Of course, his pitching skills are nice, but where Pedro Martinez truly shines is in the art of verbal acrobatics. Never has there been a more compelling, absurd and ridiculous sound bite than Martinez during news conferences. There was the whole “tip my hat and call the Yankees my daddy” thing. Then there was the mango tree thing, which — to this day — still makes zero sense and remains a complete and utter mystery.
It’s really a shame he’s not around these parts anymore, purely for entertainment.
Prior to his start in Game 2 of the World Series at Yankee Stadium, the illustrious ace had a few new priceless gems.
In other news, Rasheed Wallace and Clay Buchholz compete for the honor of partaking in the creepiest Halloween activities, Mike Leach tries to one-up Martinez in the crazy department with his postgame rant after Texas Tech lost to Texas A&M, and Boston College wideout Rich Gunnell has some choice words for Jimmy Clausen.
"I don't know if you realize this, but because of you guys, in some ways, I might be at times the most influential player that ever stepped in Yankee Stadium. I can honestly say that. I have all the respect in the world for the way they enjoy being fans. Sometimes, they might be giving you the middle finger, just like they will be cursing you and telling you what color underwear you're wearing.
–Phillies pitcher Pedro Martinez, on ESPN.com, on his lasting legacy with Yankees fans
“None of you have probably ever eaten steak with me or rice and beans with me to understand what the man is about. You might say the player, the competitor, but the man? You guys have abused my name. You guys have said so many things, have written so many things.”
–Martinez, on ESPN.com, blaming the media for his poor reputation in New York
"I must have been 15 or 16 — I dressed up as Michael Myers when Halloween came out. I had the Michael Myers mask and wore one of my dad's work suits and had a chainsaw with no chain on it. I ran around the neighborhood chasing kids. It was pretty funny until the parents got mad at me, and I had to sort of veer off into my house."
–Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz, on ESPNBoston.com, on dressing up for Halloween
"I never dressed up. Nah, we used to snatch bags from kids that did dress up."
–Celtics forward Rasheed Wallace, on ESPNBoston.com, on dressing up for Halloween
“As coaches, we fail to make our coaching points more compelling than their fat little girlfriends. Now, their fat little girlfriends have some obvious advantages. For one thing, their fat little girlfriends are telling them what they want to hear, which is how great you are and how easy it's going to be. … But I am going to try [to coach], and there will be some people inconvenienced, and if it happens to be their fat little girlfriends, too bad.”
–Texas Tech coach Mike Leech, on KAMU TV, lamenting the reasons why his team was blown out by Texas A&M
"In the beginning of the game, we were warming up, running on the field and [Jimmy Clausen's] out there chirping and talking all this trash and he pushed, I think, Justin Jarvis. He just pushed him for no reason, and I just looked at him like, 'What are you doing? Who do you think you are?’ He's just sitting there still talking and then afterward, he was trying to be all friendly. I was like, 'I don't want to hear it now.' It just rubbed me the wrong way. I didn't like what he did. It just seemed like he was a little fake toward the end of the game because they won. I know if it was the other end of the stick, he'd probably be saying the same thing to me."
–BC wide receiver Rich Gunnell, on Rivals.com, following BC’s close loss to Jimmy Clausen and Notre Dame
“To be honest, I think my favorite part besides the win was going to see the palace and Big Ben. Actually, I take that back. We went to a haunted house that was over by Big Ben and just to see some of my teammates act like little kids, happened to be probably the best part of my weekend.”
–Patriots safety Brandon Meriweather, on Patriots.com, on the team’s trip to London
“As a father, your kids make mistakes. You're angry at them at times. You have to punish them, you have to discipline them, you have to do whatever you have to do. Having said that, they're still part of your family, and you have to keep teaching them. And that's what Big Baby is. That's the moment he is [at] with our team right now."
–Celtics head coach Doc Rivers, on WEEI, after forward Glen Davis injured his thumb in a personal altercation with a childhood friend last weekend
“I don't think we could've beat an Oakland high school team."
–Raiders defensive end Richard Seymour, in the San Francisco Gate, after Oakland’s 38-0 loss to the Jets
"Brandon Meriweather. He's a playmaker. Not only is he a defensive leader, but right now, he's the MVP of that team. … I think he and Brian Dawkins are probably playing the best of any safety in the AFC right now."
—Former Patriots safety Rodney Harrison on NBC
"I eat, sleep, drink getting after the quarterback. I dream about them and have flashbacks in the middle of eating breakfast. That's me."
–Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney, in the Indianapolis Star, on his motivation
"I know I'm 35, and everyone thinks I kicked the bucket already. But I know I can still play."
–Dolphins defensive end Jason Taylor, in the Palm Beach Post
"It's a risk making a commitment to anybody. You can ask everybody who got married and got divorced.”
–Lakers free-agent signee Ron Artest on whether his new marriage with L.A. will work out for the best
"I don't want to embarrass Derek, but as a player like Derek Jeter, it makes me very proud to be the commissioner of baseball."
–MLB commissioner Bud Selig, after Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter received the Roberto Clemente Award