There are so many people rushing to talk about the things that Pedro Martinez can’t do anymore, and so few people willing to talk about the things he still does well.
Baltimore pitching coach Rick Kranitz proved that he stands in the latter class Wednesday, when he told his young pitchers to watch the way Martinez holds runners on base.
“We’ve been harping on holding the ball and holding runners and then Pedro goes out there and does exactly what we’ve been talking about,” said Kranitz. “It was unbelievable, and that kind of stuff is invaluable. What he did is exactly what we’re trying to get across here. It was nice to see a star, a Hall of Fame caliber guy do that. And these young kids need to see it.”
Pedro Martinez didn’t even have to throw a pitch Wednesday to get a royal welcome. The three-time Cy Young Award-winner and eight-time All-Star received a racuous ovation on his way to the mound, overshadowing his many illustrious teammates and opponents.
Martinez, who’s using the World Baseball Classic as a showcase to prove that he’s still healthy, bathed in the applause as if it was just another outing. Perhaps the ovation meant something else entirely, though: Martinez, who went 5-6 with a 5.61 ERA last season, is nearing the end of his career and may not earn another big-league job again.
In that case, every time you see him might be your last. Martinez, who ranks seventh alltime in winning percentage, may get a start on his Hall candidacy sooner rather than later.