Friday, January 01, 2010

He is so money '09 - part three of five

Everyone has them. Well, every male 18-79 has them. Those athletes that have won them a considerable amount of money, and thus become the object of same male 18-79’s affection. Forever, often. They can change sporting franchise, they can change country, they can change their name, doesn’t matter, the besotted male is going to always have a place for them in their heart. You know the guys we’re talking about here. You know the situation too. You had a stack of cash on a team, but the opposition is battering the goodness gracious out of your team and it is looking grim. Suddenly out of nowhere, your guy steps in, and quite literally single handedly saves the day.

Of course it isn’t always disaster recovery.

Sometimes it is just out and out domination. Maybe your guy dropped 48 on someone in the NBA. Maybe they scored twice in the World Cup Final. Maybe they struck out 17 in Yankees Stadium. Add it all up and the answer is always the same, you benefited financially from said performance, and like an elephant, you will never forget.

Let’s meet my guys.

He is so money - part three of five
Pedro Martinez

Pedro is so many things to so many Red Sox fans. World Series champion, Cy Young winner, a wonderful pitcher with a real 'free spirit' mentality that was always entertaining. On top of all that, he won me a stack of green from 1999-2004.

Two particular occasions jump to mind.

Baseball betting was relatively new to Irish/UK bookmakers in '99. Betting in running was an almost entirely new concept. Bear in mind, the Internet, as we know it, was about five years old at that stage. Everything was brand new.

I was in Boston for the summer of '99 and before heading home to Ireland I wanted to catch Pedro pitch one more time. I travelled to New York to catch him at Yankee stadium September 12th, a Friday night. Pedro looked sharp in the bullpen. His changeup was taking those odd little twists and turns that mystified batters, his fastball had a good snap to it. It looked like one of those nights where anything was possible.In the second inning Chilli Davies hit a home run, a solo shot, and the New York crowd acted as if it had just won the World Series. Why so? They knew one run in this game, against that pitcher, was huge.

Pedro seemed to take real umbrage at the home-run, and settled into a sensational groove. I checked the price on the game in running on my phone, Boston were now 4-1 to win (you simply would not get those odds today as bookies have tightened up operations, now you would be lucky to get even money in a situation like that).

I assume the thinking was, the game was in New York, the Yankees had taken the lead, Boston were going to fold. The bookies hadn't taken into account the Pedro factor. I dumped my account on the 4-1 and hoped for a comeback. Meanwhile, Pedro went loco. On that night in Yankee stadium Martinez struck out an incredible seventeen Yankee batters, absolutely abusing them. They weren't mere strikeouts, they were assault and battery cases, ever single one of them. The Yankee batters, many of whom will go to the hall of fame, were swinging and missing like ten year old kids facing a major league pitcher.

Boston scratched a few runs and the night, the game, the bet, was mine.

As I left Yankee stadium back towards my hotel, I felt like the king of Manhattan, the city felt like it was mine that evening in question.

There were countless other bets that Pedro delivered on for me down the years, a fifteen K night in Seattle, one in Atlanta, he has even come up big a few times for me in his time with the Mets. However, no one start/event could match the 2004 ALCS and World Series outings Pedro turned in. With Boston 3-0, 3-1 and 3-2 down I kept topping up my Red Sox ALCS bets, the poor bookie didn't know what had hit them by the time Boston finished the greatest comeback in baseball history. Pedro was a huge part of that, delivering in a majestic start in the ALCS, and of course again in the World Series.

One thing always stuck in my mind. With Boston 3-0 down in the ALCS I did manage to get a few euros on them at 50-1 with one bookmaker, Boston to win the World Series. For a few hours Paddy Power were offering a sensational 200-1 on the same bet. Like many, they thought Boston had a snowball's chance in hell. Interestingly that came down to 100-1 before game four so somebody had to have hit it. I had no money in my Paddy Power account at the time so I couldn't avail of the bargain of the century, I can only hope somebody did.

200-1. What a price. And Pedro delivered.

He is so money.



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Irish National baseball team

Irish National baseball team
Team Ireland at the European Championships, Croatia, 2000.

A nice little mention for this blog on Fox Sports

A nice little mention for this blog on Fox Sports

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