He'll let the words speak for themselves
So now we know the reasons why he left. And more.
Pedro Martinez was hurt the Red Sox didn't act more quickly in their efforts to sign him. He didn't like the Sox sending more than one person to the Dominican Republic to negotiate. He doesn't like Curt Schilling. He doesn't need the money because he's been a millionaire since he was 24. He couldn't go to New York for Game 6 because apparently no visiting pitcher can get his offday work done at Yankee Stadium. And Boston, apparently unlike New York, is a negative place.
Pedro was introduced to Met Nation in a bizarre press conference at Shea Stadium yesterday that was sure to give New York's newest ace the Big Apple headlines all to himself . . . until, of course, it was reported later last night that the Yankees were close to acquiring Randy Johnson. Typical. Having passed his physical Wednesday, with the ink drying on his new $53 million, four-year contract, Pedro patiently answered all the questions from the fourth estate. It got a little rough at times, and Mets general manager Omar Minaya had to interrupt to assure Pedro not all New Yorkers think he's a "punk."
We learned a lot. We learned Minaya is a man of his word. Pedro said that a couple of times. The inference was, one can only surmise, that John W. Henry, Larry Lucchino, and Theo Epstein are not men of their word. Remember that Pedro called them liars in May.
That must have been part of the negativity. Along with the media, of course.
"For years in Boston, we had to fight you guys, we had to fight the negativity that was in Boston," Pedro said.
When a reporter asked if Pedro left a good team to go to a bad team simply for money, Pedro reminded us, "I was a millionaire since I was 24 years old. First of all, to let you know, when I got to Boston, I was already making millions . . . So you didn't pick up a bum from the street, just to let you know. I made enough. It was more of a commitment from this team than it was money."
And Red Sox management?
"I gave Boston every opportunity to actually get me, not only in this free agent year, but for three years before," he said. "I've been trying to let Boston keep me for the rest of my career and Boston wouldn't pull the trigger. I went beyond my effort to actually give Boston every opportunity to keep me. Why did they have to wait until the last minute or so? Do I have to sit and wait for anyone else to decide where my future's gonna be? Would you? Then I didn't see the reason why I should wait.
"Omar showed me a lot of respect, a lot of commitment, and not only that, he didn't show up with a lot of people. He showed up himself, sent to get me in the Dominican and said, `Hey, I'm gonna try to go get you. If I go get you, would you play for me?' I said, `Well, I'm trying to work my thing with Boston, but if I don't, I'll be more than happy to play for you, and that's the reason I'm here.' "
Guess Henry and Lucchino blundered when they flew to the Dominican with the World Series trophy and sat on the tarmac in a hot tent, negotiating and shaking hands and thinking they had a deal done. They must have done something less than respectful.
A New York reporter, who wanted to know if Pedro would arrive late and leave early the way he did in Boston, cited remarks by Schilling, telling Pedro, "Schilling said this week that you got preferential treatment in Boston."
Pedro snapped back, "Well, first of all, Schilling is not on my program. Schilling doesn't run an hour. Schilling didn't do rehab in 2001 for what I did. I have a very strict way of working. It takes a lot more time than people think. I know why you brought up the question, it's probably because of Game 6 in New York . . . The only reason I stayed in Boston for Game 6 is that Curt Schilling was doubtful for the next game and I had to actually stand up and pitch if Derek Lowe wasn't able to make it . . . Whatever Schilling has to say, he can say it. I don't have anything to say about that. He only knows me for one season. He doesn't know what I'm about and how I work. He doesn't even show up in my work regimen."
There. That should put to rest that unfounded rumor that Pedro was jealous of Schilling.
Here's what Pedro had to say to Red Sox fans: "That's a hard one. It really tugs my heart, here. When you talk about the fans in Boston, it's really important that everybody knows here that even though I'm in New York, I have all the love and respect for the fans and the people in Boston. It is too bad I couldn't work it out. I tried. I gave everything I had. I gave Boston every opportunity to keep me there. They couldn't do it. I don't know why we couldn't work it out, but as of now, I have a new beginning. I have to move forward . . . I feel deeply touched and sorry for the fans in Boston and for so much tradition and a great city. I can only say I'll always love them and I hope I can somehow, some other time, pay my tributes to them."
Later, he told WFAN if Boston had guaranteed him the third year a week ago, he would have signed with the Red Sox. He told that radio station he felt he was treated like a "leftover," adding, "I thought that the Boston Red Sox have had from me a lot of good things and that I should be treated with a little bit more respect and not just waste all the time, about three years, trying to get this done, trying to finish my career in Boston. To wait until the last moment, the last second, the last minute, wasn't the right thing to do."
There's more. Regarding Epstein, Martinez told Newsday, "I don't think he has the experience to actually play with a player like me. I just don't think he was good enough." Asked if he was hurt by the Red Sox, Pedro said, "A little bit, yeah."
There's your former ace, people. In his own words. Commentary not needed. It's all in the quotes.
Dan Shaughnessy is a Globe columnist. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.