As much as SportsNet New York tried to stoke emotion by airing Pedro Martinez's presser with the Phillies on Wednesday, he might as well of been Steve Trachsel up there. Okay, maybe that's a little harsh, but hear me out.
Martinez has this almost mythic quality among Mets fans for "turning the franchise around," but how can he get credit for something that never actually happened? He ended up as a four-year window-dressing for a poorly constructed franchise. Sure, Pedro had his moments with the club, from the 12 strikeouts against the Reds in his first start as a Met to the time the sprinklers went off at Shea Stadium (that was cool, huh?) to the 2.82 ERA and 0.95 WHIP in 2005. His starts were an event in 2005 and the early part of 2006. But that's where it ends. One good year and three clunkers. All for the bargain price of $53 million.
It was fun. It was nice. He's a future Hall of Famer after all, but Petey never threw a pitch in the 2006 playoffs. And as the Mets were choking away another division title in 2008, Martinez had a 7.77 ERA and 1.95 WHIP in four September starts. Not what the Mets paid for.
So I look at Martinez for what he is. A guy who put up a -2.2 VORP in 2008. 76 National League starters with at least 80 innings pitched ranked higher than him. And this included the likes of Tim Redding, Saul Rivera and Shawn Chacon. You know, real difference-makers.
Was Martinez putting on the jersey of the rival-Phillies supposed to hurt? Knowing that he has a 7.85 ERA in four career starts at Citizens Bank Park made it a lot easier to swallow.