One of the moments in Pedro's career (2003) that he would probably like to forget
The Phillies uniform that Pedro will wear Sunday pitching for the Phillies is only the fifth MLB team jersey that he has worn through out his career in baseball. Pedro's career started in a LA Dodgers uniform way back in 1992. His Dodger career was brief, after the 1993 season the Dodgers traded him to Montreal for Delino DeShields who had completed his 4th season in Montreal and was second in voting for Rookie of the Year in 1990.
Pedro's maturity hit full stride in Montreal and he excelled on the mound year after year for the Canadian franchise that the fan base really never fully grasped onto supporting their team. Pedro's best season with the Expos would be his last with the team, in 1997. In 1997 for the Expos, Pedro finished with a 17-8 record and a devastating 1.90 era, he also won the Cy Young award that year for the first time in his career, he would accomplish this feat 3 teams in total.
After Montreal, Pedro was then traded to Boston, for what would be a five year stay and a $75 million dollar contract. He was traded to the Red Sox for Carl Pavano and Tony Armas in the offseason after the 1997 season. In Boston, Pedro would continue his mastery on the mound with winning two consecutive Cy Young awards in a row in 1999 and 2000. He became a key figure in the rivalry between the Red Sox and the New York Yankees. In his first two years with Boston, Pedro racked up 42 wins combined and in 1999 alone he went 23-4 with a 2.07 ERA. In 2000, Pedro finished 18-6 with a 1.74 ERA and that was good enough to win his 3rd Cy Young award. In 2000, the Red Sox finished in their division in second place with a 85-77 record and did not make the playoffs.
In 2001, Pedro only had 18 starts on the season and was injured but he still turned in a 7-3 record with a 2.39 ERA. His rotator cuff injury would force him to miss most of the season in '01 but the next season, Pedro came out firing again with a 20-4 record and an ERA of only 2.26. In 2002, he finished with such a great year but finished second in voting for the Cy Young Award which would have been his 4th Cy Young. Barry Zito eclipsed Pedro this year with a great season for the Oakland A's with a 23-5 and a 2.75 ERA. The voting was close with 114 points for Zito and 96 vote points for Pedro.
In 2003 for the Red Sox, Pedro did well again and the Sox nearly made it into the World Series only to lose 4 games to 3 in Game 7 of the ALCS to the New York Yankees. During the regular season, Pedro had a 14-4 record and finished up with 2.22. The Boston Red Sox rivalry with the Yankees was in full swing then as it is now for the Red Sox, but this year a nasty incident took place in which Pedro and a coach for the Yankees got into a heated discussion which ended with the younger Pedro throwing long time Don Zimmer, a 72 year old Yankee coach, onto the turf like a ragdoll. Below is a Youtube video of the incident set to music. This was a blemish that Pedro never really even got punished for, and in some circles people were amazed there was no penalty for Pedro, even the mayor of New York commented that he should have been charged with assault for the incident.
I think most of us are familiar with Pedro's Mets years, so for now this is where this blog post will end. Pedro's a Phillie now, and for now he's in the starting rotation bringing those pitches some of us older baseball fans remember from his early days in the MLB, no doubt he will probably be booed by the New York Mets fans, but why? I think they should appreciate what he was able to give them while he was there. He signed a $57 million dollar contract for 4 seasons with the Mets and over that time he earned a total of 32 wins, due to injury and a decline in his pitching abillity. I think he still has a couple of years in him for bullpen work if he chooses and stays healthy enough. For the Phillies he has pitched only a combined 8 innings in two starts so far, he has given up 9 hits and 4 runs in those 8 innings and has earned 1 win, which was the first start with the Phillies when the Phils came out and beat up on the Cubs. He has 8 strikeouts and only 1 walk with a 4.50 ERA as he enters the start with his old club on Sunday in NY at Citi Field.