Wednesday, April 13, 2005

He HAD to be there? Get outta here

It's rare that I can actually stomach more than a few minutes of WFAN's Chris Russo "taking" calls from listeners ("taking" more like "deflecting"). But every so often he stumbles upon a topic that is both pertinent and interesting to the sports fan.

Tuesday's subject du jour? Should Pedro Martinez have skipped the Mets' home opener at Shea Stadium in favor of attending the Boston Red Sox's World Series ring and banner ceremony at Fenway Park?

"This isn't about Pedro and his relationship with the Boston front office or the Mets fans," Mad Dog howled. "Pedro's been a Met for two weeks. This is about baseball history."

"For the sake of baseball history," he said, "Pedro had to be at Fenway. He HAD to be there!"

I'm sorry, let me get this straight: The Mets spend $53 million on a stud pitcher, annoint him the new face of the franchise (the batters eye will attest to that) and he's NOT going to be at their home opener? After two brilliant games, you're not going to give the fans a chance to cheer their new hero?

Let's think for a second about the kind of a message that sends to Shea's paying customers. Yeah, well, uh, thanks for showing up. I know we got this new guy but, uh, he's not around right now, so, uh... just clap for him and we'll show you highlights of him wearing another team's jersey while you try to get excited about your 1-5 team.


As much as "Baseball" needed Pedro to be at Fenway, the Mets needed him at Shea. For the sake of a fan base that hasn't had an ace since Dwight Gooden; for the sake of a team that's trying to forge a new identity; for the sake of Mets fans who love the pomp and circumstance of Opening Day, Pedro HAD to be at Shea.

Sure, it would have been nice if Pedro had gone to Boston. It would have been nice for Bosox fans to see him smile and wave his new ring. All those things could have happened, too. All Boston had to do was sign on the dotted line.

  • E-mail Mike Casey
  • Vote: Pedro on Opening Day