I was fortunate enough to be on a conference call with Pedro yesterday morning. He's taking the year off to spend with his family but wants to pitch again next year. I only got two questions in, but here's the transcript anyway -
Q: Would you like to pitch for the Yankees?
I wouldn't put it away. Right now, nobody has really approached me about it. But I'd be proud if I ever did. There's so much tradition there. The Yankees are one of the best organizations. As a kid, I was a big fan of Reggie Jackson, and I always looked forward to watching him play.
Q: Have they ever approached you? If so, what prevented a deal?
Yes. The first time was my fault. I chose another team [the Mets in 2005]. The second time [spring of 2009], one of Brian Cashman's scouts gave him the wrong report. He said I was 84-85, but when I went to Philadelphia, I was 90-94. And there I was being a headache in the World Series. Even though we lost, I was very good for 6 innings.
Q: What would coax you out of retirement?
If I get bored. But I gave my kids a promise and I hope to keep it. I haven't really thought about what it would take.
Q: Do you miss the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry?
That's the toughest part of not playing. Not being there, competing, facing those challenges. I have my hands full with my kids and my charity right now though.
Q: What made the rivalry so intense?
Between players, there's nothing. It's more for the fans. There's more tradition. It was about how Boston wanted to overcome the Yankees. When we did it in '04, we felt unbeatable. We really got confident and knew we could win anything else. The two teams are so good. Two good cities, great fans. We're so close between cities. Makes it more interesting.
Q: Did you think of yourself as a fan when you weren't pitching?
Yes, definitely. I was the biggest cheerleader we had. ‘Everyone get your pom-poms,' I would say.
Q: Who are your World Series picks?
There are so many good teams. Red Sox, Yankees, Tampa Bay, Atlanta. You can't really choose. St Louis is really loaded.
Q: Has the Boston-New York rivalry faded recently because the Rays have jumped into the fray?
Not really. Because every time you play any team you have a rivalry with that team. Tampa Bay is sneaking in by not looking at the other rivalries. They want their own. They're really hungry to win it. Rivalry is competing, and those guys are there to compete.
Q: Are you looking to pitch a half or full season next year?
A full season in 2011.
Q: What teams have shown interest in you?
There are some teams, but I'll keep it to myself.
Q: Do you consider the game where you pitched nine perfect innings but gave up a hit in the tenth to be a perfect game?
Yeah, I do. I went the extra mile.
The following questions were submitted to Pedro's PR consultant -
Q: Would you accept being a reliever next year?
Yes, if the situation was right.
Q: Who's the toughest batter you've ever faced?
Q: Should there be an international draft? Do you like the current system for foreign players?
DID NOT WANT TO GO ON RECORD
[Hmmm... interesting. I would guess he's against it.]