NEW YORK—In an interview following his 200th career win Monday night, Mets pitcher Pedro Martinez said he never could have reached this milestone without the aid of his lucky midget, the Egyptian sun god Ra, and every person and thing who helped him along the way, including an enchanted necklace, former British prime minister Arthur Neville Chamberlain, and a talking whale who lives off the coast of his native Dominican Republic that only he can communicate with.
"To make it this far in this sport, it takes a whole lot of luck, and this has been provided to me by my lucky midget," Martinez said, referring to either two-foot-tall dwarf Nelson de la Rosa, who accompanied him during the Red Sox's historic World Series run in 2004, or one of the 12 other midgets whom Martinez has used as a mascot at various points during his 15-year career.
"Over the years, I've learned the secret to longevity in this game: Whenever your mechanics aren't working or your shoulder starts tightening up during starts, it's time to get a new lucky midget," said Martinez, whose midget friends have each "disappeared" following their dismissal, although Martinez's critics note that the drained corpses of midgets identified as his former good-luck charms have been found on ancient Egyptian holy sites at times coinciding with the start of spring training or immediately following prolonged slumps. "You can't rely on the same old midget for your whole career."
Martinez, who has compiled the highest winning percentage of any pitcher with at least 200 wins, claims that the main influence on his pitching style—and the most important presence in his life—is Ra, the Egyptian sun god of Heliopolis.
"Ra is always looking down on me, beaming with pride, and making me a much better pitcher—especially in day games when he casts a shadow between the mound and home plate," Martinez said. "When I point my fingers up and look skyward after a big out, I am thanking Ra for his help. Oh, and sometimes I'm asking the countenance of Juan Marichal that appears to me in the north sky what pitch I should start the next batter off with. He speaks to me through the stars."
"This is much more specific and tactical in nature than the lucky help provided by midgets," Martinez explained.
According to Martinez, the game of baseball is 90 percent mental, so even if a pitcher "summons the physical energy running through all the ley lines of the Earth," he still has to be able to outsmart hitters using good old-fashioned necromantic mind-reading.
"Sometimes, when I'm looking for that last bit of strength to strike a batter out late in the game, I'll turn to my secret weapon: a magical necklace," Martinez said, referring to a string of glowing colored beads given to him during his rookie season by someone Martinez would only describe as "a mysterious stranger who I met in the Caverns of Sorrow during a dark time in my life." "Also, when I'm in a tight, pressure-packed situation, my invincibility goggles give me the supreme, unwavering confidence I need to get out of the inning."
"And I must add that what really pumps me up is knowing that all my fans in my home planet are cheering their loudest for me," added Martinez, who is able to hear the cheers of the angelic Chiroptera of Martinez-Prime through an omniwave radio receiver installed in the metal spikes of his cleats.
Martinez, whose career ERA stands at 2.72, credits a portion of his success to his "quirky pregame rituals," which include wrapping his right arm in a poultice of live caterpillars, bathing in a tub of ice-cold buttermilk, and hoisting a midget over his head while standing in the first row of Shea Stadium's upper deck and reciting incantations from The Ancient And Accepted Scottish Rite Of Freemasonry.
"I'm very superstitious—unless all my sasquatch-tallow candles are lit in the correct order by the trained familiar-monkeys only I can see, I'm not going to be comfortable on the mound," Martinez said.
Among other reasons that Martinez believes he's been able to maintain such a consistent level of success during his career are the beneficent gaze of Azazel, the archangel that Adam has set to watch over Those Who Pitch; hard work and proper nutrition on the part of his midget; and the inspiration of growing up watching and reading about "all the greats," including I.M. Pei, Nikola Tesla, and the ancient race of star-pilots who guide the Earth in its cosmic course from their seats deep within the planet's core.
Martinez made sure to thank his fans and midgets profusely, and added that his quest for 300 career wins will be made easier by the fact that he daily places his faith and trust in his personal savior, Jesus Christ.