As we deal with our own baseball-related panic — which we'll obviously be getting into later — we turn to Queens, where Mets fans, enjoying their best season in nearly 20 years, have lost their ace for the entire playoffs. Whether Pedro Martinez comes up with a tiny former Brando co-star or not, we're now in John Maine country.
How are Mets blogs holding up?
• Faith And Fear In Flushing: "Summing up Pedro through cold empty stats has always been a fool's errand — if there's ever been a pitcher whose intangibles and unquantifiables must be spoken of, it's him. Which is one of the reasons this isn't another invitation to cannonball into the East River. Lead the Mets? He already has. We'll never know how many tete-a-tetes on the dugout bench helped the rest of the staff, or how many clubhouse or team-bus antics helped the young players realize they belonged. Here's devoutly hoping he'll drag his protective boot to Shea next week and then to St. Louis or Los Angeles or San Diego or Houston and then (we even more devoutly hope) to destinations unknown, so that wise counsel can be given or a joke cracked when it really matters to some member of the 2006 postseason squad. 26th man, sixth starter, second pitching coach — as long as I see him there, I'll feel better about things. He taught a lot of his current teammates the things they needed to learn to come this far. Those lessons won't evaporate along with his roster spot."
• Metstradamus: "Pedro Martinez was signed by the Mets to help get them to the playoffs. Now, everyone else has to get the Mets through the playoffs, as Pedro's left calf (after all the worrying about the right calf) has a torn muscle. So five months after the Mets were looking for a special shoe for Pedro, now they'll need a dolly instead. Make no mistake, this blows."
• Metphistopheles: "A cynical part of me wondered if this was a covert move by the Commissioner's Office to bring parity to the post-season. One pitching arm tied behind our back just to make it fair, as Rush Limbaugh would say. Other than this, Mrs. Martinez, the play is still excellent."
We didn't realize the Mets actually had a losing record in games Pedro started this year, kind of an amazing statistic. We bet they'd still like him around, regardless.