Pedro Martinez was generously listed at 5-foot-11 and 170 pounds while he authored one of the greatest pitching careers in baseball history. His greatest physical attribute was his brain, which is capable of operating on a different plane of existence. Since retiring he's provided his unique brand of baseball insight on television, primarily for the MLB Network. And to the surprise of absolutely no one, he's routinely fantastic.
It feels like not a night goes by without Martinez revealing a new nugget of information showing just how much was going on in that mind of his during his dominance. Back in 2015 he explained how watching how a hitter waggled his bat pre-pitched helped determine location. His colleague Greg Amsinger called it the best segment ever done on MLB Tonight. Martinez once told me that he'd watch opponents take batting practice in Boston to see which hitters enjoyed aiming at the Green Monster so he could bait them into trying to pull balls during games.
His latest revelation came last night during MLB Network Showcase, where he explained how he used to change grip mid-pitch so runners on second base couldn't tip off their teammates.
CC Sabathia, among others, couldn't believe it. Because after all, who does that? Especially going from a fastball hold to a freaking circle change alignment. If you have a baseball handy, try to do that smoothly with one hand. Then try to do it while going through the other complicated mechanics of a delivery. It's an incredible flex from Pedro.
Perhaps the best part about these tidbits is the matter-of-fact way Martinez tends to deliver them. Almost as if he's completely unaware how much of a unicorn he was as a player. May they continue in perpetuity.