Martinez arrives early for Mets spring training

Updated: February 8, 2005, 8:57 PM ET
Associated Press

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Pedro Martinez started his first season with the New York Mets earlier than expected.

Pedro Martinez
Starting Pitcher
New York Mets
33 16 9 0 227 3.90

Martinez surprised the team Tuesday by showing up early for spring training, 10 days before the first scheduled workout for pitchers, catchers and players coming off injuries. He had said he would arrive on the voluntary reporting date (Feb. 17), but later decided to make the short trip from his home in Miami.

"I'm just here to work out," Martinez said. "I need to continue working just like I was doing in the Dominican. And there's no better place to do it since I live so close."

The 33-year-old Martinez lifted weights and played long toss, and plans to throw off a mound on Wednesday.

The former Red Sox ace signed a $53 million, four-year contract with New York in December and wanted to set an example for his new teammates. This offseason, Mets general manager Omar Minaya also added free-agent center fielder Carlos Beltran and first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz, Martinez's former teammate in Boston.

"The new Mets are going to [have] a new attitude," Martinez said. "It's going to be a team that went from last place in other years to being a team that's really going to compete and be in the middle of the race."

Martinez spent seven seasons with Boston and helped the Red Sox win their first World Series title in 86 years last season. The three-time Cy Young Award winner is 182-76 with a 2.71 ERA in 13 seasons with Los Angeles, Montreal and Boston.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press