I feel deeply irresponsible for not having responded more promptly to the Pedro Martinez/cockfighting incident. In that I have an excuse, it is because I find the matter utterly trivial, and was unable to resolve the debate about what form my sarcastic response should take. The principle objections to cockfighting, that it is 1) brutal and 2) unkind to chickens, are inarguable, in and of themselves. However, in that we live in a society where people frequently eat chicken McNuggets and frequently watch pro-wrestling or hockey (not to mention financing and implicitly supporting murderous wars, but whatever) without being subject to any form of public condemnation or censure, all objections to cockfighting are pretty much hypocritical and preposterous.
I’d actually like to take the opportunity to put in a plug for Roger Corman’s Cockfighter (1974), starring Warren Oates. Oates plays a man who has vowed not to talk, until he wins the Kentucky Cockfighter of the Year Award, which is actually given out, oh, not necessarily annually, but only when there is a deserving recipient. The brilliant thing about it is that, story-wise, it perfectly mirrors your classic inane sports movie about an introverted athlete who needs to make peace with himself or his love ones, en-route to the success that he craves. Only its about cockfighting. It’s also amusingly permeated with skevy ‘70s sexual mores. Any movie where someone loses their girlfriend to Harry Dean Stanton over a cockfight gets tons of points.
The Clemens Hearing:
Nigel: I haven’t seen anyone in such unabashed self-righteous denial since Nixon.
Sam: yeah, well at least Nixon didn’t try to pin it on his wife.
I recently subscribed to Baseball Prospectus, and found an article about the top performers in the Winter Leagues. The top rated pitcher was Nelson Figueroa, who, while he hasn’t distinguished himself in the majors lately, won championships in Taiwan and Mexico this winter. He is an older player, who works mainly with off-speed stuff: if he fits in, in the majors, it would seem to be as a durable, back of the rotation guy, or a long-man in relief. Apparently he is a non-roster invitee at the Mets camp, although I haven’t been able to find any mention of this on the Mets website.
Further Pedro Speculation:
Part of me thinks that Pedro put the video on YouTube himself, since he was tiered of everyone paying attention to Santana. Either that or he was attempting some sort of reconciliation with Anna Benson.