Pedro won't pitch, won't retire

The Phillies suddenly are desperate for a starting pitcher, but they can't have this one:

Pedro Martinez has decided he will not pitch this season but he has not closed the door to pitching again in 2011, said a source close to Martinez today.

Several teams expressed interest in making Martinez a second-half addition to their rotation but as of today, those teams have all been told that Martinez will remain on the sidelines.

Martinez, who will turn 39 in October, decided that he was enjoying the time off with his family this summer too much to embark on a comeback for the second season in a row, according to the source.


Martinez is “wide open’’ to pitching next season, said the source.

Yeah, whatever. I'll believe it when he actually pitches. And I'm reminded of Jim Palmer, who retired in 1984 when he was 38 ... and tried to come back in 1991, when he was 45. That didn't work out so well.*

* The best thing about Palmer's comeback attempt was this story ... According to Richard Hoffer in Sports Illustrated, Palmer began his comeback with some workouts at the University of Miami. A young Hurricanes baseball coach, who supposedly didn't recognize Palmer, said, "You'll never get into the Hall of Fame with those mechanics." To which Palmer responded, "I'm already in the Hall of Fame." True enough, but Palmer pitched two innings in spring training and retired (for good this time).

By the way, Pedro's agent has confirmed this story. I don't begrudge Pedro his retirement, let alone his time with the family. But this is the last time he gets to tease us like this. Or me, anyway. You'll not see his name again in this space unless a) it's in a historical context, or b) he's signed a professional contract and promises to pitch.