NEW YORK -- An upbeat Pedro Martínez plans to rely heavily on former Red Sox medical director Bill Morgan and former Sox physical therapist Chris Correnti as he recovers from rotator cuff surgery last week on his right shoulder. Morgan assisted on that surgery, which was supervised by Mets doctor David Altchek.
``Yeah, yeah, without a doubt," Martínez said when asked if he expected to meet projections that he will be back pitching by midseason next year. ``According to Dr. Altchek and Dr. Morgan, everybody who has seen what I've done so far, I'm supposed to come back even better. That's really optimistic."
Morgan and Correnti were both let go after the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004, but both were instrumental in Martínez's recovery from shoulder problems in 2001, when the decision was made not to have surgery. Instead, Morgan prescribed a program of exercises designed to strengthen the muscles around Martínez's partially torn rotator cuff, and Correnti implemented that program, later praising Martínez for the work he did.
``Chris will be with me," said Martínez, speaking after the Mets' Game 1 win Thursday night. ``I'll keep Dr. Morgan involved, and the medical staff here. It will be good. Any time a problem has come up, I've gotten in touch with Dr. Morgan and Chris.
``Chris understands me. He knows when to give me a day off. He knows how to [monitor] my workload, when to give me more work. Anywhere he goes, he's willing to go with me. He's also my good friend, away from baseball."
Martínez said he was not fearful entering surgery. ``Not knowing what was wrong, that was the scary part," he said.
``When my legs started to fall apart -- with the toe, and the hip, and then the calf -- both legs went. When I came out of the Atlanta game [Sept. 27], I had both calves torn. It was impossible for me to hold onto my shoulder, so my shoulder went, too."
``You get a guy who's a hot competitor. As soon as it's over, he's not happy about losing," La Russa was quoted as saying on ESPN.com before last night's Game 2. ``So he makes a statement. It's not a good statement. Glavine deserves credit. Now it gets blown up like he's some kind of disrespectful pro."
La Russa suggested that Pujols, who in group sessions with the media has been contentious, may stop speaking with reporters altogether. But Pujols, when asked yesterday about his Glavine remark, reportedly said: ``Is that what I said? OK, then. Keep that one."
Pujols, incidentally, was hitless in his last 10 postseason at-bats entering last night.