Sunday, October 01, 2006

So Goes Pedro...But NOT Our Season

If Pedro Martinez never throws another pitch for the New York Mets, his signing was still a bargain. We hope and pray that Pedro will take the mound once more in the familiar pinstripes, hopefully in 2007, and perhaps be able to rear back once more and hit above-90 on the radar gun...and if, heaven forbid, he can't, we are still ever so grateful that he chose to sign with us instead of the Cardinals or any other team bidding for his services. Pedro was the fulcrum that allowed us to move this organization into the 21st century, kicking and screaming, and once Pedro signed, it was okay for Carlos Beltran to do so...and we all know the story from there.

Over the next few days, we're going to hear and read stories bashing us for signing Pedro to as long of a contract as we did, and anyone who thinks so or agrees is either a Mets-basher or really hasn't analyzed the plight of the Mets prior to Pedro's signing on the dotted-line. It's not so long ago that Art Howe was running the show, right into the ground, as he is the manager whom we'll always remember for moving Mike Piazza, a sure-fire, first-time hall-of-famer, to first base without doing one thing- TELLING MIKE ABOUT IT FIRST!!! This incident was symptomatic of the Mets' plight prior to Omar taking over. Yes, Omar had to make the Pedro signing happen and convince the Wilpon's to fork out the money, but it's Pedro who had to make the leap of faith to come to an organization that had been held together by chicken-wire, bubble gum and silly putty- something even McGyver couldn't put together!

The reality of this season is that Pedro was not a factor on the field for us, missing more than 2 months due to injury. The rotator cuff injury might have been hindering his release point and his velocity for more than one season, and this could be the best thing for him- taking time off in order to recover 100%. Once all of his injuries (including the torn labrum) are healed, we will know if Pedro can rebound and become a semblance of the superstar he was prior to injuries taking their toll. In spite of what Jeff Brantley said on Baseball Tonight Saturday evening, just because his brother, Ramon, didn't come back from similar injuries doesn't mean that Pedro can't. Pedro is a potential hall-of-famer; Ramon is not. The differences don't end there- and Brantley, himself a former pitcher, should never question the heart of a warrior like Pedro until he, and all of us, have seen what happens once he's healed. Until then, of course, it's all merely speculation, and if we were going to speculate, we'd lean towards Pedro, being the dedicated player that he is, coming back for at least one more season and one more shot at a championship. Until then, we hope to see him in the Mets' dugout once the play-offs start, and more importantly, we hope that Pedro will soon have another large piece of jewelry to wear along-side his Red Sox ring...

Finally, on Saturday, David Lennon of Newsday wrote a column on Pedro's season, entitled "Mr. Irrelevant 2006: Pedro Martinez." The title of the piece may have been a bit short-sighted, as just having Pedro on the roster is a huge bonus in the clubhouse. However, most of the article is right-on, including the following quote from Willie:

"From a players standpoint, it's not going to affect us psychologically one way or another," Randolph said. "If he's here and he's helping us, that's great. But the fact that he's not here, we feel very confident that we can play with the guys we have."

To read Lennon's column, click here.

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