While Pedro Martinez will be remembered by most for his achievements with the Boston Red Sox, my strongest memory comes from one of about a dozen games I went to at Shea Stadium in 2005.
While we were settling in to watch the start of the game, Pedro quickly retired the first two Arizona Diamondbacks batters. Then, with Luis Gonzalez at the plate, all of the sprinklers on the infield suddenly turned on!
Many pitchers would have let something like that throw them off of their routine. Not Pedro. On the Diamondvision board, you could see Pedro smiling and laughing about the ridiculous situation. While the other players left the field during the delay, Pedro stayed out there. Once order was restored, he struck out Gonzalez and went on to pitch eight innings of one-run ball as the Mets won 6-1.
After the game, Pedro told reporters, “Water is a blessing, I believe. So I got wet.”
I hope the Mets invite Pedro Martinez out to Citi Field sometime this summer to honor him and give fans one more chance to applaud.
I have to admit, I had hoped that Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria would hire another larger-than-life character to add to the circus aspect that surrounds the team. But really, short of bringing in Bobby Valentine or doing something crazy like trading for Alex Rodriguez to make him baseball’s first player-manager in years, how could you top Guillen – or Loria’s own antics?
What do you think: will Mike Redmond get the Marlins out of the NL East cellar? Will he last more than one season?
My prize – a Cliff Floyd bobblehead given away at a Harrisburg Senators game this season – arrived on Saturday. As far as bobbleheads go, it’s a very good likeness.
Floyd, who patrolled left field for the New York Mets from 2003-2006, began his career in the Montreal Expos’ organization as a first baseman. A 1995 collision with Mets catcher Todd Hundley at first base resulted in a broken wrist that nearly ended Floyd’s career; when he returned, he moved to the outfield.
In 1993, Floyd hit .329 with 26 home runs and 101 RBI for the Harrisburg Senators at the age of 20. The next year, he was the regular first baseman on a Montreal Expos team that appeared playoff-bound when the MLB Players Association went out on strike.
Floyd would go on to win a World Series ring in 1997 with the Florida Marlins. They recognized him with a bobblehead giveaway in 2001. I’m not aware of any other teams that have done so.
Thanks for the new addition to my small (and largely accidental) bobblehead collection, Ryan.
Tuesday, Carlos Beltran played his final Mets game in Cincinnati. Just over six and a half seasons ago, Beltran played his first game for the Mets in Cincinnati. I guess there’s something to be said for symmetry.
Beltran went 3-for-5 to start his Mets career on Opening Day in 2005. He had a home run and a double off of Reds’ starter Paul Wilson, then added a single off reliever David Weathers in the seventh inning.
The Mets took an early 1-0 lead as Kazuo Matsui hit a first inning home run. Matsui also hit a home run in his first at bat of the season in 2004, making him the first Met to accomplish that feat since Darryl Strawberry did it in 1987 and 1988 (or so the note on my scorecard says.)
The Reds took a 3-1 lead on Adam Dunn‘s three-run homer off of Pedro Martinez in the bottom of the first. Martinez, who was also making his Mets debut, dominated the Reds for the next five innings. He struck out 12 batters over six innings, a record performance for a Mets pitcher on Opening Day.
Beltran’s homer tied the game in the third inning, and his single off Weathers drove in Jose Reyes as the go-ahead run in the seventh. The Mets added two more runs in the inning on Cliff Floyd‘s homer to go up 6-3.
I stopped at the monthly sports card show in Rahway this morning, and was pleasantly surprised to see most of the tables were filled. (A new card show in Toms River has been drawing away a number of the dealers who used to set up at the Rahway show.)
I spent under $20, but came home with some interesting things (and supplies, saving me a trip out to the card shop during the week.) I also ran into Jeff, one of my occasional blog readers, and got to talk to him for a few minutes.
This Cliff Floyd postcard I got for $1 was the most interesting of my purchases. It’s not in perfect shape, but it still looks good. I’m not sure when the postcard was produced – the “Catch the Energy” slogan seems to tie it to 2004, but there’s no specific date listed. I’d guess it was produced for Floyd (or the Mets’ staff) to respond to fan mail autograph requests, though he didn’t seem to do too much of that during his Mets tenure.