Pitchers and catchers haven't even begun packing, but the first sensational storyline of spring training is already here. Pedro Martinez: Cock Fighter! (As first reported by Home Run Derby.) PETA officials are sharpening their talons and animal activists are massing at the Florida border as we speak. On Wednesday video surfaced on YouTube of Pedro participating in a cock fight in the Domincan Republic; despite our impassioned warnings. (The video has since been removed). But here's the real bad news for Mets' fans: Pedro's rooster lost to Juan Marichal's rooster.
Martinez and Marichal laugh before releasing the roosters. The two took part as honorary "soltadores," the word used to describe the person who puts the animal to fight. The animal released by Martinez appears to be killed on the video, which was posted Tuesday on YouTube. The fight takes place in the Coliseo de Gallos (Rooster Coliseum) in Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic's biggest cockfighting venue. Cockfighting is legal and popular in the Dominican Republic.
This very well could be a non-story, but as always the court of public opinion will have the final say. And by that I mean there could be some very comical chicken costumes in the stands during Mets away games this season.
We should note: Despite my feeling that people who participate in this "sport" should be dropped from a blimp onto an enormous cactus, it is completely legal in the Dominican Republic. Wait, this post is getting too serious. Um, so, here's this!