Did Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon force Pedro Martinez to pitch while injured in a 2005 game because he wanted to sell more tickets?
Martinez makes that claim in his new autobiography, "Pedro," which was released Tuesday.
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Wilpon, in a statement released by the Mets, called the Hall of Famer's claim "false."
"Pedro was always a great competitor and deserving of being in the Hall of Fame," Wilpon said. "This particular excerpt in the book is false, as those kinds of decisions have always been put in the hands of our baseball people."
Martinez claims Wilpon forced him to pitch in a late-season game against Marlins sensation Dontrelle Willis even though Martinez was suffering from a toe injury.
"While I'm the boss here, you're going to have to do what I say," Wilpon told Martinez, according to the book.
"I couldn't help but think about how when I was healthy in 2005, our team wasn't that good," Martinez writes. "But as my health declined, I was urged to pitch a meaningless game at the end of 2005 that wound up shortening my recovery time for 2006 and led me to a hospital where doctors performed a three-hour arthroscopic procedure to repair my shoulder."
Martinez repeated the claim in an interview on WFAN on Monday, adding that Wilpon told him the Mets had sold 49,000 tickets for the game. He also said he had no hard feelings.
Martinez did face Willis on Sept. 22, 2005, at Shea Stadium, in a game won by the Marlins, 2-1. Martinez allowed two runs in five innings. Willis gave up one run in eight innings to win his 22nd game. The attendance was 25,093.