December 13, 2004

Pedro to the Mets - It's Not Business It's Personal


My work here is done.

Pedro Martinez is set to cut his ties to the World Champion Boston Red Sox and sign with the New York Mets for a reported $56 million over 4 years GUARANTEED!

Many Red Sox fans are upset by this. Jilted seems to be the word that best fits.

Other Red Sox fans are disappointed but are trying to be philosophical. They want to echo Michael Corleone in the film version of The Godfather,"It's not personal. It's business." That's their adopted mantra.

I understand the business part of the deal. I understand that $56 million is a lot of money and that the Mets went to 4-years when the Red Sox were only willing to guarantee three. I understand Pedro, who came from abject poverty, would be hard pressed to turn down all that money. However, I do think the Mets and Omar Minaya in particular made a bad business decision with this offer. Because of the type of contracts Omar has given to Pedro and to the just better than average Kris Benson (3-years $21 million) - in the end I think Pedro will be with the Mets longer than Omar Minaya.

I understand that this is a good business decision for Pedro and I literally can hear Al Pacino's voice in my head saying, "It's not personal. It's business."

The thing is - I read Mario Puzo's book and I know that phrase has been completely taken out of context. This is what Michael Corleone actually said in the book:

"Tom, don't let anyone kid you. It's all personal, every bit of business. Every piece of shit every man has to eat every day of his life is personal. They call it business. OK. But it's personal as hell. You know where I learned that from? The Don. My old man. The Godfather. If a bolt of lightning hit a friend of his - the old man would take it personal. He took my going into the Marines personal. That's what makes him great. The Great Don. He takes everything personal."
The Red Sox offered Pedro $40 million over 3-years with lots of perks and he turned them down. I take it personal.

For seven years Pedro was the face of the team. He went 117-37 for the Red Sox during his time with the Sox (an incredible 76% winning percentage). His 1999 and 2000 seasons were among the best seasons by a starting pitcher in history. Pedro won two Cy Young Awards and it should have been three except he was held to a higher standard in 2002. Once I was the most passionate defender of Pedro. Now I have no feeling for him.

The Red Sox paid him $17.5 million this year. They have been very good to Pedro Martinez. $40 million over 3-years was an excellent offer from the Red Sox and Pedro turned it down.

I'm taking it personal.

AMERICAN DIGEST SPORTS EDITOR Chris Lynch serves his own brew daily at A Large Regular , and contributes to

Lynch can be reached at

Posted by Vanderleun at December 13, 2004 7:10 PM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Thanks for the post. Can't wait to here the news if this holds true. I won't be surprised if "Mr. Blue PIN Stripes" strikes back or fosters Pedro's move to the National league.

If Pedro leaves the Red Sox, I guess Alex Rodriguez gets his 1st Gold ring.


Posted by: Geoffrey Gonzalez at December 13, 2004 7:31 PM

I'm not sure if the Mets are getting a good, 4-year deal. Pedro has produced phenomenal ERAs. But he is also a prima-donna with more than his share of mental and physical quirks.

While still good, Pedro's a bit past his prime. New York fans and sports media aren't going to be polite if his production falls or he gets a quirk and heads home because he's unhappy.

Maybe 1-2 good seasons, tops. $23 million for that isn't worth it.

Posted by: P.A. Breault at December 13, 2004 8:56 PM

My apologies - that should have read "for that, $23 million a year isn't worth it"

Posted by: P.A. Breault at December 13, 2004 9:49 PM

Latest news is that Pedro's insisting that an MRI of his shoulder NOT be a part of his physical for the Mets. If Minaya accepts that, he deserves to be fired on the spot.

Posted by: DTLV at December 14, 2004 8:13 AM

Any event that serves to weaken the loathsome Red Sox will cheer the souls of all Yankee partisans. As such, Pedro's impeding departure will be greeted here in NYC with not a little enthusiasm.

Another 86 years anyone?

BTW, if I were writing his Mets contract, I'd insist that he change that greasy, dog-ugly hair-do. Blecch.

Posted by: David Katz at December 14, 2004 8:22 AM

Here is a contrarian point of view - It is true that Pedro isn't the same guy he was 3-4 years ago, however he is headed to one of the best pitcher's parks in America in Shea Stadium. Pedro made a smart decision not just monetarily; he has given himself the best chance of success with a wide open outfield that has a lot of balls landing on the warning track. Leiter has pitched really well into his waning years at Shea, however, I acknowledge that Glavin has been iffy. I think Pedro is in better shape than both of those guys.

The Mets took a rather huge gamble, however I like that they are taking a gamble on established pitchers versus guys like Mo Vaughn, Robbie Alomar and Jermemy Burnitz. Should be an interesting year in NY.

Posted by: Ten Fingers 6 Strings at December 14, 2004 9:06 AM

Hey, you can get rich and flip off the folks who made you rich. It's the American Way.

Posted by: Pignose at December 14, 2004 10:02 AM

"Dog ugly hair do"?

Katz doesn't get it. The deeper purpose of baseball in America in the 21st century is to have a sport, a single sport, where really unattractive athletes -- fat, unshaven, snuff dipping, belching, scuzzy, and gross -- can go.

Baseball is the place where we put the ugly athletes to begin with. After all, they don't have to run or jump a lot. Perfect.

Posted by: Ringo at December 14, 2004 10:05 AM

Ringo - it sounds like you are describing Bass Masters not baseball.

Posted by: chris at December 14, 2004 10:49 AM

The Chris, he posts for me.

But,hey, Bass Masters is a sport.

And what about lawnmower racing on the Speed channel?

Posted by: Gerard Van der Leun at December 14, 2004 11:25 AM

I have nothing against Bass Masters. In fact it's kinda my dream job (that and US Ambassador to Bermuda).

Pro darts - now there's a sport.

Posted by: chris at December 14, 2004 12:29 PM


Combine pro darts with lawn darts with football -- that's a sport.

Posted by: John at December 14, 2004 1:59 PM

Pro darts is fun - but playing goalie sucks.

Posted by: Tim at December 15, 2004 10:12 AM