It wasn’t a shot at the Mets as much as it was an assessment as to how things really are between the Mets and Yankees in New York.
Pedro Martinez pitching for the Mets was a big deal, but him starting against the Yankees while with the Red Sox was an event.
“Coming over to the Mets really got me to understand the New York fans and fan base,’’ Martinez said. “I would say Queens is a little bit different than the Yankees fans. In Queens, they’re wild, they’re happy. They settle for what they have. The Yankees fans do not. It’s `Win or nothing. Win or nothing.’ ’’
He’s right. There’s a sense of entitlement from Yankees fans. Mets fans take was ownership gives them.
Martinez won 15 games his first season with the Mets in 2005, but injuries sapped his following years with New York. In 2009 he pitched against the Yankees in the World Series while with Philadelphia.
“I learned a lot while coming over to New York as a visitor with the Red Sox and also coming later on and dressing in the uniform of the Mets,’’ said Martinez. “Yankees fans were really good at trying to intimate you as a Red Sock when you came over.
“As the opposition, they wanted to intimidate you. But deep in their heart, they appreciate baseball. They appreciate everything that you do. They recognize greatness.
“And they’re gonna boo you and they’re gonna call you, ‘Who’s your daddy?’ They’re going to chant until you just go away.’’
The operative word in all that is “settle,’’ and he’s right. For the longest time Mets fans were forced to settle, to accept what ownership and management gave them.
And, it hasn’t always been good.