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New York Mets History

Mets: Five of the worst memories during the Wilpon era

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 28: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) New York Mets COO Jeff Wilpon (L) and majority owner Fred Wilpon during batting practice before a game against the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field on Friday, June 28, 2019 in the Queens borough of New York City. The Braves defeated the Mets 6-2. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 28: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) New York Mets COO Jeff Wilpon (L) and majority owner Fred Wilpon during batting practice before a game against the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field on Friday, June 28, 2019 in the Queens borough of New York City. The Braves defeated the Mets 6-2. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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WASHINGTON – APRIL 12: Pedro Martinez #45 of the New York Mets pitches against the Washington Nationals on April 12, 2006 at RFK Stadium in Washington, DC. The Mets defeated the Nationals 3-1. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images) /

Pedro forced to pitch a meaningless game

Heading into the 2005 season the Mets signed future Hall-of-Famer Pedro Martinez to a four-year contract. Martinez was set to get shut down during the season due to a toe injury according to Martinez in a book about the pitcher titled “Pedro.”

Martinez states in his book that after the alleged injury Jeff Wilpon forced him to pitch in a game against the then Florida Marlins. It was said because the matchup was set to be Pedro Martinez against Dontrelle Willis. At the time Willis was one of the most exciting young players in the game and in 2005 had arguably the best season of his career.

Jeff Wilpon wanted him to pitch because he knew it would be a ticket seller in a September game when the Mets knew they were not going to make the postseason that year. According to Martinez, he mentions that Jeff Wilpon told him in a conversation about the start:
“While I’m the boss here, you’re going to have to do what I say.”

This hurt the future of Pedro and the Mets since it shortened his recovery time for the 2006 season and led to another injury that kept Martinez out of the 2006 postseason when they Mets fell short to the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games of the NLCS.

Pedro Martinez was angry about the situation but he doesn’t hold Jeff Wilpon accountable for the future injury when asked in an interview with the Times:
“When you’re going to get hurt, you’re going to get hurt. I don’t have anybody to blame but probably myself for not listening to my body. I think I was brave to pitch games, but I think I took it to extremes that day.”

This kind of sums up the Wilpons and how they were all about selling tickets just to get an increase in sales for them rather than the health of their ace. All Mets fans know they were definitely missing Pero Martinez in that 2006 postseason.

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