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PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Pedro Martinez said yesterday he hasn't ruled out pitching for the Dominican Republic in the first round of next month's World Baseball Classic. But the Mets star admitted he doesn't realistically think he has enough time to get ready for the opening round which, for the Dominicans, is scheduled to begin March 7.

 

Martinez has yet to throw off a mound as he tries to overcome the right foot and toe discomfort that has plagued him since the 2004 season. He said he hopes to throw off the "slope of the mound" this weekend.

 

Newsday reported yesterday that Martinez was definitely out of the first round, but the pitcher said that's a little premature.

 

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"What I said was I don't think I have enough time (to get ready for the opening round)," he said. "Write it the right way, so we don't have any misunderstandings. I'm not ruling it out. I don't think I'll have enough time to get in shape to pitch at that level.

 

"When is the first game? The 7th? Look how far we are and I haven't even gotten on the mound. You guys make a judgment from there. I'm not ruling it out."

 

In a conference call with reporters, Gene Orza, the executive director of the Major League Baseball Players' Association, said he thought it was still possible that Martinez would pitch in the tournament at some point.

 

"But I think it's, at best, 50-50 right now," Orza said.

 

Martinez, who referred to himself as "one of the biggest names in my country," said he feels no pressure from the Dominican people to participate in the tournament.

 

"I'd love to be there for my people," he said. "My people know, they understand, that my heart is with my team, with them. They're not going to want me to be hurt and look back (with regret) because where they have me, it's a pretty high standard.

 

"They don't expect me to do anything but what I've done -- compete at the best level, at the top of my ability. If I'm not going to be like that, well, I'm pretty sure they will understand."

 

Kaz Matsui turned a few heads during batting practice when he ripped the first pitch thrown to him by Billy Wagner for a line single to left. The next pitch was an extra-base hit that bounced against the fence in right. Matsui also homered off the Mets new closer during a later round.

 

"It was just the first at-bat of spring training," said the second baseman. "But to be able to hit that well off of a fast pitcher is always encouraging."

 

Wagner said Matsui didn't treat him any worse than most hitters do during spring training.

 

"I'm horrible (in spring training)," he said. "I try to get it all out of the way down here."

Matsui and Bret Boone worked with the infield starters yesterday. But manager Willie Randolph said not to read much into that.

 

"We didn't sit down and pay much attention to who was in what groups," he said. "Obviously, most of the veterans are going to be in one group. That's the way it is in most camps."

 

Mets COO Jeff Wilpon said the team would likely make an announcement about its plans for a new stadium early next month.... Cliff Floyd got to take his first live batting practice of the spring against sidearm lefty Mike Venafro. "It (stunk)," said the left-handed hitting outfielder. "But what the hell? It's good to see what those lefties look like. I (stunk) vs. lefties last year anyway."

 

Wow. :confused:

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PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Pedro Martinez said yesterday he hasn't ruled out pitching for the Dominican Republic in the first round of next month's World Baseball Classic. But the Mets star admitted he doesn't realistically think he has enough time to get ready for the opening round which, for the Dominicans, is scheduled to begin March 7.

 

Martinez has yet to throw off a mound as he tries to overcome the right foot and toe discomfort that has plagued him since the 2004 season. He said he hopes to throw off the "slope of the mound" this weekend.

 

Newsday reported yesterday that Martinez was definitely out of the first round, but the pitcher said that's a little premature.

 

Advertisement

 

 

 

"What I said was I don't think I have enough time (to get ready for the opening round)," he said. "Write it the right way, so we don't have any misunderstandings. I'm not ruling it out. I don't think I'll have enough time to get in shape to pitch at that level.

 

"When is the first game? The 7th? Look how far we are and I haven't even gotten on the mound. You guys make a judgment from there. I'm not ruling it out."

 

In a conference call with reporters, Gene Orza, the executive director of the Major League Baseball Players' Association, said he thought it was still possible that Martinez would pitch in the tournament at some point.

 

"But I think it's, at best, 50-50 right now," Orza said.

 

Martinez, who referred to himself as "one of the biggest names in my country," said he feels no pressure from the Dominican people to participate in the tournament.

 

"I'd love to be there for my people," he said. "My people know, they understand, that my heart is with my team, with them. They're not going to want me to be hurt and look back (with regret) because where they have me, it's a pretty high standard.

 

"They don't expect me to do anything but what I've done -- compete at the best level, at the top of my ability. If I'm not going to be like that, well, I'm pretty sure they will understand."

 

Kaz Matsui turned a few heads during batting practice when he ripped the first pitch thrown to him by Billy Wagner for a line single to left. The next pitch was an extra-base hit that bounced against the fence in right. Matsui also homered off the Mets new closer during a later round.

 

"It was just the first at-bat of spring training," said the second baseman. "But to be able to hit that well off of a fast pitcher is always encouraging."

 

Wagner said Matsui didn't treat him any worse than most hitters do during spring training.

 

"I'm horrible (in spring training)," he said. "I try to get it all out of the way down here."

Matsui and Bret Boone worked with the infield starters yesterday. But manager Willie Randolph said not to read much into that.

 

"We didn't sit down and pay much attention to who was in what groups," he said. "Obviously, most of the veterans are going to be in one group. That's the way it is in most camps."

 

Mets COO Jeff Wilpon said the team would likely make an announcement about its plans for a new stadium early next month.... Cliff Floyd got to take his first live batting practice of the spring against sidearm lefty Mike Venafro. "It (stunk)," said the left-handed hitting outfielder. "But what the hell? It's good to see what those lefties look like. I (stunk) vs. lefties last year anyway."

 

Wow. :confused:

I don't know if I'm happy for Matsui or scared about Wagner's performance

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