Pedro Martinez officially signed with the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday. If the Mets want to avoid the indignity of watching their former pitcher head to the postseason with their archrivals, they may need to get some outside help of their own. Thankfully, they've gotten just such an offer from a group of men slightly older than the 37-year-old righthander.
The Bristal All-Stars, members of a senior softball team on Long Island, are producing a video of baseball fundamentals that they plan to offer the Mets. Most teams would scoff at such an offer, but the Mets aren't really in a position to do that. When you've lost games because of balks, muffed popups and missed bases, a refresher course on the ABC's of the game might just do the trick to get you back on a winning track.
Joe Friedman, the league's commissioner, told Newsday that they aren't trying to embarrass the Mets, even though he calls himself a Yankees fan. The video, he says, is a good-natured, tongue in cheek offering for a team in need of a helping hand.
"We're not angry with the Mets, but you know everybody could use some help," said Friedman, 73, of Oceanside. "Even we could use some help as seniors and that's the whole purpose."
In addition to hitting the cutoff man and baserunning dos and don'ts, one hopes the video will also give the Mets some other life tips. Gary Sheffield is 40 and might enjoy finding out about some of the better early bird specials in the area, for example, and who wouldn't enjoy a rambling story or two about people who violate the clubhouse rules around Del Boca Vista.
Given their numerous issues with injury, the Mets would also benefit from the life experience of men who have sidestepped all manners of illness and injury to stay on the field long after their hair turned white or disappeared.