Once upon a time, legendary Red Sox hurler Pedro Martínez dreamed of tantalizing the Bronx crowd ... while wearing pinstripes.
According to the flame-throwing right-hander, he dreamed of doing such things at least three separate times over the course of his storied career.
Martinez, in a roundtable show this week, revealed that he requested a trade to New York thrice during his Hall of Fame tenure, presumably all prior to the 1997 deal that sent him from the Montreal Expos to the Boston Red Sox.
Martinez, at the time, was undersized and undervalued. He began his career in the Dodgers' system, but didn't ascend seamlessly to the big leagues like his brother, Ramon. Eventually, he grew into dominance in Montreal, making the All-Star Game in 1996 and 1997, but still craved the national spotlight, which largely ignored the moribund Expos. Playing north of the border in a French-speaking city is the kind of thing that drives an in-his-prime changeup god to ask about joining the Yankees. Three times.
The worst part? Brian Cashman got it, attempting to trade for Martínez back in 1997. Unfortunately, the GM was bamboozled. As he related to Andy Martino for his new book on the rise of Cashman's Yankees, the Expos' leadership group despised George Steinbrenner and opted to give the Red Sox a sweetheart deal instead.
Yankees should've gotten Pedro Martínez -- who begged to come to NYC via trade -- but the Expos ruined everything
Say it with me now: COOL.
Instead of Cashman's overpay, the Expos agreed to accept Boston's prospect package of Tony Armas Jr. and -- I'm sorry, this can't be real -- CARL PAVANO?! This guy?! AGAIN?!
For those keeping score, the greatest starting pitcher of a generation begged to join the fans who eventually became his daddy. He begged over and over again. Instead, he was traded to their hated rival in exchange for a man who was seemingly born to ruin their lives in free agency.
Wow. What could've been. Perhaps if Martínez's wish had been granted, he could've shoved Grady Little headfirst into the turf instead of Don Zimmer. Truth be told, after 2003, he probably wanted to do that anyway.