Tuesday, August 4, 2009

27 comments Pedro: God Among Men

I know a lot of our readers are from outside of the New England boundaries, but Bens comments yesterday really struck a nerve with me. I honestly dont think anyone realizes how much Pedro meant to this region back when he came to the sox back in the day. At the time we were fresh off of letting our star pitcher (roger clemens) waltz up to toronto to be "close to home", and the entire region was just depressed and looking for something to look forward to for the next season. I mean, we had Nomah, but he alone could not carry a team anchored by Tim Wakefield.

I still remember where I was when the news was first announced. I was on the 6th hole of Hoodkroft CC, in Derry, NH, and I cant tell you the excitement that I felt when I heard we had traded for Pedro for just Carl Pavano and Tony Armas Jr. It was like a whole new breath of fandom had been breathed into me. Mind you, this was before the area even gave a shit about Shaughnessy's shitty book about curses. Pedro just....I dont know....he made the whole region happy that we had acquired him.

When Pedro first came here, the stadium was always packed--ALWAYS!--and there were dominican flags flying everywhere. I remember one of the first games I attended, against the blue jays, and Pedro sat Jose Canseco on his ass.....of course Canseco homered on the next fastball down the middle, but Pedro had the balls to do whatever the fuck he wanted to...he was that good, and cocky.

After deciding to "build" around Pedro, things started to die down around Fenway. You had Dante Bichette as your DH and Mike Lansing as your 2nd baseman. You could tell the owners at the time were just banking on the star power of Pedro and Manny. I promise you guys, the next time I go home I will grab the VHS's of games I went to with Pedro starting where I sat behind the plate (where I didnt belong, but there were no fans there) and post them up, just to show how bad the band wagoning has gotten.

We may have won in 04 and 07, but I still savor the moment where I got to watch Pedro, in his prime, moreso than I do the championships. Because I knew I was watching--Live!--A historically great picthing performance that can never be replicated again. I know we make fun of the red sox-yankees coverage on ESPN, but those years meant a lot to us Sox fans......thats why I'm not joking when I say that remembering Pedros performance almost---ALMOST!--brings tears to my eyes when I reflect on them. I will always--and to this day--thank my mother for working the extra jobs just to get me those red sox tickets. (Side story: I used to play golf, and the one time I needed a ride home from a meeting, she was at the 99 all star game. Its cool, I've forgiven her for that. I was only mad she didnt take me. Fuck! I would've skipped that godddamn golf meet!) (In all seriousness: that is a true story, but I still love my mom, I wasnt as bent out of shape as I kinda make it out to be. Especially after all the Rick Reilly stories I have read after the fact.)

To quote Forrest Gump: Thats all I have to say about that...


Bengoodfella said...

I'm pretty sure I did not make fun of 1999 Pedro yesterday. I went back and checked, and yes, I did not make fun of that Pedro. I made fun of the 2009 "If his name was George Martin he would not have even been signed" Pedro.

I know you have great memories of him and all of that but the guy is done. D-O-N-E. His last rehab start at AAA he gave up 4 earned runs in 5 innings. Basically what I am saying is not that he won't win games with the Phillies, he will win games with them because they have a great offense, but his pitching will be just average, which is all they really need from a 5th starter.

So yes, it wasn't a bad move to get Pedro, especially for the price they got him, but he isn't Pedro anymore. He is Pete Martin, average pitcher who chose a great team to play for because they don't him to be any more than that.

Bengoodfella said...

You know what else? I am just going to go ahead and say something I have always noticed and this is probably going to piss people off:

First, we know Pedro came back from that strained back in 1999 to throw 6 no hit innings, which was amazing and seemed illogical for him to be able to do in his current state. If only there was something he could have been taking that would have allowed him to recuperate quicker and also would have improved his performance. Maybe something that was quite popular at the time that other players took?

Also, Pedro went from being the greatest pitcher alive to a great pitcher about the time steroid testing was in place.


I am not saying he was on PEDs, but I also can't help but notice he has a frail frame and always has been able to come back from injuries fairly quickly and still pitch well. It's probably talent, but I just want to throw the idea out there that since everyone else was doing it, Pedro may not have always been entirely clean.

I think he was but to not at least suspect him is illogical at this point. Ok everyone, proceed to rip me a new one.

AJ said...

How dare you accuse any Red Sox player that was on their roster anywhere from 1996-2009 of using anything to enhance performance.

AJ said...

Also, when do we get to the point of believing every name Jose says? I mean he has been pretty much right on, plus he has no real reason to make up names anymore.

Who doesn't believe Maggs, Pudge, or Shef used anything, like he says in his latest book?

I think someone should just have him on and let him reel off names, I would watch.

Iridescence said...

I love Pedro. I can pretty much say that man single-handedly rekindled my interest in baseball between the strike and the fact that my childhood team, the Expos were dumping all their players and turning into a joke (and getting ready to move) I really stopped caring much about the sport for a while but Pedro was such an amazing player, I followed his early career with the Sox and soon became a fan of theirs just because I wanted him to win so bad.

And yeah that game in '99 and others brought tears to my eyes too. Greatest pitcher I have ever seen.

It makes me kind of sad to see him pitch now, such a shadow of what he used to be. Still I am rooting for him with the Phillies. I hope he proves everybody who says he is totally done wrong.

I really don't believe he was on steroids, he did get injured a lot and didn't always recover quickly and never had much muscle on his body. I suppose it just goes to show that anyone from this era is guilty until proven innocent now which sucks.

Iridescence said...

And BGF, guys tend to naturally get worse at sports when they age (yeah his aging happened to coincide with the more stringent testing but there is such a thing as coincidence). If he was still one of the best players on the planet late into his 30s (like Clemens and Bonds) to me that would be a lot more suspicious.

Bengoodfella said...

It sucks but Jose Canseco has been right about a few players hasn't he? I have no doubts about those three players you just named, as well as a host of other players.

Too bad Canseco is just such a douche overall.

Iridescence, I like Pedro as well...probably not as much as you and others like him but I have nothing against him. I meant to write in my diatribe above that I probably thought the fact Pedro got up there in age had a lot to do with his inability to pitch as well...or at least as long.

Maybe I would feel differently about him if he didn't play in the NL East the past couple of years but I don't really care to see him do well. I just don't think he has a whole lot left to offer a team, other than 5 innings and four earned runs, which is all the Phillies really need.

I am not going to deny what a great pitcher he used to be and how watching him pitch has caused the blind to see again and cripple men to run with joy, but the 2009 version of Pedro is going to really have to use all the guile he has to pitch. He can probably do it.

I am not trying to randomly throw steroid accusations out there, because Pedro had no muscle really and I don't actually believe he was on steroids. I was assuming that if he had used steroids then he would have quit and that is what caused his decline in numbers. It was probably injuries and age but I would definitely think he was using if he still pitched at a high level.

It's sad to say.

Anonymous said...

I have to chime in here...To me, when Petey pitched, all was right in the world. Especially when he was mowing down the NYY. I'm a Mets fan and I didn't even want him in 2005 because I just wanted him to keep beating the NYY in the AL East. When we got him, I was happy and that was a good summer of baseball. Of course, now he's a shell of his former self and I am torn between my irrational love for Pedro and my irrational hatred of Philly. Mets are done so I don't care if he comes in and shuts them down but I will care if he ends up on a list somewhere. Somwhow, I think he's too smart for that happen.

AJ said...

I will also agree with some others, Pedro is probably the best pitcher I have ever seen pitch at the height of his career. The guy was just awesome to watch.

Bengoodfella said...

I enjoyed watching Pedro beat the Yankees as well. I don't think I had an out of body experience watching him pitch as it seems most of the baseball loving population did, but he was fun to watch.

I am actually really excited he joined the Phillies because no matter how bad the Braves are offensively right now, I would love to have them get a chance to face Pedro 2-3 times the rest of the year. For some reason I was never quite the Pedro lover everyone else is. He was one of the best pitchers in baseball at one time, I can't disagree with that.

My comment yesterday was directed towards the fact he has very little left. He will be fine with the Phillies, especially for the money he is getting, but I just don't think there is a whole lot left in his tank at this point. That was my point that apparently drew the ire of Fred.

Of course by publicly "bashing" Pedro I have made sure he will shut out the Braves every time he faces them and I may look stupid...I realize that.

I still think he is done overall and I hate watching pitchers who are done still try to pitch. It's actually quite annoying.

AJ said...

I agree with you, he is done. I don't believe he will add any value to Philly.

Fred Trigger said...

eh, it didnt really draw any ire. The point I was trying to make was that he was so dominant and should've stopped after his mets contract ran out, instead of just looking like a shell of his former self. I was really, really tired when I was writing this, so I was having trouble getting my point across, and the post just ended up turing into why I love Pedro and my memories of him.

Bengoodfella said...

I love it Fred. It was a good post but I just wanted to add my two cents since it seems like I drew the ire of you after I mentioned my Pedro comment yesterday. Everybody seems to have great memories of him and that's a good thing.

I think he should have stopped after the Mets contract as well but players can't seem to do that. It would be fun to watch old Pedro or Pedro throw less electric stuff up there and still get outs. I don't think it will happen. Again, he could have an ERA of 5.00 and still win games with the Phillies though.

Fred Trigger said...

I just reread the post and I just realized I sounded like a cross between Reilly and Simmons. Shame on me (hanging my head) at least I didnt make corny jokes, so I got that going for me.

Ben to really appreciate pedro, you had to be an Expos or Sox fan. I guess it would be like how you view Maddux......or Pete Smith (haha! bringing back memories of shitty 4th-5th starters!)

Actually I wonder how many I can name off the top of my head

Pete Smith
Steve Avery (in his defense, he was good at the time)
Charlie Liebrant
Kent Mercker

Thats all I got outside of the big 3 you guys had.

Bengoodfella said...

I can appreciate Pedro, I guess I just don't appreciate him as much as everyone else appreciates him. Actually, check that, I appreciate him but I don't have the mythical superlatives attached to his memory like everyone does. It's fine, he was a great pitcher.

I don't think you sounded like a cross between Simmons and Reilly, and even if you did, we will excuse you just this once.

You forgot Denny Neagle...and I am too lazy to think of any others right now.

Fred Trigger said...

(smacking palm against forehead) Damn, that was the easiest one! Mr. Hey I'm a flyball pitcher lets sign with colorado and end my career.

Bengoodfella said...

Don't forget his infamous hooker incident.

AwesomeSean said...

I gotta jump back in...BGF, for that time, Petey wasn't one of the best, he was the best SP ever. Look it up. ERA+ better than 200. Numbers were sick. Add to that a genuine compelling persona and you have a mythical figure. Don't worry bro, we all still love Maddux who should be (won't) the first unanimous HOFer. However, don't go talking yourself into thinking Glavine or Smoltz were on Pedro's level. They weren't.

Fred Trigger said...

I think awesomesean is my favorite commenter.

Bengoodfella said...

Hey, I never said Glavine, Smoltz or Maddux were on Martinez's level during that time span. I don't overrate my favorite team's players in any form or fashion.

I never have come close to talking myself into the fact that Pedro hit a higher peak than those three. Though I would urge everyone to look up what those guys did at the age of 36 as compared to where Pedro is...just a comparison it is pretty interesting.

Regardless Pedro was a better pitcher than Maddux was during that period...though Maddux did have individual years that were as good, but not quite the stretch Pedro had. I am a little offended you would think I am that stupid to think you could compare them.

I can't believe I am considered a Pedro basher by just saying he isn't a good pitcher now.

Bengoodfella said...

To sum up my previous rambling:

-Pedro had a higher peak
-The longevity of those other three was pretty impressive
-I am offended everyone thinks I am that short sighted
-Martinez had a much better peak and was possibly the best pitcher of all time during that stretch
-People have incredibly hyperbolic stories to tell about Pedro
-Everyone hates me b/c I don't think Pedro is still awesome...but it's ok because I can deal with Me against the world

Fred Trigger said...

just to make you feel better....your still a raging sexist!

Bengoodfella said...

I am going with the tri-post...

I guess the lesson I have learned is that I am not allowed to give strong opinions at all. That's fine everyone, I will just go back to being meek and mild Bengoodfella.

I will take it out on everyone during Fantasy football season by coming in 3rd place.

Bengoodfella said...

Thank for the pick me up Fred. Look for this blog to be completely meek and mild now though.

No more cursing or opinions, I am now a people pleaser.

Fred Trigger said...

as long as there is no fine for cursing, I'm cool with that.....dont get all Roger Goddell on me, Ben.

Fred Trigger said...

did I mention Pantera is a good band to listen to when your pissed off? I think I might've mentioned it somewhere along the line. If your pissed off, this is the song to listen to....


btw that dude actually got paid to get punched in the face.

Long live Dimebag (raising devil horns)

Bengoodfella said...

Yeah, no fine for cursing, but do you have to give money to David Eckstein's charity of choice for every curse word. That really isn't a fine, but an opportunity to change the life of a small, gritty, white child.

As always, I am at work and can not experience the YouTube video.