ESPN.com’s Mike Fish notes that rehabbing Pedro Martinez’ trainer and massage therapist Angel “Nao” Presinal, has an interesting recent history.
Presinal, 54, popped up on Major League Baseball’s radar in October 2001 after he and former two-time American League MVP Juan Gonzalez, then his primary client, were linked to an unmarked bag, reportedly containing steroids and hypodermic needles, that was seized by Canadian authorities at the Toronto airport. Questioned by Canadian Border Service agents, Gonzalez said the bag belonged to Presinal. Presinal has said the bag and everything in it belonged to Gonzalez, then a Cleveland Indians outfielder.
Ultimately, Canadian authorities decided there wasn’t enough evidence to charge either Gonzalez or Presinal. Word of the incident, though, has made Presinal persona non grata in the majors — but not in the Dominican Republic, where he remains highly respected and a cult hero to players on the Caribbean island.
Asked about the bag episode, Martinez (above), rehabbing from rotator cuff surgery on Oct. 5, told ESPN.com: “I have no idea about the controversy. I just know that I would give Nao my support anytime. Nao has worked with me for a long, long time. And all he has done is help me with my training, help me with massages and stuff like that.”
“He is experienced about muscles and flexibility. He understands really well how to work on the body, especially with the therapy and massage. And Nao is a really good therapist when it comes to understanding how muscles react.”
Asked what role Presinal played in his star pitcher’s rehab, Minaya responded: “There is no — as far as I know, there is no connection between Nao and the Mets and Pedro. That is news to me.”
As for Presinal working with Martinez, he said: “I don’t know. I don’t know that.”
Presumably, Omar’s been fully briefed by now.
David Wright tells the New York Daily News’ Adam Rubin that he’s all done with the Beasties’ “Brass Monkey” and would like some assistance picking a new song for his at-bat muzak. I’ve not checked the suggestions from Rubin’s loyal readership, but I’ll hazard a guess there’s a dead heat between Gordon Lightfoot’s “The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald” and Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive”.