If you want Pedro Martinez to talk about something other than his leaving the Red Sox, perhaps the Boston Herald’s Karen Guregan isn’t the person for the job.
The main reason the Sox didn™t re-sign their former ace involved concerns about his throwing shoulder, which had shown signs of wear and tear over the years. Given that Martinez broke down last season with toe, hip, calf and shoulder woes, and given that he required fairly extensive surgery on his rotator cuff in October that™s left his future in doubt, it sure looks like Sox management can take a bow for making a shrewd business decision.
What does Pedro think about the Sox™ choice now?
œI put up a Cy Young (type) year the year after I left Boston. I put up numbers like I was used to, the 35-year-old Martinez said Monday from the Mets™ minor league complex, where he is rehabilitating his shoulder. œThe fact I got hurt the very next year, after one year, maybe they look really smart, maybe you can make a case.
However, all the facts aren™t in just yet. The story isn™t complete, because if you listen to what Martinez has to say about his shoulder, hear how positive he feels about his comeback, then watch him throw a baseball on flat ground, you might not be so quick to put the checkmark on the Sox™ side.
œI™m totally free, easy, normal. Nothing has changed (with my delivery), he said while sitting at his locker at Tradition Field. œRight now, I feel like the first day I got to Boston. Remember those first days? That™s how I feel. That™s how good it is.
Like everyone else, he is looking forward to seeing how Daisuke Matsuzaka handles the transition. Martinez watched him pitch on TV in the World Baseball Classic.
œHe™s got great command of his stuff, and he has a good fastball. He™s a power pitcher. I don™t see why he shouldn™t have success; I think he should, Martinez said. œIf he stays healthy, and they don™t expose him too much against the Yankees, he™ll probably be fine.
His take on the so-called gyroball, a pitch that is now in the heads of some batters and likely is more myth than substance:
œI think it™s more of a backdoor slider. That™s what I think he™s throwing, Martinez said. œIf that™s what they call it in Japan, well, that™s what they call it.
Others are calling the pitch a screwball, similar to what Martinez has thrown in the past. Pedro is clearly amused by the discussion.
œThe rotation I see is a backdoor slider, that™s all; it™s not anything fancy, Pedro said again. œA screwball is more what I throw. I throw it as a changeup. It™s a good changeup. It spins away from lefties, inside to righties. According to what I saw, the ˜gyro™ is a backdoor slider. He throws it from the outside, and it burns the corner. People have a tendency to give up on that pitch. If he throws hard, and he uses it, it™ll be good. That™s the mystery.