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Pedro reflects on Jeter, MVP voting in Cooperstown

MLB.com

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. -- Whatever motivates Pedro Martinez often prompts wonder. Martinez said Saturday he believes Derek Jeter could play another season after this one and probably improve his performance.

"It's hard to miss a season and come back, I know," Martinez said. But Derek Jeter can do many things well. He and Mariano [Rivera] are like lions."

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. -- Whatever motivates Pedro Martinez often prompts wonder. Martinez said Saturday he believes Derek Jeter could play another season after this one and probably improve his performance.

"It's hard to miss a season and come back, I know," Martinez said. But Derek Jeter can do many things well. He and Mariano [Rivera] are like lions."

Martinez is eligible for Hall of Fame election for the first time this year. Given his extraordinary body of work, his election seems likely.

He says, though, "I was sure I was the [American League] MVP in 1999. But two writers didn't vote for me at all."

Martinez was first on eight of the 28 ballots cast for the '99 Award. MVP Ivan Rodriguez was first on seven, and four other players received first-place votes. Martinez finished 13 points behind Rodriguez. Had he been fourth on the two ballots from which he was omitted and not affected Rodriguez's point total, he would have won by one point.

Paul Casella is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @paul_casella. Marty Noble is a columnist for MLB.com.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.