08/27/2007 10:45 PM ET
Where will Pedro start next?
One more rehab start likely for Mets ace
By Marc Raimondi / SNY.tv
Mets ace Pedro Martinez could be the best pitcher since Sandy Koufax to pitch in Brooklyn. (AP)

Is it safe to say Mets fans have seen enough of Brian Lawrence? After taking a 9-2 loss at the hands of the Phillies on Monday night in Philadelphia, the Mets have lost four of his five starts. Their only win came in Lawrence's first outing and they had to score 12 runs to earn the victory.

Mike Pelfrey could be doing this. So could Philip Humber. Then again, so could Pedro Martinez. And wouldn't that be a great end-of-the-season story?

Martinez's return was looked at with optimism at first. Until about July, Mets brass was feeding the press and fans lines about his return being definitely in August. That went out the window in short order, but now his return is actually within sight.

With the St. Lucie Mets on Monday night, Martinez had his best rehab start, giving up only one unearned run, five hits and a walk with four strikeouts in six innings against Palm Beach. It's possible -- barring setbacks -- that Pedro will be in Shea after one more Minor League outing.

That outing needs to be in Coney Island.

What better way for the Brooklyn Cyclones to end a first-place season than sending Martinez to the mound to take on the second-place Staten Island Yankees? He might end up being the best player to take the hill in the borough since Sandy Koufax.

Truthfully, the Cyclones don't need the boost in attendance -- they get more than 8,000 per game already, which is tops in the New York-Penn League. But what a cool thing it would be for Brooklyn to see Martinez on the comeback trail. It would be a standing-room only crowd with many Dominican flags flying all over beautiful KeySpan Park.

Paul Lo Duca returned to his birthplace this weekend to play with the Cyclones on a rehab assignment and was greeted with great adulation. Those people down there on the boardwalk are true baseball fans. Baseball is, after all, in Brooklyn's blood.

There were economical studies done a few years ago that found New York City would be able to financially sustain another Major League Baseball team. It probably won't ever happen. The Wilpons and Steinbrenners of the world will see to that. But if it did, Brooklyn would be the obvious choice.

So, why not throw the Brooklynites a bone and give them Pedro Martinez Night at KeySpan? Pedro, himself, would probably love it. He's a student of the game and would probably love to play in the same place, decades later, that Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in. It seems to be a perfect fit.

Then he can take his rightful place at Shea, maybe scraping together a win or two before the playoffs, giving Mets fans a reason to celebrate.

The Cyclones will be headed to the playoffs, too, definitely without Martinez. But the Mets can give them a consolation prize for taking care of their rehabbing ace: Brian Lawrence. He should fit right in.

Marc Raimondi is a regular contributor to SNY.tv.
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