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Arms race

Posted by Eric Wilbur, Boston.com Staff June 19, 2009 09:09 AM

Here it is: Pedro Martinez could conceivably sign with the Yankees by – sigh - Father’s Day.

I’m sure such a scenario wouldn’t make for nauseating headlines in the Monday morning tabloids.

The former Red Sox pitcher, who once called the Yankees his “Daddy” after a brutal late-season outing against them in 2004, will pitch today before New York scouts in the Dominican Republic, according to Ken Rosenthal of Foxsports.com. Scouts from the Cubs, Rays, and Angels will also be on hand.

However, according to The New York Daily News, Pedro in pinstripes is not likely to happen. The paper reports the team is watching Martinez as a courtesy to his agent, who also represents Mariano Rivera.

Still, what if they like what they see?

I can take a lot of things. But this…

Not that Red Sox fans should be concerned about what Pedro would do for the Yankees. He might help, but at 37 years old, he’s a piece, no longer a main attraction. But if legacy means but anything these days, this will be somewhat akin to watching your high school girlfriend resurface a half-decade later, only to find out she’s dating that high school quarterback you used to always hate.

Colleague Chad Finn “tweeted” last night: “If you root for the story, you want Pedro in pinstripes. If you rooted for the Red Sox during his heyday, you don't.”

That’s a pretty succinct way of putting it, but I’m partial to both. That’s why Pedro in Tampa fascinates me. It lands him in the AL East, where he’ll have his difficulties for sure, but raise your hand if you don’t want to see him down the stretch this season. If there’s any lingering argument as to how deep a rivalry the Red Sox and Rays have these days, think about Pedro in a Rays uniform pitching at Fenway Park, Rays adviser Don Zimmer watching from afar. Now, imagine him in New York gray.

Right?

  • While we’re on the subject of jumping ship to the Yankees, Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon was on Sirius/XM Radio yesterday, playing the tired threat of, “I’d better get my money, or else…”

    Subway Squawkers has the transcript:

    Host, Jody McDonald: “If you couldn’t work out a contract with the Red Sox before free agency comes up and you eventually become a free agent, is the Bronx ever a possibility?”

    Jonathan Papelbon: “Oh, of course. I mean, I think if we can’t come to an agreement on terms here in a Red Sox uniform, I mean, I think that’s pretty much the writing on the wall. If they can’t come to terms with you they’re letting you know that, ‘Hey you know what? We can go somewhere else.’ And I think it’s the same way on the other side, ‘Hey if ya’ll can’t come to an agreement with me then I can go somewhere else.’ Not only in the Bronx, but anywhere. I think anywhere is a possibility. You always have to keep that in the back of your mind because you can’t just be one-sided and think that, ‘Oh I’m going to be in a Red Sox uniform my entire career.’ Because nowadays that is very, very rare and hopefully we can because there’s no question I would love to stay in a Boston Red Sox uniform but I have to do what’s best for me and play in an atmosphere where I’m wanted and play on a team where I’m wanted and that’s all I can really say about that, you know?”

    This, of course, is the same Papelbon with the contract that doesn’t expire for another two-plus seasons, or about the same time we’ve heard him whining about not having a long-term deal. Odds are, with the history of closers against him, it’s not going to happen either. At least not here. So, we’ve got this through 2011. Neat.

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