SB Nation Boston recently talked with three-time Cy Young award winner Pedro Martinez (along with SB Nation blogs Over The Monster, Pinstripe Alley and The Good Phight), made possible by the fine folks at the Gillette Fusion ProGlide Ultimate Summer Job. (Follow them on Twitter, where they offer pictures of Pedro shaving.)
First things first: Pedro Martinez is not coming back to pitch this season. Well, probably not, at least. "It would probably take for me to get bored of doing what I'm doing right now. And I'm having a lot of fun."
Indeed, Martinez says that he received offers to join a team for the playoff push in these final two months of the 2010 campaign, and while he won't say which teams, he is quick to put an end to any talk of him pitching this year.
"The reason I'm not playing right now is because it'd be for half a year, and it's too late already. I've already committed to my kids ... I am liking what I'm doing and so far I don't regret taking the time off."
Martinez, who will turn 39 in October, has shifted his focus from victories and dingers to family vacations and Disney World, saying he made a decision this year to "give my family the time I haven't been able to give them the past 18-20 years."
"Right now, I'm keeping my promise -- the promise I made to my kids to spend some time with them and go on vacations," he said. "To be honest, I haven't really stopped to think about what it would take but I really don't want to disappoint my kids ... and I wouldn't even try to think about it."
But that doesn't mean he isn't missing baseball. He is. That competitive fire still burns within the pitcher with 219 wins and a career 2.93 ERA. "That's the toughest part of not being in baseball -- being in there, competing and facing those challenges."
This doesn't mean the end of his career just yet, though, as Pedro has stressed that this is not a retirement, leaving open a possible return in 2011 -- just no more half seasons. "If I am to do it, I'm going to do it for the full season."
As you might expect, there are already teams showing interest in a pitcher who has over 3,100 career strikeouts. "Yeah, there are some teams, but I'm going to keep it to myself. I'm not going to say what teams they are but I'm pretty sure that there are some teams [that I'd pitch for]. Especially if they have a legit chance of winning."
And since the Yankees are typically among the clubs with a good chance of winning, they'd have to be included as a possible destination, and Pedro would welcome the opportunity to pitch in the Bronx. "I would be proud. Actually, as a kid, I was a big fan of Reggie Jackson. I was always looking forward to going to Yankee Stadium, and playing there. It would be a great experience and an honor to play for the Yankees."
In fact, Martinez says that New York already made a run at him last year, but a mistake made by a Yankees' scout derailed any hopes of a deal -- the report to Yanks' GM Brian Cashman said that Pedro was only throwing 84-85 mph when he was actually hitting 90-94. "I don't know who regrets it more. There I was, giving Cashman a headache in the World Series. Because even though they managed to hit me, they were biting nails for the first six innings."
"You separate two things: when you're inside the white lines, it's business. It's total business. When you're not [on the field], you're just a regular player. A regular human being, a regular fan. I think I was the biggest cheerleader the team ever had!
"Not taking anything away from the fans, but I was a big cheerleader. I remember I used to tell everybody, 'Get your pom-poms!' ... Since I was a kid I was always a fan of baseball, and becoming a baseball player gave me the opportunity to play the game and at the same time become a fan.
"And why not have fun doing what you like? I was blessed enough to be able to do both."
For more from Pedro Martinez, and his thoughts on the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry, his nine perfect innings in 1995 and not winning the 1999 A.L. MVP, visit Over The Monster.