Kazuo Matsui is famous for his colorful clothing, so when Pedro Martínez walked through the clubhouse yesterday in an orange suit paired with blue sneakers, the ensemble looked as if it could have come right out of Matsui's closet.
The Mets have begun calling Martínez's oversized outfit the Rally Suit, in part because they have won the past two days he has worn it, and in part because whenever he puts it on, he starts squeezing an orange pillow and screaming that the Mets need to score some runs.
Matsui took one look at the rally suit yesterday and put orange back en vogue. With the Mets down by a run in the seventh inning, he delivered a two-run homer that shushed anyone who had been jeering him and sent the Mets to a 2-1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds. If Matsui had not come through, there is no telling what Martínez might have worn today. "Am I exciting or what?" Martínez said.
Pedro Martinez didn't hear many "Who's Your Daddy?" chants, and jokingly noted that he saw "less middle fingers" and heard "less hate words" than he had grown accustomed to while starting against the Yankees.
Still wearing his Marlins uniform, pinch-hitter Lenny Harris stormed into the Mets’ clubhouse after Thursday’s game to complain to manager Willie Randolph about being taunted by pitcher Pedro Martinez and coach Sandy Alomar.
Opposing players rarely enter another team’s clubhouse, but Harris, a former Met, was incensed that Martinez and Alomar yelled “Watch for the bunt!” as Harris batted in the seventh inning.
“They’re screaming out of the dugout, I’m thinking I’m still back in high school. I thought it was hogwash,” Harris said before Friday’s game.
The incident actually started on April 21, when Harris bunted for a single against Martinez in a 10-1 Marlins loss at Dolphins Stadium. That day, both players could be seen laughing at each other on the field after Harris reached base.
“I thought that was the end of it,” Harris said. “But they’re screaming, ‘Watch out for the bunt! Watch out for the bunt!’ and I’m thinking, ‘It was really bothering them.’ I told Willie I didn’t think they’d take it that seriously.”
Harris was so distracted that he stepped out of the batter’s box and yelled back, “Are you done?” before striking out.
“There’s a time to play, but when the game starts it’s serious business. You know a fan is going to heckle you — I don’t mind if it’s a fan — but if its a ballplayer, then I want to find out what’s the problem. It kept going on. I thought they took it too far.
Randolph dismissed the situation. “Just chit chat,” he said.
Petey referred to Mike Piazza as Michael. I'm not quite sure why that is so amusing to me, but it is.
It is early, of course. But Pedro should be given credit for reinventing himself without losing his identity. In one 10-minute conversation yesterday, he was pure Pedro, flitting from one topic to the next, talking about the disclosure of Deep Throat - "it was better as a secret, a mystery," he said - and his gardening escapes at his home in Westchester County.
"I loved being able to garden with my mom growing up," he said. "That was a special time. We talked to the flowers. You have to talk to the flowers. It makes you feel like the flowers are part of you."
At one with flowers, exactly how does that work?
"You know how they give the fake babies to kids, and you have to pick them up every time they beep?" he said. "That's how flowers are. Everything needs love."
"Since the first day, I've noticed that people here really love to see my face . . . and the people are just looking for me to do something crazy," Martinez said. "New York is fast, a little crazy and they expect me to be out there because I guess they see somebody that identifies with them."
Pedro talks about the sprinkler incident - when the infield sprinklers myseriously came on in the middle of an inning while Pedro was on the mound.
Typically, Martinez also found the situation humorous, leaning his head back for a drink and dancing through the drops until the grounds crew shut down the system. It was reminiscent of his reaction at the home opener, when Martinez gyrated on the dugout steps after realizing the malfunctioning blacked-out batter's eye in center field was frozen with an advertisement featuring his likeness.
"Water is a blessing, so I guess I got wet," said Martinez, who remembered a similar sprinkler incident happening to his brother Ramon in Atlanta earlier in his career. "I got wet, but I made it fun and we won the game."
Last night, he claimed that he didn't even know that he was throwing a no-hitter until the 5th inning when he glanced at the scoreboard while standing on second base.
In Flushing, however, Martinez appears completely at ease. Even last night, in a normally tense situation in which most no-hit seekers are left alone in the dugout, Martinez was boisterous.
"He was screaming, saying stuff," Mike Cameron said. "I'm like, Good Lord, this guy's crazy."
This Sunday, when I go to Shea, I'll get to see the incestuous couple AND Pedro on the mound.