Pedro: Better than ever?

No, actually, he's not.

In fact, at 38, Pedro Martinez, the greatest pitcher in the last 25 years, could very well be on the verge of the final start of his career — and for a justifiable reason. Yet of all the absurd notions floated by dinosaurs roaming aimlessly around the sports landscape these days, one uttered today made the others look intricate and advanced, kind of how movies like Waterworld make Costner masterpieces like For the Love of the Game appear entertaining by comparison.

Now, I don't want to repeat the rip of my astute colleague, Tony G. Dagger, who bemoaned the cliched idiocy spewing from those two herbivores, Joe Buck and Tim McCarver, during Game 2. But listen to how lost one reporter — we'll call him Not Ferdinand Magellan — proved himself to be during the Yankees pre-Game 6 workout.

In a scrum centered around (of all people) Jerry Hairston Jr., someone asked the Yankee utilityman the following:
"Is Pedro maybe more dangerous now than earlier in his career because he relies more on deception?"
I'd laugh, too, had this not actually happened. Well, it did.

I don't know. Perhaps N.F. Magellan prefers Pedro circa '09, but were I a member of the Phillies I'd rather Charlie Manuel shipped the Pedro of 10 years ago to the mound for Game 6.

Call me crazy, but here's three quaint little pieces of evidence as to why:

• 1997: 17-8, 1.90 ERA, 13 CG, 4 SO, 241.1 IP, 158 H, 65 BB, 305 K, 0.932 WHIP, 219 ERA+
• 1999: 23-4, 2.07 ERA, 5 CG, 1 SO, 213.1 IP, 160 H, 37 BB, 313 K, 0.923 WHIP, 237 ERA +
• 2000: 18-6, 1.74 ERA, 7 CG, 4 SO, 217 IP, 128 H, 32 BB, 284 K, 0.737 WHIP, 291 ERA+

Anyway, after the question Hairston paused. I can't even imagine what ran through his head. Maybe the 97-mph fastball. Maybe the mid-70s changeup. Or the mid-60 deuce. Whatever it was, he answered the question, filling up N.F.'s notebook as best he could.

In this case, LOL would've sufficed.

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