BBHOF Profile: Pedro Martinez

Pedro-MartinezBOSPedro Martinez is one of the most complex players that the league has ever seen and he remains one of the most divisive players in the MLB.

All at once Martinez was a loudmouth, a bully, a head hunter along with being an outspoken supporter of player rights, a champion of old school baseball, and one of the best to ever step on the mound.

He came into the league as one of the first of a flood of players from the Dominican Republic as the son of a poor family and the brother of a Dodgers prospect.

He was signed by the Dodgers as a free agent after going to camp with his brother and the coaches seeing him pitch.

When he made the majors in 1992 is when his attitude was created as manager tommy Lasorda was convinced he was never going to be a great pitcher.

Lasorda kept him in the bullpen despite his ability as he thought Martinez was too small to be a major league starter and a starter who could withstand the rigours of pitching every five days.

They never gave him a chance and for Martinez it created a chip on his shoulder that never went away.

That time in the Dodgers organization gave Martinez a different mentality that he took into every start from the moment he left the Dodgers until his last start in the league.

That mentality was one of trying to prove that he belonged in the MLB and that he was not this small pitcher that was too weak to start.

He went out in every start and looked to impose his will on the batter across from him and he went about it in many different ways.

He was a power pitcher with a fastball in the high 90s but what made him so unique and so dominant was his arsenal of junk pitches that he could go to if he needed.

He used the classic fastball changeup combination but had a circle change and curve ball that rivaled some of the best in the game.

That arsenal of pitches was only part of his ability though as he was never afraid to mix things up on the mound and brush a batter off of his plate.

It was old school baseball where he made sure the batter knew that the plate was the pitchers and that no batter could crowd the plate and take away half of the plate.

If a batter tried, Martinez had no issue hitting him and dealing with whatever consequences that came with beaning a batter.New+York+Yankees+v+New+York+Mets+9OEhB6q-UEYl

When he did mess up and get knocked around he was the first to say something about it and made no excuses for why he had made those mistakes.

He was also the first to step out and say something that he disagreed with and many times that got him in plenty of trouble.

His outspoken nature was often the reason why fans hated him while his performance on the mound was why some fans loved him.

With a combination of toughness and a big arsenal Martinez was utterly dominant on the mound at his prime.

That is made all the more amazing when you realize that Martinez pitched some of his best years in the heart of the steroid era.

He was facing batters who have been named in multiple steroid reports and yet he still was able to dominate.

There are any number of great and cringe worthy moments from Martinez showing both that dominance and his explosive temper.

Whether it is his appearance in Game 5 of the 1999 ALDS, when he went six hitless innings in a relief appearance after leaving Game 1 with a bad back, or the fight against the Yankees in 2003 when he put Don Zimmer, a 72-year-old, on the ground.

There is a complicated history to Martinez but the fact is that he was one of the most dominant pitchers at a time when hitting was king.

With a 2.93 career ERA and a total of 3,154 strikeouts there is no doubt that Martinez belongs in the hall even if you don’t agree with some of his methods.

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  1. […] a recap of Pedro Martinez’s amazing career? The Sport Addiction is happy to help with […]



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