This is not really about the Mets, but it’s my blog and I’m posting it.  Goodbye Pedro, I will miss you.

I just cut Pedro Martinez and I feel a little numb.

I joined a dynasty fantasy baseball league in time for the 1992 season and Martinez was my first pick.  He was coming off a season where he split time among three different minor league teams and went 18-8 with 192 strikeouts in 177 innings.

We didn’t have BABIP or FIP or WPA/LI to analyze players back in ’92.  Instead people were scared of Martinez because he was a short RHP.  Yep, that was the analysis that some did.  Anyway, conventional wisdom was that his body could not handle the punishment of being a starter and at best he would find a role in the bullpen.

Martinez spent most of 1992 in Triple-A, where he went 7-6 with a 3.81 in a hitter’s park in a hitter’s league.  He made his major league debut, appearing in two games, one as a starter.  The following year he spent most of his time in the majors, where he was pretty dominant.  Martinez went 10-5 with a 2.61 ERA and two saves in 65 games.

And then the best thing that could have possibly happened occurred.  The Dodgers traded him to the Expos for Delino DeShields.  If you don’t recognize that name, don’t feel bad; his career fizzled shortly after the trade.  But he was coming off a year with a .389 on-base percentage and he averaged nearly 47 SB in his first four years in the majors.

When the Dodgers traded Martinez it was not that they gave up on him but rather they thought they were getting a valuable commodity in exchange.

The Expos installed Martinez as a starter and the rest is pretty much history.  One thing I think is relevant to note is that in 1994, the 22-year-old Martinez pitched 34.2 innings more than the previous season.  He came back in 1995 to pitch pretty well and increased his innings pitched total by 50.  In 1996 he pitched as well as he had the previous two seasons.  Take that Tom Verducci!

Meanwhile, Martinez developed into the staff ace of the Joura Miracle.  My friend Paul told me if I ever turned that team I inherited into a winner, it would be a miracle.  Martinez was a member of six Luigi championship teams, and a key member of four of them, not having much to do with the Miracle’s titles the past two seasons.

When you play in a keeper league, especially a dynasty one, you develop ties with your players that are hard to understand, much less verbalize to others.  It goes past attachments to something approaching a relationship.  And just to make it crystal clear, I’m not talking about a man crush or a bromance, which you kids have all of the time.  No, kiddies, those are flings.  Martinez has been part of my life for 17-plus years up until today’s unceremonious dumping.

How many constants do you have in your life for 17 years?

Martinez was with me through thick and thin.  He was there when I was a flunkie and he was there when I became a Senior Bureau Manager.  Martinez has been one of the few constants as I’ve gone from Massachusetts to North Carolina.  He was there when I went from single, to married to having two kids.

Later this week is my 10th anniversary.  If we can make it seven more years, my wife will draw even with Martinez.  Maybe.

Our cuts were due at 6 pm Monday.  I checked RotoTimes a half a dozen times throughout the day, hoping that the Martinez to the Dodgers rumors would come true.  It didn’t have to be the Dodgers, although that would have brought his career full circle.  I would have been okay if he signed with 29 of the clubs out there.  Basically, as long as it wasn’t the Yankees, it would have been fine with me.

But seemingly Pedro wants too much money for any team to take a flier on him after his injury-filled past few seasons.  I thought about keeping him anyway, sort of like a good luck mascot or something.  But the end had to come sometime and for me it came today at 4:40pm.  Yes, I have an official time of death.

The Miracle will carry on without Pedro but part of me died today.  It will be weird to see our first update and not have his name on my roster page.  But that’s life.

So now my longest-tenured player is Jason Kendall.  You’re probably wondering why on earth I would keep Kendall but it’s a points league and Kendall is a top 10 catcher because of his durability and insistence on staying in the lineup.

Kendall does not have the glory of being my first pick or anything like that.  But he has been on my team since 1997, when I acquired him in a deadline deal for John Ericks.  And when you think about it, 11-plus years is nothing to sneeze at, either.

Advertisements