The Red Sox Hall of fame bash; all inductees invited into the booth last night; Roger Clemens, Pedro Martinez, Nomar Garciaparra.
Clemens first. I’m no expert on reading body language, but a snake wiggling out of a bag was Clemens and steroids weren’t discussed; pointing that finger again and looking stiffer than a Nazi boot. Clemens thanked ice for prolonging his career. In and out of the booth in less than a half inning.
Pedro stuck around for two innings. Red Sox announcer Jerry Remy didn’t want him to leave. Remy said Pedro’s 17 k game against the Yankees was the greatest pitching performance he’d ever seen; how only Ted Williams could walk in a room and change the climate like Pedro.
Pedro bowed; that wonderful smile and slipped into story telling; about being pissed at manager Joe Kerrigan for so much as hinting that Jeter was batting .300 against him. More smiles. Remy said no Red Sox venue was more intense, more loud than when Pedro pitched. Every regular season game.
“Fenway did sort of become a winter league Dominican atmosphere,” said Pedro who is credited with Boston acquiring David Ortiz from the Twins. Big Papi thanks Pedro every time they embrace; hugging him around the waist, lower, Pedro said , “a sign of respect.”
Pedro is a freaking shaman, a saint, a legend walking among us. More than baseball. He’s biblical long before tv had heroes, long before movies existed. A Zeus of pitchers and at the same time, easy to imagine as a friend… beer at the rail.
Nomar Garciaparra followed Pedro and he too lasted way longer than Clemens. Working for the Dodgers now as a broadcaster. Kershaw’s great, he said, but not at Pedro’s level; not yet anyway.
Garciaparra raves on and on about being a Red Sock, about the Nation, about befriending Ted Williams or vice versa; no easy task apparently, getting past the William’s tough guy edge; always talking hitting like Lombardi football and winning and the right way; embarrassing people in public.
Nomar and Williams share Mexican heritage and southern California origins. Nomar friends with Johnny Pesky too, but not blowing hot ego air and Red Sox hype. Nomar seemed heartfelt humble gratitude for being drafted and raised by the Red Sox..
But Pedro Pedro Pedro; the class and eloquence and humor. I don’t need a time machine to go back. I choose Pedro; lucky to be alive during his time. No baseball story gets me coco puffs crazy like Pedro’s story; scouts saying he too small, Montreal giving him a chance, the total domination and intimidation and that smile and his stories.
Pedro said about pitching, “it was my day to do art so I enjoyed every single aspect….frame like Picasso 2 inches off corner….and once it went away, it went away for good.”
And what timing, this HOF Pedro Red Sox thing. Sherzer struck out 14 yesterday and in the shadows, the Brewer’s Mike Fiers did the same….14 k’s, a new road record for Brewers franchise.
Granted, it was the Cubs, the same team that struck out 15 times or whatever against the Rays last week…but still, at one point yesterday, Fiers struck out 5 Cubs LOOKING; impossible corners, Picasso corners, eh Pedro?
Fiers is lanky, 6 feet 2, 190 pounds and everything he does is long; the wind up, delivery, arm extension, follow through. Rick Sutcliffe without the cupped ball, Location master is Fiers, corner paint jobs, drop dead change up, 29 years old.
The wind was blowing in. Gave Fiers some extra confidence to attack hitters, but Khris Davis managed to muscle one out in left center; so did Mark Reynolds.
Reynolds is the first player in MLB hisotry to hit 20 or more homeruns in 7 consecutive seasons for 5 different teams. Love hate relationship; power and whiff; have glove will travel. Leads Brewers with 21 bombs and plays a solid first base.
Bob Uecker visited the tv booth in between radio innings. Predicted a drone will soon hover over the infield and replace all umpires. He’s not very fond of instant replay I guess; misses the dynamic of manager and umpire; the grudges and dislike; the season long drama. Final Score; Brewers 6, Cubs 2.
The Brewers are 67-55.