Far too classy to be gloating over Murray Chass being put out to pasture (then again, maybe he didn’t hear about it yet), Feeding The Monster’s Seth Mnookin notes the recent drama surrounding old pal Pedro Martinez, not without a little emotion.
I™ve had a long, and somewhat complicated history with Pedro. Some of my most joyous baseball memories are the result of his brilliance. (I™ve already gone on too many times about his 17-K performance at Yankee Stadium in September 99¦the game that got me escorted out of the ballpark for my own safety.) His 2006 return to Fenway was chill (and tear) inducing. On the other hand, his continued obfuscation during same return was childish, and I™m very happy the Sox aren™t on the hook for his salary.
My strongest memory, however, won™t be a single memory, but an enduring appreciation of his awesome, impish, love of the game“his childlike enthusiasm, one all the more infectious because it was married to the best right-handed pitcher ever to play the game. That™s what makes his recent injury“and the last several years“so sad. He can still pitch; he™s too smart and too innately talented to completely fall off the table. But he™s frail. And when he™s on the mound he looks, well, old. I want to remember this guy, the one who dominated the 1999 All-Star Game, the guy who looked like a teenager when he got to Boston¦not the one being helped off the field for what feels like the 100th time in the past three years.
On an entirely different historical tip, could anyone have ever imagined the name Brian Bannister would one day be invoked on WFAN in tones hauntingly familiar to the way Scott Kazmir’s banishment was blamed on Jim Duquette?