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Hey Pedro: Please Shut Up and Grow Up

By Yong-yi Zhu

COLUMNIST

Welcome to Fenway Park. PLUNK!

That’s the message that Pedro delivered to Karim Garcia and the Yankees last Saturday afternoon. With no outs in the top of the fourth and men on second and third, Pedro decided that he had enough of the Yankees hitting him well that afternoon.

He then proceeded to deliver a fastball just a tad inside, inside enough to hit the back of Garcia despite his attempt to duck out of the way.

Pedro responded to Garcia and the rest of the Yankee bench’s displeasure by pointing at Jorge Posada and pointing at his own temple, seemingly to signify that if Posada ticked Pedro off any more, he would also receive a fastball somewhere he wouldn’t want one.

As is that wasn’t enough, in the bottom of the fourth inning, during a bench-clearing scuffle, Pedro grabbed the head of Don Zimmer and threw him to the ground. Yeah, that’s a 31-year-old man beating up on a 72-year-old man. Talk about picking on someone his own size. What was he thinking?

Sure, Zim might have been a little hot and charged at Pedro, but he did have good reason to do so. Zimmer had a baseball thrown at his own head when he was a player in the Dodger organization, and he was unconscious for the next several weeks. He now has a plate in his head from that incident.

Pedro has no idea what it’s like to live with a plate in his head, and I’m sure he wouldn’t want to. As Posada said, “If you’re going to hit somebody, you don’t try to hit them in the head. We’ve got families here.”

I guess being in the AL lets him get away with things about that. Nobody can plunk Pedro back on the head since he can’t come to bat.

It’s not like this is Pedro’s first time acting like a little kid either.

During the regular season, he faced an umpire with a small strike zone. Apparently, it was too small for his taste. Pedro then asked the ump what he was doing wrong, signaling too high, too low, too inside, or too outside. After those gestures, he took off his glove and motioned for the ump to come out and pitch, since the ump knows baseball so much better. All the while, he had a look of complete contempt on his face.

I was in total shock when he wasn’t thrown out for that complete act of indignation. Hitters often get tossed out of a baseball game with a lot less than that kind of behavior. All I could hear in my head as those incidents transpired were the words “I don’t want to grow up” sung to the Toys “R” Us melody. In fact, Pedro has never seemed to want to grow up. But I guess it is Pedro Martinez. We should give him the credit he deserves on the diamond. Right?

Well, if he were so great, why did he let those runners get on in the first place? And why didn’t he adjust his strike zone to strike out the batters? I just think it’s time to stop blaming the other team. You screwed up on a couple of pitches; don’t get angry at other people about it. Maybe you should take some responsibility.

He isn’t too big a fan of taking responsibility though. Many times, he’s blamed the Red Sox organization for their problems. It’s even rumored that Pedro wants to leave Boston as soon as his contract is over. Boston is just so in love with the K’s that he puts up, they become somewhat blind to what Pedro represents. He’s an athlete and often times a role model. What his behavior exhibits is anything but exemplary to others.

I just think that it’s time someone called out Pedro for his inexcusable actions. What Zimmer did the other day may not have been pretty, but I could understand his frustration. Maybe if someone plunked Pedro on the head, he would pitch a little differently. Maybe if he actually grew up, he would act a little differently. Whatever it is, I think it’s time for him to shut up and play some baseball. Beat the Yankees. Don’t beat up on them -- that’s not going to win you a World Series.