Pedro Martinez: Will He Return? [J. Mark English]
Pedro Martinez is ready again for the lights, camera and action.
Sounding restless, peppy and in good humor, Martinez spoke from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, yesterday about why he is convinced he can help a contending team win a championship this year.
“I don’t have to keep pitching, but I’m too young to stay home and be lazy,” said the 37-year-old three-time Cy Young winner who had his best years with the Red Sox [team stats] from 1998 through 2004. “The main reason is I’m totally healthy now. As far as my health goes, this is the best I’ve felt since before 2001 - going back to ’99 or ’98 probably. I am throwing a lot down here and when I wake up the next day, I’m not sore. I can throw and throw and throw and throw.
“My arm is in full shape to throw, I just need to sharpen up my breaking stuff, really just my curve.”
Laying off the heavy weight work worked well for Martinez this offseason.
“I’m 37 - I don’t know what to do with my energy,” said Martinez, who made 20 starts last year for the Mets, five the year before. “I try to burn it all off on the field down here while I’m working out. I’m in tippy-top shape.”
“I’m thinking of becoming a swimsuit model.”
Martinez sounded more focused on suiting up with a big league team over the next few weeks. He is not too picky about where he signs, either league is fine, as long as he goes to a team that has a chance to contend. All things being equal, going to the National League is his preference, and that is not because of the absence of the designated hitter.
“No, that’s not it, all batters are the same,” said Martinez, whose lifetime ERA in the AL is 2.52, 3.31 in the senior circuit after nearly 1,400 innings in each league. “I have won a Cy Young in the National League, I have won the Cy Young in the American League, and I have won a championship in the American League. But none in the National League. This would complete the whole circle.”