Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
The Waiting (is the Hardest Part)
2004-12-01 08:24
by Alex Belth

We can only hope that the embers of what has been a tepid Hot Stove League thus far will be stoaked next weekend at the baseball winter meetings. But while things have been slow for our Yankees at least we have The Pinstriped Bible to keep us engaged and entertained. Thank goodness for Steven Goldman.

For now, the big story round these parts is "What will Pedro do?" Bob Hohler suggests that the Sox may be willing to give Martinez a three-year deal, but that is it. And what about the Mets? Wouldn't they have to offer Pedro a significant bump in salary or years in order to snag him? Sure, the National League would be a better place for him, especially a pitcher's park like Shea Stadium. And I can also see how getting away from Curt Schilling may even appeal to him. But if the Mets don't wow Martinez, I still don't see him leaving Boston.

In any case, like it or not, the Hot Stove season is all about the business of baseball. And of course, it hasn't just been a business since 1976 either. In his book, "The Broadcasters," famed announcer Red Barber wrote:

In baseball, there are two times you permit yourself to some show of genuine sentiment: in the fall when you say good-bye, not knowing if you'll meet again the next season; and in the spring when you do meet again. Then, you either wish a man a good winter and health for his family, or else you ask how was the winter and how was his family. The rest of the time is cutthroat. Whoever said baseball was a game never earned his living playing it. [Italics, mine.] Red Ruffing told me once he "Wouldn't give his mother a good pitch to hit," and as he walked away, his catcher Bill Dickey said, "And she better be ready to hit the dirt, too."

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