Just in case anybody doubted Pedro Martinez’s reputation as one of baseball’s biggest headhunters, he confirmed as much in his book, “Pedro,” excerpted last week in Sports Illustrated.
In July 2003, Martinez pitched a series finale against the Yankees. He takes it from there:
Two days before my start, Roger Clemens drilled Kevin Millar. I didn’t care whether it was intentional or not. Clemens hit one of my players, so I filed it at the top of my to-do list.
The first batter of the first inning was Alfonso Soriano. I nicked him, but I swear, that one was just up and in. Soriano leaned in and swung right into that ball. The umpire said it was a strikeout.
Derek Jeter was up next, and I sailed one in on his hands and got him good. Both he and Soriano had to leave the game early to have X-rays taken. I told some teammates, “At least I gave them a discount on an ambulance—they both got to go in the same one.” That comment surprised [fellow pitcher] Derrek Lowe. He told me he figured that when I hit batters, it was an accident 90% of the time. He was 100% wrong. When I hit a batter it was 90% intentional.
This is the same guy who once said, “Wake up the Bambino and have me face him. Maybe I’ll drill him in the head.”
Hat tip to thebaseballcodes.com