Friday, December 17, 2010

Joey's Soapbox: A Perpetual Thank You To Pedro Feliciano

Pedro Feliciano, who was the longest tenured Met, is now the shortest tenured Yankee.

I'm Joey Beartran and it is my sad duty to inform you that Pedro Feliciano has signed a two-year, $8 million deal with the Bronx Bummers today. The deal will be finalized once Feliciano passes his physical.

So ends the saga of Perpetual Pedro, the man who I befriended in Port St. Lucie this past winter (see photo above).

Many of you might know Feliciano as the lefty specialist who kept breaking his own franchise record for games pitched year after year. I know him as a gentleman, a man whose kindness to teddy bears was only rivaled by his ferocity towards left-handed hitters.

From the first time I met him at Spring Training in Port St. Lucie, when he held me and told me that I looked like his twin, to the time I saw him giving autographs to his teddy bear fans (see photo below), Perpetual Pedro endeared himself to me as the biggest teddy bear to put on a Mets uniform.

Now he will take his talent and love of bears over to the Bronx, where he will called upon to handle the newest lefties signed by the Boston Red Sox (Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford), as well as the incumbent southpaws (David Ortiz, J.D. Drew, Jacoby Ellsbury).

Perhaps he will continue to pitch in 90+ games as a member of the Yankees. Perhaps age and a stronger league will cause him to lose his edge (which I'm sure Derek Jeter can help him with since he apparently has an Edge) against left-handed batters.

But there is one thing I know for sure. Pedro Feliciano may now be a member of the hated Yankees, but he will always be a Met in my heart.

Competitive on the mound and classy off it, Feliciano will be missed by Mets fans and teddy bears alike.

I tip my floppy hat to Pedro Feliciano, my twin and my friend. Good luck to you from your fellow southpaw. You will always bring cheer to teddy bears and fear to lefty bats.

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