The Mets seemed to have all but locked up Pedro Martinez. And while the Red Sox seemed to have all but locked him up but two days ago, I'm going to forge ahead as though he's the Mets new #1.
has a roundtable discussion
up, in which I commented on my pick to replace Leiter: To me, Pedro Martinez would be the key pickup here if you're looking to see who should replace Leiter. Martinez was an ace in Boston, and it's hard to believe he wouldn't be better coming to the National League. I still see Omar going wacky on us and slowly giving Pedro everything he wants, but at least he has some conviction in his decisions. The Mets have a need, and they're doing what they can do to fill it with the best possible name out there. If this eventually goes nowhere then it's just another day in the life of a Mets fan, but at least he gave it a shot. This isn't like the Vlad negotiations and it's certainly not like A-Rod. I think any Met fan can watch this situation knowing full well that Omar's doing all he can do.
That sounds about right. Look, the Mets gave him more years than he should have got, and far more money than he should have got, but you can't deny that the Pedro signing is an exciting one, regardless of whether or not you agree with it. Personally, I love it. Really, really love it. Love it so much that when I heard it on WFAN I pumped my fist Gagne-style and shouted, "YES!"
I wasn't around for the lights out Doc Gooden, or at least wasn't old enough to recognize what I was watching. I got the watered-down, coked-up Doc. The guy that you watched pitch and couldn't comprehend being the King of Baseball at one point. So, to me, this will be my first experience with a true
ace in a Mets uniform. And for that, I'm excited.
Of course, the rational side of me is excited for this as well, for a couple reasons.
1.) Pedro comes to the National League.
A lot has been made of this, and for good reason. Pedro's coming from the American League, where he never caught the breaks of pitching to a pitcher three times a game. Meanwhile, and an overlooked aspect, he's coming from one of the better offensive divisions in baseball. The Mets are in a league with one pretty good offensive team (the Phillies) two decent (Braves, Marlins) and one horrible (the Nationals). Martinez should, by all means, eat these guys for lunch. The majority of these players haven't seen Martinez in some time. It'll be fun to watch.
2.) Pedro comes to Shea Stadium
. This is my personal favorite. Pedro Martinez, in a Mets uniform, pitching at Shea Stadium. In my wildest dreams, I never thought this possible. Even when the Mets were semi-close to trading for him back in his Expos days it never seemed a possibility. Now he's got some years on him, and his best years are certainly behind him, but a jump to Shea will help him out in a lot of ways. My favorite Pedro stat: 5-1 with a 1.17 ERA in his starts at Shea Stadium. Pedro will thrive at a pitcher's park like Shea Stadium, which will turn many Fenway homeruns into long outs. Meanwhile, the Mets defense should be a lot better than what Boston's was. With Sexson and Delgado out of the picture, the Mets are pretty much forced into getting a defensive first basemen, either by trade (Mientkiewicz) or free agent pickup (Olerud). With Reyes at short, Wright at third, and Matsui -- hopefully finally adapting to American baseball -- the Mets infield will certainly be a solid. And Mike Cameron in center never hurts anyone.
3.) That Glorious Rotation.
Do things have to break right? Yeah, they do. But if they do -- and it's not that hard to see it happening -- how can you not think the Mets could contend in the pretty weak NL East? Pedro Martinez, Tom Glavine, Victor Zambrano, Kris Benson, Steve Trachsel. Trachsel is officially the fifth starter! THE FIFTH! It makes me giddy inside to think of that. I think Zambrano is going to do great things this upcoming year, and nothing has shaken me from that thought process yet. I don't think Benson will ever become the ace he was predicted to be, but I do think he will put up servicable numbers. 12 or 13 wins isn't out of the question (hopefully it isn't followed with 12 or 13 losses again, but we'll see). Glavine is Glavine. Maybe the pressure of being the number one will lead to a rebirth of Tom Glavine. I mean, Glavine did
pitch his best when he was second-fiddle to Maddux or Smoltz. Some guys just can't take being the "ace". And Trachsel, who would be a number four on a good team is our number five. Just say that aloud: "Steve Trachsel is my fifth starter." It's doing wonders for me right now.
4.) He's a Gunslinger
. Somehow, Pedro is upset with the Sox. He doesn't think he was given the respect he deserved, because the Red Sox didn't offer him the four years the Mets did. Whatever, if it pisses off Pedro, the better for us. Now he's got an edge. He's looking for vengeance, and he's looking for the Red Sox to regret their decision. I like the sound of an agitated Pedro Martinez. Which leads me to my final point...
5.) He's Pedro Martinez, for chrisakes!
That's all there is to it. Pedro had his worst season last year, and it was still better than any pitcher on the Mets. Look at these numbers
. If Pedro can do half that in Shea he will be considered a wild success. And on top of it all, he's going to give Shea excitement. I've tuned in to see David Wright play, or Jose Reyes play, but there hasn't been a pitcher in a long, long... long
time that you've had to tune in to see. Pedro is that pitcher. Who isn't going to want to see Pedro pitch? Who isn't going to want to go to the stadium to watch him? Bring the midget
, bring the bucket
, bring that arm.
Pedro Martinez is a New York Met.