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Pedro Martinez on MFB: ‘Red Sox are under no pressure’ because of last year’s title

08.04.14 at 12:07 pm ET
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Red Sox legend Pedro Martinez checked in with Middays with MFB on Monday from the Red Sox Foundation charity golf tournament in Belmont. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

Martinez, whose departure after the 2004 season has been compared to Jon Lester‘s situation, weighed in on the Red Sox’ trade of Lester to the Athletics.

“I wasn’t really surprised,” Martinez said. “After seeing that nothing worked out in spring training, and a little bit of disappointment on both sides, specially on Lester’s side, I could sense that something was going to happen. But at the same time, I was extremely sad and worried about him leaving because, to be honest, I don’t think he’s replaceable right now by any means.”

The Red Sox have made it clear they would prefer to avoid handing out long-term contracts to players in their 30s, but Martinez said the team will miss Lester’s leadership.

“Well, the first thing that we all have to realize is that the Red Sox are under no pressure. We won last year when nobody expected that we were going to win. Whatever we decided to do this year, we have plenty of time to put together a plan to build another team that can be in the winning column within the next three years. They have the luxury to do that because winning last year unexpectedly I think gave everybody space to breathe,” Martinez said.

“Now, I think for the good of the young arms that we have in the minor leagues, I think they needed someone to guide them. I didn’t see it so well that Lester would leave, because that’s a great guy to have in the clubhouse, a role model, worker. When you go into the clubhouse and you see Lester, the ace of the team, working, you have no choice but to go to work. When you see his mental approach about the game, the respect for the game and his respect for his teammates, I think it’s someone so valuable in so many different ways, it doesn’t have to really be performing. But it’s the influence that he brings over to the young arms that are coming up and probably hoping to develop into an ace later on.”

Clay Buchholz continued to struggle Sunday night, allowing seven runs and seeing his ERA (6.20) become the highest of any major league starting pitcher with 100 innings this season. Martinez said Buchholz should head to the video room to figure out what he can do better.

“I would say study yourself first, because if you don’t know yourself, nobody’s going to get to know you,” Martinez said. “He’s going to have to spend a lot of time analyzing himself. He’s going to have to spend a lot of time looking at the things that went right when he was right and at the things that went wrong like they’re going right now.

“I think Buchy needs to spend a lot of time in the video room analyzing mechanics, looking through all the pitchers. Because I wasn’t always looking at myself. Sometimes you looking at yourself everything seems to be familiar. But you look at a guy like [Tim] Hudson, when I was struggling I would look at a guy like Hudson. I would look at Johan Santana, I would put him on the right side. I would look at different guys that I saw. I would look at Roger [Clemens], look at [Greg] Maddux, look at [Tom] Glavine, some of the things that they used to do, and try to piece together something that would make me feel comfortable, that would make me feel like I could do what I wanted to do.

“And also at the same time, my focus was so important. I think in baseball, once you let go for one second, you have a chance to get lost. Mentally you have to be there a hundred percent, every pitch. If you look at the game, every time you pitch a game, you lose a game on one pitch or you win it on one pitch. The day you lose your focus for one pitch, that day you lose the game on one pitch.”

For more Red Sox news, visit the team page at weei.com/redsox.

Read More: Clay Buchholz, Jon Lester, pedro martinez,
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