|Pedro Martinez on D&C: ‘I’m a Red Sox forever’||02.19.13 at 10:45 am ET|
New Red Sox pitching consultant Pedro Martinez stopped by for a visit with Dennis & Callahan at spring training Tuesday morning in Fort Myers, Fla., and talked about his legacy in Boston and his return to the team.
“I’m a Red Sox forever,” he said. “A Bostonian. Like I say, a Bostonian.”
Martinez said he maintained a relationship with Ben Cherington, and following Cherington’s promotion to general manager last year, they talked about having Martinez return.
“Me and Benny were getting closer when he got the job,” Martinez said. “I told Benny any time he needed my help, I was hoping to help him. We continued to talk. I figured he needed some help. After taking the job and seeing things that were happening on the field and off the field, I figured he could use me and use my experience to kind of help turn things around.”
Martinez implied that his impact on the Sox pitchers will be more mental than physical.
“I hope I can tell them everything I know,” Martinez said. “But I know that not all of them are going to be able to soak in everything I did, the way I did it and how I know it. But at least I can have something positive to add to what they are trying to do. … I don’t have a specific philosophy to tell the guys. The only thing I can tell them is don’t give up. Don’t give up, because you have a chance.
“You know why baseball is so interesting? You never finish learning. And baseball has a way out in every single situation that you can think of. It can be mentally, it could be spiritually, it could be physical — you could think about anything, and there is a way out. That’s the most interesting thing, that you’re the one that’s supposed to find out what is it. Where’s the exit? Find it. But you must try. If you don’t try, you won’t find it.”
Many star players have failed as coaches, but Martinez said he comes from a different background.
“I never considered myself a superstar,” he said. “I wasn’t treated like one, either. I earned it the hard way. I didn’t expect it easy.”
Touching on his departure from Boston following the World Series title in 2004, Martinez said he has regrets for how that came about.
“Why did I leave? Because I made a mistake before the negotiations. Now that I’m experienced, I’ll suggest to anybody that even if you are dying to stay in a city, just don’t admit that openly. Because when I did say my best interest is to stay in Boston, I think Theo [Esptein] or [Larry] Lucchino, they knew that I wanted to stay in Boston. They offered me whatever the smallest amount could be. And that was a mistake. If I don’t open my mouth so early, they don’t know whether I want to leave or not. So, they would probably take that into consideration.
“Right after I agreed to the Mets, Theo called me the next day and said, ‘Hey, we’re willing to give you all that.’ But I had already committed to the Mets.”
On if he ever faced a temptation to use performance-enhancing drugs: “Yes, I did. … I was told that it would mess up something else in you. And I said no. And I had reasons, because I was leading the [Dodgers'] Triple-A team at that time in everything, in every category, and I was never called up. I was tempted to do it, but I never did it.”
On his tenure with the Mets, and if he regretted leaving Boston at the time: “No, I did the right thing. I respected Boston. I knew it was negotiations. I respect the way New York went about their business with me. And they treated me right in New York. The fans were nice to me. A lot of Yankee fans that went over to see me pitch as a New York Met also expressed their respect for me. I was happy. I was happy that I made the decision.”
On if he might consider becoming a full-time coach or manager: “I don’t see myself as a manager, because I don’t want 162 games plus the playoffs in the field. I already did it for 18 years. I doubt that I would see myself as a pitching coach as well, even though I could probably spend a lot of time teaching and talking baseball. I just don’t see myself as a pitching coach and doing that 162 games a year.”
On his best attribute as a player: “I believe it was perseverance. It was just desire to go out there and to do it and to prove wrong everybody else. It wasn’t just one or two performances, or this and that, or my fingers. It was the will that I had to go and do what I did. And also respect for what you do.”
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