(still bitter that Pedro never acknowledged the inspiration for his haircut)
It would be interesting to know if there’s ever been a bidding war for Dan Shaughnessy’s talents, and if so, has he ever left money on the table? Until then, we can bask in the Globe columnist’s final swipes at Pedro Martinez ,and speculate who will replace the latter as the former’s favorite individual to trash.
And to think if we’d just shown him a little more “respect,” Pedro Martinez would be back pitching with the Red Sox for the next three years.
Maybe if we’d put his statue on top of the golden dome of the State House. Maybe if Peterborough, N.H., had changed its name to Pedroborough. Maybe if we’d built a Pedro Library on Columbia Point, something equal to the JFK Library. Maybe that would have been enough respect to keep him here.
Actually, no. Upon further review, it now can be said that Pedro knows only one measure of respect. And that is money. All the love and sellouts and Dominican flags and “Keep the Faith” billboards, and championship rings . . . they don’t offer any kind of peace or happiness for Pedro. And they certainly don’t guarantee respect. No. In the mind of Pedro, respect is measured in one thing — “how much are you paying me compared with how much you are paying Curt Schilling?” Oh, and guaranteed years, of course.
He doesn’t need the money. He has more money than anyone ever could spend. The Sox have paid him $92 million over the last seven years and were set to pay him another $40.5 million for the next three years. But in Pedro’s mind, the Mets respect him more because they are willing to guarantee a fourth year at those rates.
Four years guaranteed, $54 million. This is what makes him happy. This is what makes him feel wanted. Now he gets to compare his salary next to Schilling’s and be happy about it. He gets the same years and more money than Carl Pavano. With Pedro, it’s not about winning championships, or lifestyle, or fan appreciation. It’s about wallet-measuring. Whose is bigger?
Pedro’s decision to join the Mets is rooted in either greed or insecurity. I know some of you think it’s easy for me to casually dismiss a fourth-year guarantee of so many millions, but what difference does that last year make? If you already had more money than you ever could spend, why would you leave for more money?
It’s going to be fascinating to watch him in New York. He gets to pitch in a pitcher’s ballpark and he gets to strike out the opposing pitcher once every three innings. But he’s not going to have Manny and David Ortiz hitting monstrous homers and watching his back. He’s not going to have fans who’ll ignore his diva routines. He might even encounter management that wants him to follow the rules like the rest of his teammates. Oh, and he’ll have to walk to the plate after buzzing the other team’s No. 3 batter in the top of the first. No more diplomatic immunity supplied by the designated hitter. Another weapon lost. Pedro’s head-hunting days are endangered.
It’s lose, lose, lose all around. The Sox lose. The Mets lose again when the contract becomes an albatross. And Pedro loses everything that worked for him in Boston.
But he’s got the four years. He’s got the $54 million. And you know what that is? That’s respect. And that’s the only thing that matters to Pedro Martinez.