By Mike Steffanos
Pedro's toe has dominated a full morning of Mets news. While Mets fans are right to be concerned about it, I'm not ready to panic over all of this stuff yet. I want to see how it works out for Pedro once he actually receives the shoe -- supposedly today.
You've been hearing comparisons to Dizzy Dean's career-ending injury. Dean had a broken toe, and tried to pitch with it wearing a splint and a shoe that was too large to accommodate it. This caused him to alter his motion and injure his arm -- knocking him out of the game by age 30.
Things have changed a little since that happened to Dean in 1937. Rick Peterson -- love him or hate him -- is really good at monitoring a pitcher's motion, and he'll be keeping a close eye on Pedro. Keep in mind, too, that Pedro has been pitching with both the toe and shoulder problems for a while and knows a little something about his own delivery. His whole career since the shoulder injury has been learning to compensate for his deteriorating body with his keen baseball intellect.
There can be little doubt that Pedro is on the downside of a great career, but with his acumen, I'm fairly confident that he can slow this process down enough to help the Mets considerably over the next 3 years. In the meantime, Omar keeps trying to land a top of the rotation starter and Mike Pelfrey begins to try to prove that he can be one some day.
Daily News: Just do it faster...
As mentioned in my previous posting, Pedro Martinez is less than thrilled with Nike over the long wait for that special shoe. Adam Rubin quotes Martinez on the pitcher's displeasure:
I'm waiting on Nike to actually do the shoes. They're getting a lot of publicity, but they don't deserve it, because they've done a (poor) job.
...I know the doctor gave them the mold and gave them the information they needed. I don't know what they're doing.
The lack of this protective footwear has slowed down Pedro's pre-season program. Maybe all Mets fans should boycott all Nike products until they get him that shoe...
New York Post: More on the shoe
Kevin Kernan cites a Nike spokesman that the shoe will arrive today, and tells you more than you probably want to know about Pedro's condition.
The Journal News: Randolph Quote
John Delcos, in a Mets' season preview, offers the following quote from Willie Randolph on the pressure of managing a team:
There's no pressure. I've always been a winner and I expect to win now. I don't consider that pressure.
I know Willie drives some Mets fans crazy, but I think if he succeeds in New York it will be because of his attitude. Some people never seem to "get" New York (Art Howe, Jeff Torborg), others seem to thrive on it (Bobby V., Davey Johnson). I believe Willie to be in that second group, and I honestly believe that he'll grow into the rest of the job for that reason.
A slight change in direction
The papers are starting to fill up with Mets articles again. With pitchers and catchers showing up in St. Lucie even as we speak, this trend will only continue.
I've only been doing this since last August, and have been figuring out things as I went along. I like talking about the Mets news that I read, but, as there gets to be more written, realize that I can't talk about everything. There are other web sites, like MetsBlog, better suited to do that. I'm going to concentrate on the things that I have something to add to the discussion about, and not try to point to every piece of news out there.