Somewhere, Jon Lester Sheds a Tear

papeljig.jpgLook at that! Two Jon Lester posts in four days. By now, you’ve probably heard about Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon’s comments about Manny Ramirez to Esquire

So Manny was tough for us. You have somebody like him, you know at any point in the ball game, he can dictate the outcome of the game. And for him not to be on the same page as the rest of the team was a killer, man! It just takes one guy to bring an entire team down, and that’s exactly what was happening. Once we saw that, we weren’t afraid to get rid of him. It’s like cancer. That’s what he was. Cancer. He had to go.

Now, I normally wouldn’t comment on such a thing, because it’s not really baseball-related and sorting out the truths from the rumors about that situation is often impossible. Hey, maybe he’s right, and maybe he’s not. But I can’t help but point out that… hey, Jonathan. Your boy over there in the corner? Jon Lester, one of the best young pitchers in baseball? Just signed a big contract this week? Yeah, he had cancer. So I’m just going to go out on a limb and say that maybe making cancer jokes around your locker room, maybe not the best idea. Besides, do we really want to be taking advice from the jackass shown at right doing the Riverdance?

Moving on, I mentioned yesterday that I wasn’t that enthused on signing Pedro Martinez, especially for the price he was asking for. But since this is the story that seems like it just won’t go away, let’s take a second to address it again. Ken Rosenthal seems to agree with me, saying:

The Dodgers’ curiosity about free-agent right-hander Pedro Martinez ends with his asking price. The only way the Dodgers will sign Martinez, major-league sources say, is if he agrees to “pitch for pay,” accepting a low base salary with incentives.

Well, that’s pretty much what I said yesterday – if the price is a lot lower than the $5.5m guaranteed/$5.5m in incentives he’s looking for, I’d be willing to give it a shot. But even then I’m not huge on it, because I think Pedro’s mostly cooked. Eric Seidman over at Baseball Prospectus agrees and adds in with:

Considering his projected performance, there are simply not many teams that would be vastly improving their rosters by adding Martinez, and if the former All-Star is only going to provide a marginal level of production over either prospects or freely available talent, why bother?

When he does sign, the 13-year-old inside me who witnessed the dominance in that 1999 All-Star Game will be pulling for a career renaissance, but at this point, Pedro Martinez is a fifth starter with just a little bit left to contribute, whose past success may garner present and future opportunities even if the actual production fails to justify the playing time.

Exactly. The fact that he was so good in 1997 doesn’t have any bearing on how good he’d be in 2009 (are you listening, Yankee fans? That applies to Derek Jeter, too), so there’s no sense in paying him millions over the replacement-level return he’s likely to give you.

So, we’re all on the same page, right? Right? Oh, Bill Plaschke. When will you learn?

The ghost of Delino DeShields has haunted enough.

It’s time to bring Pedro Martinez home.

One year after an opening day in which the Dodgers ceremonially connected with their past, they could do it for real by turning a humongous mistake into a homecoming king.

So because the Dodgers made a big mistake 15 years ago, they should make another mistake by bringing back a player who’s a shadow of himself? Again, don’t get me wrong – if Pedro’s willing to work for the minimum, I’m not against giving him a shot, but there’s just no valid baseball reason for advocating bringing him back.

But I suppose that was my mistake – why would I expect to see Bill Plaschke having any use for “valid baseball reasons”? Carry on, Bill.

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