“You know what? My phone is off. And I won’t (call Minaya) unless he calls my agent (Fernando Cuza) or he calls me. I have a lot of respect for Omar and the Mets, but I’m not going to go chasing the Mets. I’m not in that bad of shape. I’m okay and they know I am okay. Yeah, I would like to be back (with the Mets). But I’m not just gonna follow the Mets. They have their own plans and they have their own thought process. Yes, I would love to go (to Citi Field) and hopefully have the same success I had at Shea. Shea was a great stadium for me. I hope the new Shea pretty much follows up on the old one. But I have my goals and I have my things that I want to achieve in life. If it’s not with the Mets, it will be with someone else. But if they want a fifth starter who’s been there – I don’t know how much they want me – I’m available.” Pedro Martinez (March 8, 2009)
I loved him as a Met. He had incredible charisma. He was the face of the franchise in 2005 and 2006. Injuries ruined his last two years in New York. I know this is naive, but he owed the Mets and Mets fans for those two lost years. For him to say, he wanted to return, are the all too familiar words, of so many greedy ballplayers. To claim that all the Mets had to do was “call”, is just not true.
In truth, he wanted to return, only if the Mets paid him at least $5M for the year. He wanted the Mets to take all the risk. Pedro would not accept an incentive contract. The result was that no team had any interest in signing him. The Phillies came along in August, and as could be expected, Pedro sold out to the contending Phillies.
Why wouldn’t Pedro accept an incentive laden contract? The answer is that he was never intending to pitch for an entire season . He knew that his body couldn’t hold up. He would never have been able to make 30+ starts. In mid August when he finally did pitch, he was very sharp, but his body and mind had not been worn down by the grind of a long season. In the short time he has been with the Phillies, he even missed a start with a strained neck.
Is he still our hero? Or just another greedy, self-centered baseball player. I think you know where I stand.
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