Before Pedro Martinez was the eight-time All-Star, three-time Cy Young Award winner, and World Series champion, before stadiums full of fans chanted his name, he was just a little kid from the Dominican Republic who sat under a mango tree and dreamed of playing pro ball. Now, in Pedro, the charismatic and always colorful pitcher opens up for the first time to tell his remarkable story.
In Pedro we relive it all in Technicolor brightness, from his hardscrabble days in the minor leagues clawing for respect to his early days in lonely Montreal, where he first struggled with the reputation of being a headhunter, to his legendary run with the Red Sox when start after start he dazzled with his pitching genius to his twilight years on the mound as he put the finishing touches on a body of work that made him an icon.
©2015 Pedro Martinez (P)2015 Tantor
Entertaining, refreshing, candid
I read Francona, written by the former Red Sox and current Cleveland Indians manager and by Dan Shaughnessy. Francona Shaughnessy offered a very entertaining, well-written and insightful look at eight years of recent Red Sox history. The narration was superb. Pedro Martinez and Michael Silverman write an excellent book together, a book that is full of drama, excitement, silliness, and terrific anecdotes. Again, however, the narration is problematic.
Were I to choose a narrator for Pedro, I might have check into the availability of Bob Ryan, whose narration of his own book Scribe was superb. I am certain that Paul Michael Garcia is a good narrator in general. The problem here is that he appears to be out of his element. He does not appear to know baseball and often makes errors and how he reads scores, statistics, and the like.
The book made me laugh. It conveyed very well the combination of personality characteristics found in the Hall of Fame pitcher. His humor, his sensitivity, his ego (understandably somewhat inflated), and especially his love for the game come across very well in this book.
While I know this is unlikely to happen, I would beg for publishers and Audible to invest in a new narration of this book. My apologies to Michael Paul Garcia.
Pedro is a one of a kind. I enjoyed learning about his background and his accounts of his travels from his first signing to the HOF. On one hand I don't understand how he can hold certain grudges for decades, but at least he admits to having them. On the down side, the narrator seems to know nothing about the game given how he pronounces certain things (such as won-loss records), and he repeatedly calls former Red Sox catcher Scott Hatteberg as if his name was Hattenberg. But all in all, it is an audiobook worth listening for fans.
I liked the first half of Pedro Martinez's memoir. I am a baseball fan and a Red Sox fan, so I was predisposed to liking this. The story of his intro to pro ball and breaking into the major leagues was engaging. But once he makes it to stardom, it gets disappointing. So much of it is about Pedro's stats and his frustration of not getting the respect that he feels he deserves. His life is all about proving his greatness to the world. Pedro is a private person, and remains so, even writing his memoir. He is protective of his private life, and there are so few details of his personal life that this feels incomplete. There are also not enough anecdotes of baseball life with other players. It feels like he errs on the side of not offending anyone and respecting their privacy. That makes for a less interesting bio. Finally, the reader is not good. A little more of a Dominican accent would have made him sound more like Pedro. In addition, the reader clearly does not know baseball. He says so many baseball stats incorrectly (like "my record was 4 to 1 that month" instead of "my record was 4 and 1." Audible usually gets amazing readers, but how could they not get a baseball fan to edit this? They dropped the ball on that with this book.
Rye-and-Indian, baked daily.
I have been a Sox fan since 1986, when I was in the third grade. This book and year's HoF class are about all I have to look forward to this year in baseball.
That said: after reading this book, it is EASY to see why so many non-Sox fans hated Pedro. After reading through the Expos, I was starting to join that camp: the arrogance, the hypocrisy ("Why does everyone think I'm a headhunter?", followed by yet another plunking story), the whining ("Why did Barry Zito win the Cy Young?") was tough to swallow.
Getting past that, Pedro was simply FIERCE. Not just a fierce competitor, but fiercely loyal to his teammates (and outside of baseball, his family and country). He wasn't anyone to be f'd with, and he made his messages loud and clearin MLB. Some of his stories are like Schwarzenegger in Terminator 2 after John Conner orders him not to kill anyone (he follows orders by gunning down dozens of cops in the feet, knees and elbows). And every player knew that when they went to the batter's box.
There are some GREAT stories in this book--the Secret Service and the Clintons, Pedro's "Dominican salutes" for his new managers, Manny's mammajuana (aside: when is Manny writing his book? Put me on the preorder list for that one--what a nutjob). I am a true believer when it comes to Pedro being sober during the steroids era (his diminutive frame didn't vary much through his career)--just amazing to think about his ERA+. I don't think Boston sportswriter Chad Finn is exaggerating when he labels the 1999-2000 Pedro as the best pitcher in baseball, ever.
The death of his father was moving. Pedro is a sensitive and sincere guy, and he shares his feelings about his country and his family in this book. His reliance on his older brother Ramon as a mentor shows another side to Pedro as well. Nice touch.
Garcia was an okay narrator. He is a very neutral reader (most likely by design), but it's distracting when he doesn't know baseball slang ("3 to 2" is a score, not a count).
For any baseball fan, this title is a must-read. Go Sox, long live #45.
Say something about yourself!
Not toned down
Pedro because duh
He is decent. He makes the common sports audiobook mistakes but overall he does a good job.
Very close it definitely delivered.
I enjoyed this book because it was not a dull, dry, historical account of Pedro's career. It was told from his perspective and did a good job covering his career. He puts many players and managers on blast and does not shy away from saying what he felt towards them. I did not agree with all of what he said, but I respect he did not take the safe smiley face route either. The beginning is touching hearing about what it was like for him to force the Dodger's baseball people to notice him. I liked hearing about his teen years and how his brother influenced him. If you like baseball books give this one a try.
I would recommend this book anyone to read. Very inspiring story about his family, his humble beginnings and the biases that he dealt with while in baseball. Pedro is and was all heart and passion. Felicidades Pedro a ingresar al Salon de la fama de beisbol.
I love seeing into Pedro's life. He is much more of a deep and compassionate individual than i thought.
Most other modern day baseball biographies.
His voice did not suit this book well. He tried with accents, I would have preferred a hispanic person reading this. He spoke very clearly and at a good pace.
Pedro tells the truth behind many on-field moments in Martinez's career. The honesty makes the story a very interesting read/listen and an opportunity to empathize with the challenges that elite athletes face.
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