The Pedro Experience

My weekly post will still be coming out on Tuesday, but I thought a few of you might want to read a first hand account on Pedro, so here it is.

As a 23 year old pitcher with 1 year of professional baseball experience under my belt, I had no idea what to expect when one of the greatest living pitchers came to pitch for us.  I got to the field early, in hopes to meet him and hopefully sign a ball for me.  When I got to the clubhouse, 3 hours before game time, he was sitting by himself with heat on his back.  His locker was set aside from all of ours so there would be ample room for the media.  After 10 minutes of motivating myself I finally mustered up enough courage to talk to him.  I introduced myself, shook his hand, and started the conversation by asking him what a coincidence it was for his first outing as a Phillie to come against the New York Mets high A affiliate.  His response was, “It is not a coincidence my friend, it is destiny.”  After some more small talk I decided that I should give him some space to get mentally focused.  I left the conversation thinking about how down to earth, easy going, and friendly Pedro was.

The start time of the game was delayed from 4 to 430.  Pedro went to start warming up shortly after 4pm.  As I walked out to the field, I saw a swarm of media and fans.  We normally get about a thousand fans per game, but today we had much more than that.  I stood 5 feet from him as he warmed up and I was very impressed with how he used his legs and was able to get great extension for such a small pitcher.  It was also good to see how he was able to ignore the screaming fans, as he remained focused on the task at hand.  Hundreds of people were asking him for autographs, or proclaiming their love for him in some fashion or another.  But the funniest comment came from a Met fan in the stands who yelled, “Pedro, you should still be a Met! I love you! Minaya is an idiot!”

Mechanically speaking, he looks the same as I remembered him until after his release point.  I was used to the huge torque and leg swing finish, but today Pedro seemed much more in control and finished his motion in a good fielding position.  I do not know if this is something he has been working on or not, I just know it looked different from what I had remembered.

He only pitched 1.1 innings, but anyone that was there could tell he had good command of all of his pitches, and his changeup is still one of the best in the game.  The radar gun reports had him from 87-91, but it is important to note that it was raining, which might cause a slight drop in velocity.  He was able to keep hitters off balance with his mix of pitches as no one made solid contact.

After the game was canceled he went into the cage to throw the rest of his 80 pitches.  I did not see those pitches because I was too busy eating the great post game spread he had purchased for us.  After he was finished in the cages he stuck around to sign autographs for anyone that asked.  Pedro is truly a stand up guy, and I know I speak for the whole team when I say it was an honor to be able to share the field with him.

35 thoughts on “The Pedro Experience

  1. Thanks for the report. With the kind of luck the Mets have been having I think we can expect come back player of the year from him, haha.

  2. Very interesting piece and I commend you for it. You have developed your own fan base on the strength of your writing here. I think I speak for a lot of us in staying that we hope that you make it to”the show” and that you keep posting.

    It is interesting from a fan standpoint to see the trepidation you felt in approaching your teammate for the day. I realize that pitchers on their start day have their own way of preparing which you have to respect. I think there would be enormous temptation to hav some conversation with him because he is known for being talkative and you might easily pick up a pointer or two you could use in your own career.

    Anywasy, keep up the post and good luck in the season.

  3. Schwim…what great insight…you have been an invaluable addition to this site..thanks again

  4. Great article. Thanks for the insight. It’s funny because I, like many people I know, always had this view of Pedro as being unlikeable and a problem in the clubhouse, but everything we keep hearing is positive. It’s nice to know that I was wrong.

  5. Thanks
    Like the new mlb tv, you are helping us look at players as human beings and that is a gift we appreciate.

  6. Wow, this post was a nice surprise. Really glad to hear that it was a good experience. Pretty encouraging to have gun readings from 87 to 91 in the rain. You can have a lot of success in the majors if you can locate and throw a HOF change-up with those speeds.

    So, did you get an autographed ball?

  7. you’re the man, mike. i look forward to your updates every week, and this was a really pleasant surprise

  8. This is fantastic stuff. If Pedro is in the high 80s to low 90s everyone around the league should watch out – he’s an absolute maestro with the baseball. He’s not to be underestimated or taken lightly.

  9. you have a gift schwim. when your great baseball career ends (hopefully with a ceremony in cooperstown), you have a future as a sports writer. you have a knack of highlighting important issues in a way that is interesting to fans as well. seems simple, but few pro athletes can do that.

    as to your post, my reaction is that the pedro signing was actually a brilliant move by ruben. he really gives us flexibility to trade happ and back fill him. we actually have a lot of depth of #4 & #5 starters right now.

  10. PP Fan:

    Agreed. The signing was brilliant. Ruben has impressed me this year, although now he’s really being put to the test.

  11. Michael – it sounds like you are getting some more company soon. Romero, Durbin and Condrey are going to be coming by.

  12. the spread was catered by smokey bones. All the ribs, chicken, pulled pork you wanted plus sides of corn, mashed potatoes, and salad

  13. And don’t forget Brett Myers. The Threshers should be leading the FSL in post game spreads!
    Seriously, I love the tradition of rehabbing major leaguers recognizing the struggles you guys go through and contributing to the enjoyment of the pro baseball experience. It doesn’t always last.

  14. Thank you Michael—-

    Sounds like Pedro will be a great teammate in Philadelphia.
    Do you play golf Michael?

  15. thanks for the post Micheal I wish you good luck in the future and hopefully if everything works out you may be our future setup man/closer

  16. Great report. “It is not coincidence my friend, it is destiny.”

    Sounds like Pedro just might be back in Zorro mode!

  17. Great stuff Schwim,it sounds like you are fan of pitching mechanics,@ 6’8” i am sure it can get tough!

  18. mschwimer Says
    the spread was catered by smokey bones. All the ribs, chicken, pulled pork you wanted plus sides of corn, mashed potatoes, and salad

    Damn another reason i want to be the first 66 year old pro
    baseball player.

    I am thinking they will readjust the minors after the trade deadline. If you are unpacked,pack.

  19. Thanks for your posts. I admit I have never looked at Pedro favorably, but after reading your column, maybe I need to reevaluate that.

  20. 2 IP, 2 Ks for the save tonight, great job Mike! We might need you in the bigs soon if everyone keeps dropping like flies!

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