Just had to check back in one last time as Pedro Martinez took the mound for the Dominican Republic in an exhibition game against the Orioles back in Fort Lauderdale.The old-school stadium seemed an appropriate place for Martinez to make his competitive debut in 2009. Martinez started with a rocky inning but pitched strongly in his second, all in all a solid start for a guy auditioning — even with his accomplishments — for anyone who still wants him.
Reminds me of the story Shelley Winters used to tell about being asked to read lines for a movie. She came to the audition, but just whipped an Oscar out of her purse and said, "Here's my resume."
"It was awkward at first," Martinez said. "But you know what? For the first day, it was pretty good. It just really feels good to get back out there."
Pedro still looks like Pedro, especially when around David Ortiz; other than the actual pitching, the day's highlight was an emotional embrace and a pointing-to-God they shared as Pedro walked off the field.
Ortiz's assessment: "I think he's ready to rock ‘n' roll."
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Pedro held an extensive autograph session for the fans who lined up, though he became annoyed when he noticed several familiar adult faces crowding a fence to get at him, not seeming to care that children were being pushed out of the way.
Paraphrasing, but it's close to what Martinez said: "It's the same old [bleep] with you guys, every time. It's the same [bleeping] guys, too."
Before signing off, here's a shadowy image of A-Rod taking swings in the batting cage from just before the cyst in his hip became known. He's working on his inside-out swing and it paid off with an opposite-field double. Hopefully there's more of them to come soon.
Thanks for reading, Stewies. Soon, we'll have a new Answer Man and other features gathered from the spring swing; and a couple of more surprises.
- Grapefruit League