He’s always been outspoken. He’s sometimes been a controversial diva. But, for most Red Sox fans, Pedro Martinez will always be our diva–who for a few years was the most dominant pitcher on the planet.
Specifically, in 1999 and 2000, his numbers were downright sick. Over that span, his record was 41-10. He hurled 430.1 innings and gave up only 288 hits. Oh, and did I mention that he struck out 597 batters? More impressive, however, are his ERA stats in those two years. In 1999, he lead the league with a 2.07 mark, but in 2000 it was a ridiculous 1.74. Needless to say, he won back-to-back Cy Young awards. The 2004 World Series ring was the frosting on his Boston stay. In Game 3, he fired 7 shutout innings.
So, when he toes the rubber this evening for the Phillies, remember the great times with the Red Sox and also remember that he still considers himself a “Bostonian”–and root him to victory over the Evil Ones.
During the 2004 World Series “rolling rally”, Manny Ramirez famously held up a sign stating eloquently, “Jeter Is Playing Golf Now, This Is Better”.
Unfortunately, Yankee fans could deliver a similar jab at your vacationing Boston Red Sox today. But take heart, Sox fans, there is actually still a rooting interest out there. Not for anything, but against the Empire.
Aside from the glorious Red Sox championships in 2004 and 2007, some of my most satisfying baseball memories surround the New York Yankees losing ignominiously in the Fall Classic. Consider Luis Gonzales rapping a single off Mariano Rivera and scoring Jay Bell to win the 2001 Series. And, who could forget the contributions of current Red Sox luminaries Josh Beckett, Alex Gonzalez and Mike Lowell as they dispatched the Empire on their own field in 2003? Call it Fall Classic schadenfreude.
Ah, sweet memories. So, stoke up the old HDTV on Wednesday night and watch Cliff Lee show the world who the better ex-Indian lefty is. Let’s all watch the Pinstripe Posers lose their 14th World Series. Drink it in.