"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

The Beauty Part


They are as different as you can get, but last night Pedro Martinez and Mariano Rivera showed us once again that baseball is more about art than science. Both pitchers are great competitors, great performers–not only craftsmen, but true artists.

We are lucky to watch them work.

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1 lroibal   ~  Oct 30, 2009 10:43 am

Agreed, Pedro's plays the brilliant but arrogant Picasso to Mo's confident steady hand of Valasquez.

2 Paul   ~  Oct 30, 2009 10:44 am

Who's the art equivalent of Burnett though?

3 lroibal   ~  Oct 30, 2009 10:52 am

Last night he was John Singer Sargent, every stroke in the right place and as good as it gets. But from game to game or inning to inning he sometimes looks like Thomas Kinkade.

4 Rich   ~  Oct 30, 2009 10:54 am

AJ doesn't have to be an artist because his stuff is flat out overpowering when he has his command. In contrast, Mo and Pedro now use guile (or as Alex says, artistry) to compensate for diminished stuff.

6 Sliced Bread   ~  Oct 30, 2009 11:37 am

I'll take Mo's quiet, effortless pointillism over Pedro's tortured, cutting off his left ear to spite his talent drama any day. I'm sooo happy I never had to root for the mopey muppet, but could root against him while admiring his skills from afar.

AJ's artist equivalent is Carrot top. They express themselves in different mediums (media?) but are both effectively messy.

7 Alex Belth   ~  Oct 30, 2009 11:38 am

Carrot Top. Jesus that's funny.

8 wcyankee   ~  Oct 30, 2009 11:57 am

The AJ that showed up last night was astonishing. All the while in quiet desperation, I just kept thinking don't screw the pooch AJ. When it never materialized (i.e. the screwing of the pooch) I was amazed at what I had witnessed. I was even impressed with how Pedro was able to still look like Pedro. Slower than before, but just as artful with his delivery (he's still a punk though).

That collective sigh of relief last night (great bantering BTW) also left me feeling that this is likely going to be a knock down, drag out before it's over. Let the baseball gods be kind to us in Philly and bring this baby home.

9 Ben   ~  Oct 30, 2009 12:12 pm

i sing the Song of AJ.

I finally figured out AJ last night, for myself anyway. I just haven't been able to understand that guy. Pedro I get. El duque, Cone... these guys are artists, true pitchers. I'd even put Mussina and Leiter in that category. They think, they tinker, they evolve.

Guys like D. Wells, Pettite, Sabathia... those guys are more throwers to me. They have some strategy, but basically seem to try to keep it simple, keep it moving and deliver. I love to watch both vareities.

AJ.... he's a phenom. It's all about his stuff. It's like he has no ownership of it, it's just his job to try and be a conduit. If he does any thinking, it's just in evaluating what's working that night. Last night he was brilliant, and he did a great job of being the Big Instrument.

10 Sliced Bread   ~  Oct 30, 2009 12:38 pm

[9] good observation, Ben.. it's like he doesn't take ownership of his stuff, just lets it fly. That seems to be the case when he's on, and when he's off it's because his thoughts are getting in the way.

11 The Hawk   ~  Oct 30, 2009 3:09 pm

[9] I posted a similar thing when I had a similar epiphany in the late days of summer. It's when I ceased to be frustrated by Burnett. Although he does still get out of his head when runners are on base, and that he should be able to control.

It was crazy how the ball was spinning so hard, every once in a while it would spin out of Molina's glove after he caught it.

Btw why do I keep hearing about the blown call that cost the Phillies and not the equally damaging one against the Yankees? Also they were both really close calls and effectively canceled each other out and I don't want to hear about them in general.

Pedro is terrific. He deserved an ovation when he left for all the great battles over the years. Though who knows we may see him again (?)

12 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Oct 30, 2009 7:53 pm

[10] AJ's curve ball..imagine if he could have controlled it better all these years! He so effortlessly throws 95, he would have been a multiple Cy winner..(wonder if Joba is paying attention???)

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver