Sunday, March 24, 2002

Disaster Planning

Great one liner from baseball blogger Tony Pierce: "Pedro Martinez says he's feels like a million bucks … which would be OK, but he gets paid $10 million."

Pedro is struggling. The extra weight he's carrying, in an effort to make him less prone to shoulder injury, seems to be one reason why the ace isn't his normal dominating self.

Surely, I'd take mediocrity in April and May in exchange for an unhittable Pedro in August and September during the dog days that have haunted this team for 83 years.

And at the risk of invoking a jinx, the whole Patrick Ewing Theory keeps popping into my head. It worked with the Patriots. Yes, it's an invalid comparison, Bledsoe and Martinez, for various reasons …

But I think we should be ready to face a reality in which Pedro Martinez is not around or not able to post a win every 5th game.

The thing that'll keep me off the Xanax when considering the above, is the emerging quality of pitchers who are not Pedro.

… lefthander Darren Oliver has made as strong a case as anyone for the [5th starter's] job. In holding the Twins scoreless on two hits and a walk over five innings in his fourth start of the preseason, Oliver lowered his ERA to 0.69, the best among the 14 pitchers remaining in camp.

Opponents are batting .178 against Oliver and .196 against Castillo.

A third candidate for the job, Juan Pena, has posted a 2.57 ERA and has held opponents to a .216 average (Hohler, The Boston Globe).

I think it'll be OK in the end. (What choice do I have?)