Pedro Martinez is not happy about the way baseball is going

Rob Bradford
June 18, 2018 - 2:09 pm

When Pedro Martinez talks, people listen. That's why what the former Red Sox pitcher had to say on the Ordway, Merloni and Fauria Show Monday afternoon when it came to the state of baseball was so telling.

Martinez, who just pitched in the Red Sox' Alumni Game last month, offered a candid evaluation of the current baseballs used by Major League Baseball, citing a noticeable difference.

"The balls, I did notice…. I was a feel pitcher and I was always messing around with the ball. I do feel the ball is a little bit tighter. The horseshoe on the seams of the ball, it’s a little bit narrower," Martinez said. "I think it’s a little bit more narrow, because I have skinny fingers and it’s almost impossible for me to get a grip on a two-seam fastball and not have either finger touching the seams of the ball, which is something very unusual. Before you were able to get one finger on top of a seam, and still have a little bit of the space to play with. But nowadays it doesn’t seem to have it. All the balls are really tight and different."

But what clearly rankled Martinez was the dynamic between young pitching and the game prioritizing hitting home runs. According to the Hall of Famer, this dynamic is not going to be good for the game.

"You’ll see a lot of guys throwing 100. You will rarely see a guy below 95. They are all probably raw. There’s a lot of raw pitching in the big leagues," he said.

"I pitched in the Steroid Era. There were a lot of homers and a lot of excitement. I think Major League Baseball wants to have the games be exciting for the people, but they need to find a way to also make it competitive. Obviously they are trying to work on things that are going to make the game a little bit quicker and make the game a lot more exciting. I think it’s going to take a lot of arms, because rushing the kids up the kids is going to lead to a lot of injuries. … I don’t know how they are going to do it but it’s becoming really difficult to have balls. A lot of homers. They have the good arms to go and pitch. It’s not going to work, to be honest, because you have a lot of raw, immature pitchers and a lot of homers. It’s a lethal combination. It’s going to get a lot of young players hurt."

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