. And Neise could use another year of seasoning in the minors.
Why couldn’t Pedro round out the fifth spot?
While pitching for the Dominican team, Pedro was said to have popped the mitt at 91 MPH. He also claims to feel healthier this year than at any point in the last four years.
If Pedro were to return, he wouldn’t be expected to be the end-all be-all of years past. Just the best option at that slot and a contributor.
In his press conference four years ago where he first donned Mets blue and white, he once said, “This is a team that needs a little help. I can supply some of that help.”
I don’t think I’m wrong to say he still can.