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Martínez is optimistic about return

NEW YORK -- An upbeat Pedro Martínez plans to rely heavily on former Red Sox medical director Bill Morgan and former Sox physical therapist Chris Correnti as he recovers from rotator cuff surgery last week on his right shoulder. Morgan assisted on that surgery, which was supervised by Mets doctor David Altchek.

``Yeah, yeah, without a doubt," Martínez said when asked if he expected to meet projections that he will be back pitching by midseason next year. ``According to Dr. Altchek and Dr. Morgan, everybody who has seen what I've done so far, I'm supposed to come back even better. That's really optimistic."

Morgan and Correnti were both let go after the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004, but both were instrumental in Martínez's recovery from shoulder problems in 2001, when the decision was made not to have surgery. Instead, Morgan prescribed a program of exercises designed to strengthen the muscles around Martínez's partially torn rotator cuff, and Correnti implemented that program, later praising Martínez for the work he did.

``Chris will be with me," said Martínez, speaking after the Mets' Game 1 win Thursday night. ``I'll keep Dr. Morgan involved, and the medical staff here. It will be good. Any time a problem has come up, I've gotten in touch with Dr. Morgan and Chris.

``Chris understands me. He knows when to give me a day off. He knows how to [monitor] my workload, when to give me more work. Anywhere he goes, he's willing to go with me. He's also my good friend, away from baseball."

Martínez said he was not fearful entering surgery. ``Not knowing what was wrong, that was the scary part," he said.

``When my legs started to fall apart -- with the toe, and the hip, and then the calf -- both legs went. When I came out of the Atlanta game [Sept. 27], I had both calves torn. It was impossible for me to hold onto my shoulder, so my shoulder went, too."

Quote, unquote
Cardinals manager Tony La Russa chided the media after slugger Albert Pujols was quoted as saying Mets pitcher Tom Glavine ``wasn't that good" while pitching seven scoreless innings in the Mets' 2-0 win in Game 1.

``You get a guy who's a hot competitor. As soon as it's over, he's not happy about losing," La Russa was quoted as saying on ESPN.com before last night's Game 2. ``So he makes a statement. It's not a good statement. Glavine deserves credit. Now it gets blown up like he's some kind of disrespectful pro."

La Russa suggested that Pujols, who in group sessions with the media has been contentious, may stop speaking with reporters altogether. But Pujols, when asked yesterday about his Glavine remark, reportedly said: ``Is that what I said? OK, then. Keep that one."

Pujols, incidentally, was hitless in his last 10 postseason at-bats entering last night.

Walking arm in arm
Since 1900, according to the website baseball-reference.com, there have been a dozen pitchers born in Massachusetts who have won 100 or more regular-season games in the big leagues (that includes Bill Donovan of Lawrence, whose career began in 1898 and is grandfathered in). Of those pitchers, only Billerica's Glavine has won more than 200 games; Donovan is next at 186 wins. Glavine, who is 290-191, has lost more games than any other Bay Stater has won in the course of his career. Include the ``pre-modernists," those pitchers who pitched in the 19th century, and Glavine ranks third in the state behind two pitchers born in Cambridge, Tim Keefe, who won 342 games, and John Clarkson, who won 328 . . . Glavine, who pitched seven scoreless innings in Game 1, now has 14 career postseason wins. That ties him with Andy Pettitte for second most all-time, one behind John Smoltz, Glavine's former teammate with the Atlanta Braves. ``He never throws a ball in the dirt," Mets catcher Paul Lo Duca said after the 40-year-old lefthander limited the Cardinals to four hits. ``You could catch him in a rocking chair. I love catching him. Hopefully, I'll catch him in the last game of the World Series and next year catch him for his 300th win, because he's a great person." . . . An ultrasound performed on Cliff Floyd's left Achilles' tendon showed no further damage, Mets manager Willie Randolph said, but Floyd was limited to pinch-hitting duty and his availability for the series is remains in doubt . . . La Russa benched sore-shouldered Scott Rolen, 1 for 11 in the postseason and 0 for 3 in Game 1, and started Scott Spiezio at third base last night.

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