Hate him for his fastball. Hate him for his hair. Hate him for headhunting. Hate him because he’s a champion. Hate him because he’s a veteran. But no matter how much you hate Pedro Martinez, Nike, just give him the fucking shoe already.

From the New York Post’s Kevin Kernan :

This big toe is no small deal. No matter how Martinez or the Mets try to downplay it. Martinez isn’t running, isn’t pitching from a mound and will not try until Nike delivers a custom-made shoe that he said is overdue.

The injury occurred because Pedro puts maximum effort and torque into every pitch, rotating his hips and foot with such force that it puts extreme pressure on the toe.

After compiling a 197-84 record and a .701 winning percentage, he’s not about to change his pitching style, so Nike had better hit the ground running. Martinez made it clear that he is not happy with the company that Michael Jordan propelled to superstardom.

When asked if he is waiting on Nike, he said that’s exactly what he was doing, noting, “They’re getting a lot of publicity that they don’t deserve because they’ve done a [bad] job.”

In other words, Pedro was telling Nike to just do it. Make the shoe, which he said was in the making a month ago.

After several calls to Nike, spokesman Rodney Knox got back to me last night and insisted the new shoe was on its way and should be at Pedro’s locker today. Knox pointed out that Pedro arrived early to camp, which means Nike should be credited with an on-time delivery.

“We sent them a mold more than a month ago,” a frustrated Martinez said. “I have no idea what the hold-up is.”