Pedro on PED users in Hall: ‘I hope they all make it'

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COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. -- When Pedro Martinez is inducted into the Hall of Fame Sunday, he will become just the second player born in the Dominican Republic -- and the first in 32 years, following his hero, Juan Marichal.

Martinez believes some other fellow countrymen will soon join him here -- but others, he fears, might not gain election because of their association with performance enhancing drugs (PEDs).

"What we got is what we deserve,'' said Martinez of the paucity of Dominicans in the Hall. "There's no crying in baseball, we always say, right? We did not have the numbers, we did not have the kind of things that made us qualified to have another one. Juan Marichal was the Dominican Dandy, the one represented the Dominican Republic for a long time. Now, after 32 years, I showed up in the area. Now, I don't think we're going to wait another
32 years to get another representative.''

Martinez believes onetime Montral teammate Vladimir Guerrero will gain induction, followed by others.

"Guys that are still playing, still posting numbers, are going to be in the Hall of Fame,'' said Martinez, "especially on the first ballot. Guys that, if they decided to retire today, they would be Hall of Famers, for sure. No, I'm not talking about A-Rod. I'm talking about Albert Pujols, David Ortiz, Adrian Beltre. I think those are guys who will make it right away, on the first ballot.''

Pressed on exclusing Rodriguez, Martinez said: "I'm not going to go into that because there's nothing I can do about how voters handle who did what. Certainly, the numbers are there but as you know from previous cases [that hasn't been enough]. Why not Roger Clemens? Why not Barry Bonds? Because of the same reason. So I'm not going to get into that.''

But while Martinez expressed doubt that those tainted by PEDs would gain entrance, he seemed to be in favor of amnesty for those players and would welcome them in Cooperstown.

"I hope they all make it, to be honest,'' he said, "When I pitched, it was the middle of that era, the "juiced'' era. Well, guess what? I wanted the best out there. I wanted to face the best, I wanted to beat the best. I was able to do that. So if you ask me again, 'Do I want to face that competition?' Yes, I do. If I'm going to given the 99 mph [fastball] and the changeup and the curveball, bring it on again. I don't care.

"I just hope that whoever gets a chance to make it here, makes it. It doesn't matter. I'm not condoning people cheatin the game or doing the wrong things because I never did it. But enough of the whining. Let's just play ball and face it. Once again, I'm going to repeat it: I"m not condoning bad things in the game. But at the same time, let's go and compete. Let it be.''

 

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