World Series: He we are (Pedro), entertain us
Pedro Martinez.... in a elimination World Series game.... at Yankee Stadium.
That's what major league baseball fans will be treated to - and Fox is foaming at the mouth with excitement about - 24 hours from now. ("Now" being when I'm writing this entry.
Pedro Martinez has a 2.08 ERA in two playoff starts this season, and a whole boatload of career postseason experience that should serve him well Wednesday. The Yankees are looking to add their 27th World Series pennant to their baseball-best collection.
Here are a few snippets from Tuesday's off-day press conferences at Yankee Stadium:
PEDRO MARTINEZ, on how he hopes to be remembered, and whether "Petey" will resonate like "The Bambino" in the annals of baseball history: "I'm pretty sure that my name will be mentioned. I don't know in which way. But maybe after I retire, because normally when you die, people tend to actually give you props about the good things. But that's after you die. (Laughter). So I'm hoping to get it before I die. I don't want to die and then hear everybody say, "Oh, there goes one of the best players ever." If you're going to give me props, just give them to me right now.
"So I'm hoping to get my name mentioned, yes, just like Babe Ruth is such a legendary name. I hope that my name is mentioned. But not only as a player. I hope that you guys realize that I'm a human being that really likes to help, that really likes to do things in the community, that's a fun human being and a great competitor. That's probably my legacy. I don't want to just leave a legacy in baseball and be a (expletive deleted) human being. I'm sorry about the word.
"I hope I can be remembered more as a human being to take his clothes off to probably give it to a man down the street. I don't mind doing that any time. I hope I'm mentioned in between all those names, even though I will never put myself in that category. That's very different. That's a different level."
CHARLIE MANUEL, on what he can expect from Pedro: "(He has) a tremendous feel to pitch. He knows how to pitch. He knows more about hitters than probably people give him credit for because he'll sit there and study the game and he'll study the hitters and he'll sit there and talk to you sometimes.
"That's one thing I like about Pedro, he'll come over and talk to you and he don't listen when you tell him how to pitch somebody, he'll tell you how he's going to pitch somebody. If you sit there and listen, he's not being smart about it, he's very confident, and he'll start telling you, look at that, Charlie, or something like that, I'm going to do this, that and stuff like that. I like that. And he's got an idea on everybody that walks up there.
"But also, he's got a tremendous feel for the game, and he's still got talent when he executes his pitches, as a pitcher should, he's definitely capable of throwing a very good ballgame, a real good ballgame. I'd look for him to definitely put us in a place where we can win the game.
"How far he can go, I think back there in the summer when he threw against the Mets that night, I think that kind of tells you that he's definitely capable of finishing a ballgame, really."