Revisionist History

Pedro and Manny in 2003 - Photo from

Pedro and Manny in 2003 - Photo from

Okay, so I’m usually the one bashing the Boston sports media for NOT giving players the benefit of the doubt and always coming down on the side that prefers to bash them instead of praise them.  Not so this morning.

It began when I opened an email from Tru this morning that said nothing but “Check out Michael Silverman’s column in the Herald today.  I think he slipped in the loo and hit his head…“.

I couldn’t imagine what Silverman could have written to get a reaction like this from Tru…so off to I went.

Let’s start with the headline to Silverman’s piece (yes, I know they, apparently, don’t write their own, but it’s a good indicator of the tone of Silverman’s article):  Pedro Martinez feels Manny Ramirez pain (great use of punctuation there, Boston Herald).

Ah, the pain of making all that money and still not being happy.  The pain of being absolutely beloved by the fans.  The pain of being a mega-millionaire and mega-superstar and orchestrating your release from the team.  DOES NO ONE CONSIDER HOW PAINED MANNY IS?????

Besides being in the same free agent market as Manny Ramirez, Pedro Martinez has another thing in common with his ex-teammate: He knows a thing or two about leaving the Red Sox.

Manny and Pedro are both free agents. And they both used to play for the Red Sox. It’s like they were separated at birth!!

Martinez’ exit after the breakthrough 2004 season was under a far different set of circumstances than Ramirez this past summer. The pitcher wanted to stay with the Sox, but the club had its concerns over his health, and the four-year deal he signed with the Mets helped soothe some hurt feelings he had.

Aaand here we go! Let’s shut up about Manny to address the total ridiculousness of Silverman’s statement about Pedro here. (The bold in the quote is mine).

I love Pedro.  I certainly do.  I’ve written extensively on my Pedro-love, most recently for one of the challenges that helped me win the WEEI blogger contest.  I do not hide my affections for Pedro.  But I’d like to know what the hell Silverman was smoking when he wrote that line.  Pedro wanted to stay in Boston?  What?

“My situation was different – I publicly expressed that I didn’t want to leave.”

A quote from Pedro – in the Silverman piece. You know, it’s been a few years and maybe my mind isn’t as sharp as it used to be, but someone needs to remind me exactly when Pedro publicly expressed this. I’m thinking it was after the Sox/Mets game where Josh Beckett and the Red Sox handed Pedro’s hat to him and all Pedro could focus on was how great the fans were to him. Because, when Pedro was a free agent after the 2004 season all I remember is EVERYONE, myself including, convinced that Pedro was going to go to the highest bidder. I was okay with it. Pedro made it very clear that he was going to follow the money. Here’s a lovely piece of writing from back in December of 2004. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Bob Hohler:

The Sox, who invested $92 million in Martinez after they acquired him for two minor leaguers from the Montreal Expos in 1997, waged a strenuous effort to retain him in their quest for a second straight world championship. They believed they succeeded when they heeded his request to guarantee him $40.5 million over three years plus a $13.5 million option for 2008.

But the Mets, in a stunning development, outbid by the Sox at the last minute by sweetening their offer from a guaranteed three years at $37.5 million with a $12.5 million option to the final four-year package.

At that, Martinez left Boston’s final offer on the table. He confirmed to several friends last night that he accepted the offer from the Mets.

“He’s extremely happy,” said one close friend who asked not to identified.

The Sox lost their pursuit of Martinez by standing by their opposition to guaranteeing a four-year contract to the 32-year-old righthander, who suffered a small tear in the labrum of his pitching shoulder in 2001 and opted to treat the injury with a strength and conditioning program rather than surgery.

“We put our absolute best foot forward,” general manager Theo Epstein said before he received the final word of Martinez’s decision. “We’ve tried to keep Pedro Martinez in a way that makes sense for the ballclub. The team comes first, always. That said, he’s been a great contributor. If the [team’s final offer] was not enough, we wish him the absolute best.”

So I will just say this. If Pedro wanted to stay in Boston and continue to get rich and be beloved, he could have. He chose not to. If we’re looking for differences between Pedro and Manny, we can say that Pedro did his job, honored his contract and then went running to exactly the place he wanted to go while Manny did his job questionably (according to some, near the end of his time in Boston), didn’t honor his contract (if you believe his teammates, the front office and his manager) and forced the team to trade him to the only team who would take him – while also forcing the team to have to PAY him to play for a different team.

It’s like they’re twins!

The article is definitely worth a read, if for nothing but pure entertainment value and more Pedro quotes about Manny being a “kid” and “immature” and “misunderstood”.   At the very least it gave me a chuckle on a Sunday morning.  It also makes me appreciate not having too much drama on the team.  I will always miss Pedro and Manny being on this team.  But I’ll never miss the drama associated with either of them.  I prefer less drama.

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