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Why I hate Pedro Martinez

It might surprise you to hear this, granted the quick words I penned before Wednesday night's game.

And while that's all true, there's another side of the coin.

Pedro has problems. I went to his last start against the Reds and I saw him throw a bunch last year, including a masterpiece at Shea against the Yankees, so conveniently wrecked by my good friends Mr. Koo, Roberto "I can pitch 20 days in a row, put me in Coach!" Hernandez and Mike "Crossbow" DeJean.
Doug Mientkiewicz, Eric Valent and Miguel Cairo started for the Mets on this day.
John Flaherty, Tony Womack and Rey Sanchez graced the Yanks' starting lineup. Tino Martinez and Ruben Sierra pinch-hit.

I saw him pitch in that "easy day at the office" game against the Braves, where he looked dominant despite having no velocity.
Mike Cameron homered and the Mets also had a doubles parade.

But recently, Pedro just hasn't been Pedro anymore. And I know so many people are saying this, with myself probably the least informed among them, but please. This man is an injured wreck.

There's the nagging toe; there's the hip he hurt while slipping and falling in Miami. Maybe we should sign him to a 5 year, $50 million extension after he gets a hip replacement, like the Knicks did with Larry Brown. And of course Pedro always has other ailments as well, including that always troublesome shoulder.

Will Carroll of the outstanding Under the Knife column at Baseball Prospectus wrote: "There hasn’t been much discussion of Pedro Martinez and his problematic toe since the World Baseball Classic went into the history books. Martinez has been good--better than his record shows--despite the toe and a cascading hip problem. Martinez has been working with bullpen coach Guy Conti on changes to his delivery, trying to both take stress off the right (push) hip and make sure that he’s not adding stress to his shoulder." (UTK: 6/20, subscription required) And so that might do the trick.

Recently Pedro has shown a deficiency in control as well, as his breaking balls fall off the plate, his fastballs tend to sail on him and the changeups which were so effective for him earlier this year and throughout his entire career have either been hit when he misses in the strike zone or taken as balls when he misses outside of the strike zone.

A man who I have no respect for probably snickered in the skyboxes today watching Pedro pitch. He decided that Curt Schilling was a better fit than Pedro, despite him being older than Petey, in far poorer shape and obviously a worse pitcher. He supplanted the hardly dominant Casey Fossum with Schilling and then executed his plan to put his own stamp on the team, ridding Boston of Derek Lowe and Pedro. His name? Theo Epstein. Their replacements? David Wells and Matt Clement, neither of whom are in the Red Sox' rotation at present.

I totally side with Pedro on him resenting Epstein for picking Schilling as the pitching face of the franchise. Who knows Epstein's reasoning? He gave Schilling the big contract extension. Maybe they were doing it because they thought Pedro was an injury risk. Maybe they thought a white ace would go over better in a city with Boston's ethnic makeup. A fat white man who plays online video games. That's what they wanted. And that's what they got. Maybe there's no racial angle to this at all.

But the Red Sox saw their "business decision" pay off tonight, as Pedro choked in the clutch, just looking off on the mound, as well as in the field where he turned a surefire double play ball into a single force out. And that would have been enough, were it not for Firstings' issues in the field.

I wanted a sweep. I wanted to cut and run. I wanted to salvage the reputation of the National League in interleague play. Instead, the best the Mets will do is avoiding a sweep. And that's not a given, with Red Sox ace Schilling twirling his craft tonight.

My thought would be to sideline Pedro until the All-Star Break right now. The Mets have a massive lead in the division. There's no need at all to make him keep pitching through the pain, especially when he manages a mere three-inning effort, potentially taxing the bullpen if not for the heroics of Darren Oliver.

Omar, if you read this, that's my idea. Bring up the Water Main(e) or Evan MacLane (not bats in the pelfrey though) and let him take Pedro's spot until the break. Maybe they can also put a little heat on the asses of Trachsel, Soler and El Duque.

It's worth a shot.

ps: for the record, i still love pedro martinez. don't be deceived by the title of this post.

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