All that stands in the way of Pedro Martinez starting opening day for the 2005 New York Mets is a physical examination — which strangely, is not meant to include an MRI. I mean, why would you expect a guy signing a $54 million contract to provide every assurance that his arm might last even halfway through the life of the contract? But never fear, Mets fans, Joe McEwing is satisfied.

“If he’s healthy over four years, that’s an outstanding signing,” Mets infielder Joe McEwing said. “Hopefully he’s healthy and can help us win a championship. Any time you can sign a guy like Pedro, his presence is a plus. Do I have concerns about his health? No. I feel we’ve done all the research and he’s healthy.

When I read a few weeks ago that the Mets were cutting ties with the New York University Hospital for Joint Diseases, I had no idea they would take the radical step of putting Joe McEwing in charge of their medical concerns. Did you know that McEwing is a Doctor? He’s been impersonating a major league baseball player for a while now, so anything is possible.

(OF/IF/PH/surgeon Joe McEwing reflects on his other job, flying airplanes for PanAm).

Props to ESPN Radio’s Dan Patrick who suggested that Pedro doesn’t want want his shoulder examined because the Mets might find Wally Backman inside.