Down On Pedro

So there’s supposedly a video of Pedro Martinez and Juan Marichal involved in a cockfight in the Dominican Republic. I haven’t seen it, and don’t want to. I’ve been struggling with the issue all day, because on the one hand I’ve truly enjoyed rooting for Pedro since he became a Met but I also hold animal rights in high regard. Anyone who has visited this site for a while probably knows how I feel about animals.

And while I don’t want to make MetsToday a platform for animal rights — that’s not what the site is about — at the same time it’s impossible for me to address the issue. So I’ll simply go on record here and say I’m EXTREMELY disappointed in Pedro’s participation in a cockfight. While I understand that cockfighting is part of Dominican culture, that doesn’t make it right. The way I see it, animals don’t have a choice — unlike human boxers, who have the free will to decide whether or not to go into a ring and beat each others’ brains out. As human beings, with the ability to reason and no inherent need to force animals to kill each other, I see no logical reason to put roosters in a ring together. It serves no purpose other than to satisfy sick, selfish desires to witness violence and/or feel the thrill of winning dirty money.

If you see no problem with it, that’s your issue and I don’t want to hear about it — I find it abhorrently offensive, inhumane, and completely against our purpose as human beings on this planet. It’s bad enough that we’re so stupid as to kill each other with bullets and bombs — but to force animals into the same sick arena for temporary thrills is inexcusable. And yes I understand Darwin’s theory that the “only the strongest survive” and I do know that animals kill each other in nature. But there’s nothing “natural” about pitting two animals against each other in a ring while wild-eyed idiots scream at the top of their lungs, throw down filthy bills and drench their libidos with cheap whiskey.

As a result, it’s going to be hard for me to root for Pedro as passionately as I did in the past. While it’s true no one’s perfect, and certainly there are plenty of players who have committed violent crimes of equal or worse proportions (Elijah Dukes, Julio Lugo, Delmon Young, Brett Myers, etc.), it’s extremely bothersome to find out that one of “our own” is guilty of such misgivings. I’d be less disappointed if Pedro were included in the Mitchell Report, because at least he was doing something to himself, rather than being part of hurting someone else.

I’ve said my peace, and put my opinion “on record”. That’s all I wanted to do — bring some seriousness to an issue that too many people dismiss as irrelevant. My hope is that Pedro and/or the Mets understand that some of us find this kind of behavior unacceptable, and help spread the message that inflicting pain on other, vulnerable creatures is NOT cool. Such actions do nothing other than show how dispassionate, selfish, and ugly the human race can be.

Pitchers and catchers report in less than a week …

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. whatdatmean February 8, 2008 at 9:29 am
    I totally agree that any kind of animal cruelty is disgusting and virtually inexcusable.
    before we come down too hard on this, there is something important to remember.
    In the DR, not only is cockfighting legal, but it is a very common practice. It is a part of their culture. This is not something to understand as Americans, but it is the reality of the situation.
    as disagreeable as it is…it is what they do in their home country, where it is a competitive, legal, event.
    PETA, and people, do need to turn their back to this event. It is over our heads. It is repulsive to us, but to them, its second nature. Pedro might play ball in the us, but when he’s in the DR, he will do DR things.
    Its a way of life there.
    There are really no issues to take up here bc what he did was totally legal, and part of his culture. We must respect everyone’s opinions, as well as everyone’s culture.
    However, the argument can be made, that when your a role model, you shouldnt do things of this nature…agreeable, but again. For kids in the DR, they will participate in cockfighting, bc it is a part of their culture.
    He has not deviated from any social circles.
    Again, i dont condone animal cruelty, but i do feel that we have to understand and respect other cultures.
  2. joe February 8, 2008 at 10:21 am
    I do understand that cockfighting is part of the culture in DR. However, I also understand that war, killing and violence are part of the culture in some areas of the Middle East and I’m against that too. Few people here in the US respect or accept the idea of a jihad, and I doubt anyone respects Palestinians who kill Israelites (and vice versa). Doesn’t matter to me where a person comes from — evil is evil.

    Don’t want to make this a political blog, though, and I’m not going to denounce anyone who disagrees with me. I’m just airing out something I feel strongly about, stating my opinion, and hoping that a few people stop and think about cruelty for animals for a moment.

  3. Walnutz15 February 8, 2008 at 12:25 pm
    BOOOOOOO Politics!!

    I will respectfully bow out of any further discussion involving Petey’s casual interaction with the world of cock-fighting.

    There are 600 ways to go with this, and none of them will likely be good for baseball-related topics and chatter. I love this board and enjoy coming here to not only post, but listen to everyone else’s views on the Metsies.

    I’ll leave that as my ultimate opinion.