I’ve been away from my apartment for the past two weeks or so. All for good and fun reasons — went to a wedding, celebrated three out-of-town birthdays, got to see my parents for a few hours, randomly went to one World Series game — but it’s required some catching up on random stuff (Anyone want to renew my license and registration for me?). Last night, I was flipping through a few Sports Illustrated issues that I hadn’t seen and came across Tom Verducci’s question and answer interview with Pedro Martinez.
Granted, it’s Pedro, so Yankees fans might have intentionally looked the other way, but he actually talked a lot about the Yankees, including some kind words about Derek Jeter, who Martinez labeled as the hitter he’d least like to face with a runner at second base in a close game.
“He doesn’t get rattled. He doesn’t get excited. He’s cold, like an icebox. … It’s impossible to make him change his approach or his demeanor. The program that he has to approach you doesn’t change.”
Martinez also talked pretty candidly about intentionally hitting Jeter in 2003 (in the same game when he also hit Alfonso Soriano). And that conversation about hitting Jeter, came directly out of a conversation about how close he came to signing with the Yankees in 2004.
“If it wasn’t for (Mets GM) Omar Minaya, (the Yankees’) was the best offer I had out there.”
It’s an interesting interview, if only because Martinez is an interesting personality. It’s worth checking out if only to read about his face-to-face meeting with George Steinbrenner, his complete thoughts on Jeter and why he intentionally threw at hitters.