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Pedro Martinez: Red Sox have ‘amazing’ pitching talent in farm system 02.26.14 at 5:49 pm ET
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Pedro Martinez raved about the Red Sox prospect pool (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

Pedro Martinez raved about the Red Sox prospect pool (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The 2013 season was a revelation for Pedro Martinez.

It wasn’t just that a Red Sox organization that had hit its low point in 2012 rebounded to claim a title, though Martinez — who arrived in Fort Myers and was in uniform during and after Wednesday’s workout — said he took considerable pleasure in that turnaround. Still, in his fourth season away from the game, the retired three-time Cy Young winner — named a special assistant to Red Sox GM Ben Cherington at the start of 2013 — discovered how much he enjoyed the opportunity to offer counsel to pitchers.

That was particularly true of the minor leaguers with whom Martinez worked. In his stops at various minor league affiliates, he found a wealth of talented players who were and are eager to learn. Martinez loved offering the players feedback and to influence their development positively, and he hopes to spend more time with Sox prospects this coming year.

“I want to be more involved with the players,” said Martinez. “Because when you get the results that I got when talking to [Drake] Britton, [Rubby] De La Rosa, [Brandon] Workman, all those kids, [Allen Webster], you feel like a proud father and you want to be around your sons. I was just going blind, trying to touch in some places, but now I know that my influence can help a lot of those kids. I’d love to do it. I’d love to do it and spend more time with them this year.

“I think I have so much to offer, stuff that I’€™m not going to put into use anymore,” he added. “I might as well pass it along. I’€™m trying to do that. I’€™m trying to get involved more in baseball and more with the young players and the veteran players. Whoever needs me. I would just love to pass everything I know, all my knowledge, all of my experience to some of those guys and hopefully get some good results out of every one of them.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Pedro Martinez touches on helping Drake Britton grow up, reaching out to Curt Schilling and ‘amazing’ Jon Lester at 4:36 pm ET
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FORT MYERS, Fla. When Pedro Martinez holds court, every word is gold.

That’s the way it was again Wednesday when the former ace pitcher talked about his odds of Cooperstown on the first ballot in 2015, his impact on young pitchers, his future with the team and his attempt to reach out to Curt Schilling after Schilling was diagnosed with cancer.

Martinez admitted Wednesday that when he was in his first season as special assistant last spring he thought lefthander Drake Britton had the stuff to make it on the big league roster out of camp. Soon, he and the Red Sox found out that while he may have impressive pitches in his arsenal, he was far from ready with his off-the-field command of his behavior. On March 2, 2013, the 24-year-old lefty was arrested by Lee County police for driving under the influence, property damage and reckless driving.

Then Britton struggled badly in the early season. Martinez felt the time was right to actually travel to Portland, Maine (home of the Double-A affiliate) and reach out like a parent and deliver some fatherly advice to a pitcher he thought had great potential but no control.

“I was straightforward with him and I told him exactly what I would probably love to hear if I was in the same situation,” Martinez said. “I talked about his personal life, how he should treat some of the things that were happening, how much of a battle he wanted to put up after things like that happened. When I saw him struggling in Double A, I chose myself to go and see him and let him know that everything he had before was still there. It was just a matter of putting his mind, his heart, his desire where it had to be. He took it graciously, and thanks to God, he proved to everybody he was able to battle through it.”

Britton made Martinez proud, going through the legal process in Lee County while improving his effort on the mound. In July, Martinez’s spring training vision was fulfilled, as Britton was promoted to the big leagues. He was posted a 3.86 ERA in 18 relief appearances, helping the Red Sox add depth to their bullpen down the stretch.

“I’m extremely proud of him, extremely proud to see him overcome all that and actually pay me back,” Martinez said. “Pay me back, that’€™s all I wanted. I wanted to see him have success and to see him at the end of the year pitching so well and doing so well for the team, helping the team so much, it really made me like a proud father.”

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Read More: 2014 spring training, Boston Red Sox, Curt Schilling, drake britton
Mike Petraglia, Alex Speier on Pedro Martinez Hall of Fame debate and what Red Sox look to accomplish with games at 4:08 pm ET
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FORT MYERS, Fla. — WEEI.com’s Mike Petraglia and Alex Speier discuss what the Red Sox will be looking to accomplish and who has something to prove once spring training games begin Thursday against Northeastern and Boston College. They also talk about Pedro Martinez‘s arrival Wednesday in camp and his Hall of Fame worthiness.

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Pedro Martinez on his chances for Cooperstown in 2015: ‘I should have a shot’ at 1:58 pm ET
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FORT MYERS, Fla. — Maybe Pedro Martinez is just playing it close to the vest but asked Wednesday if he thinks he will earn a place in Cooperstown in his first year of eligibility in 2015, the former Red Sox ace said he can only hope and wait.

“I’m looking forward to that,” Martinez said. “There’s only so much I can do. As of now, I’m just like you, hoping and waiting to get another chance to make it in back-to-back years, Boston and then the Hall of Fame.

“I think I should have a shot but like I said it’s not up to me and I can only hope and wait.”

Martinez arrived in camp Wednesday after spending time at the Red Sox academy in the Dominican Republic, and immediately began to help pitchers on the back field, watching bullpen sides and offering insight.

Earlier this month, Martinez was announced as one of four inductees into the Red Sox Hall, joining former teammate Nomar Garciaparra, ace Roger Clemens and broadcaster Joe Castiglione.

“To me, it’s a great honor to actually go into the Red Sox hall of fame,” Martinez said. “I don’t enough words to thank the organization. I’m extremely proud to have been chosen to go into the hall of fame, really happy. I think this once again makes me more of a Bostonian than ever. I keep saying I’m a Bostonian and now, I can’t go away anymore.

“It’s a great honor to go in with two of the guys that symbolize the Red Sox and have done so much for the game and for whole Boston area and the Red Sox. I’m extremely honored to share that moment with them and just happy to be right with them.”

Martinez presents a strong case for Cooperstown as he was a two-time Cy Young Award winner and four-time All-Star in his seven seasons with the Red Sox from 1998-2004. He won Game 3 of the 2004 World Series as the Red Sox brought home a title to Boston for the first time since 1918.

Martinez is the club’s all-time leader with a .760 (117-37) career winning percentage and 72 10-strikeout games. He was named MVP of the 1999 All-Star Game at Fenway Park when he struck out five of the six batters he faced as the American League starter. That same year, Martinez led the AL with 313 strikeouts and 19 10-strikeout games.

Martinez spoke for over 18 minutes Wednesday outside JetBlue Park as reporters wanted his ever-articulate opinion on his role as special assistant in the organization, working with major and minor league pitchers.

“You guys still think I’m a ballplayer,” Martinez quipped as the press conference began.

Read More: Boston Red Sox, Cooperstown, MLB, pedro martinez
Nomar Garciaparra on M&M: ‘Means so much to me’ to be elected to Red Sox Hall of Fame 02.05.14 at 12:03 pm ET
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Nomar Garciaparra and Joe Castiglione, who on Wednesday were named as part of the 2014 class elected to the Red Sox Hall of Fame, checked in with Mut & Merloni on Wednesday to discuss the honor. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

Garciaparra, the former Sox shortstop, and Castiglione, the team’s longtime radio broadcaster, will be enshrined in August along with pitching legends Pedro Martinez and Roger Clemens. Martinez’s one-hit, 17-strikeout performance against the Yankees on Sept. 10, 1999, was selected as this year’s “Great Red Sox Moment.”

“What a class to be inducted with, with Pedro and Roger,” Garciaparra said. “It’s definitely special.”

Said Castiglione: “It certainly is a ‘Can you believe it?’ moment for me. … It’s such a thrill to be going in with Nomar, who’s the best all-around player I’ve covered in 31 years of Red Sox baseball, [and] the two greatest pitchers in franchise history.

“And as far as Roger goes, I think a tip-off to how much the Red Sox mean to him, I was about to get on a duck boat November 2nd and I got a text from Roger saying, ‘Congratulations to you and all of the Red Sox on the world championship — 21.’ So it was very meaningful to him.”

Garciaparra, the 1997 American League Rookie of the Year, was a five-time All-Star during his nine seasons in Boston. He was traded midseason in 2004 after a falling-out with management, but he said the team still holds a special place in his heart.

“You mention about [the] trade and how I felt, people will ask me, and I’ve heard, ‘Oh, he was bitter.’ If I was so bitter — I don’t know how much more to explain how much I love the Red Sox and the Nation other than signing a one-day [contract] and retiring as a Red Sox. I wanted to do that,” Garciaparra said. “I don’t know what other action, what I could say more about what the Red Sox mean to me, the organization, the fans and what they all meant to me. That, first and foremost, I think, speaks volumes.

“And now, to be honored like this? Like I said, this is unexpected. I never thought about this or played for this. But to be recognized like this, I’m lost for words. Because it really means so much to me. There was a moment where I was just kind of sitting by myself and I was like, ‘Oh, my goodness, I’m getting inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame.’ And what that truly does mean to me, I’m not going to lie, I started tearing up. Because it means that much.”

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

Read More: Joe Castiglione, Nomar Garciaparra, pedro martinez, Roger Clemens
Roger Clemens, Pedro Martinez, Nomar Garciaparra, Joe Castiglione selected for induction to Red Sox Hall of Fame at 10:38 am ET
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Pedro Martinez is a member of the 2014 Red Sox Hall of Fame class. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

Pedro Martinez is a member of the 2014 Red Sox Hall of Fame class. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

Some of the most iconic Red Sox players in recent memory will enter the team’s Hall of Fame as inductees in 2014, as right-handers Roger Clemens and Pedro Martinez, shortstop Nomar Garciaparra and radio broadcaster Joe Castiglione will be so honored later this year. Here is the Red Sox team press release announcing the group:

Former Red Sox players Roger Clemens, Nomar Garciaparra, and Pedro Martinez have been selected as the 2014 Red Sox Hall of Fame inductees. Joe Castiglione, Red Sox radio broadcaster since 1983, has been chosen as the non-uniformed inductee. Martinez’€™s 1999 one-hit, 17-strikeout complete game against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium has been selected as the “Great Red Sox Moment,” a memorable moment in Red Sox history that is regarded for its special significance.

The players were chosen by a 16-person panel, which includes club executives, print and broadcast media members, booster club representatives, and historians. Garciaparra was one of 15 position players under consideration. Clemens and Martinez were among 13 pitchers considered.

Clemens, a three time Cy Young Award winner with the Red Sox and 1986 AL and All-Star MVP, spent 13 seasons with Boston beginning in 1984.  He is tied with Cy Young for the most career wins (192) and most career shutouts (38) as a Red Sox, and is the all-time franchise leader in strikeouts (2,590). Clemens had two 20-strikeout no-walk games, in 1986 against Seattle and 1996 in Detroit. He was named to the All-Star Game five times as a Red Sox, including the 1986 game that he started and won. Clemens is second in club history, behind Tim Wakefield, with 382 career games started and 2,776 innings pitched.

Garciaparra, the 1997 AL Rookie of the Year, was an All-Star in five of his nine seasons with the Red Sox from 1996-2004. The shortstop and right-handed hitter has the fourth-best career batting average (.323) and fifth-best slugging percentage (.553) in Red Sox history. He led the AL with 209 hits and 684 at-bats in 1997, the same year he had a 30-game hit streak. Garciaparra tied the club record on May 10, 1999 against Seattle when he hit two grand slams and collected 10 RBIs. He had two 30-RBI months, with 33 in May 1999, and 33 in July 1998. His .372 average in 2000 is the fourth-highest in club single-season history. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Joe Castiglione, Nomar Garciaparra, pedro martinez, Roger Clemens
Rubby De La Rosa explains why he expects this year to be different 01.11.14 at 3:18 pm ET
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Rubby De La Rosa (AP)

Rubby De La Rosa (AP)

In terms of pure stuff, few pitchers in the Red Sox organization can match the arsenal of Rubby De La Rosa. The 24-year-old can sit in the mid-90s and touch the high-90s with his fastball. He has the ability to generate swings and misses with both a tremendous changeup and slider. His arm is a rarity.

But his performance in 2013, his first year with the Red Sox after coming over from the Dodgers in the August 2012 blockbuster, did not match his pitch mix. He went 3-3 with a 4.26 ERA, 8.5 strikeouts and a jarring 5.4 walks per nine innings while working on limited pitch counts in Triple-A Pawtucket. In 11 big league games (all as a reliever), he allowed seven runs in 11 1/3 innings with six strikeouts and just two walks — but three hit batters.

Yet, with the benefit of hindsight, it’s possible to bracket the 2013 season as one that presented De La Rosa — who showed tremendous promise while forging a 3.71 ERA with a strikeout per inning in 60 2/3 innings with the Dodgers in his 2011 big league debut — with unique challenges that will not recur. The right-hander’s physical status was something of a work-in-progress in his first full season back from Tommy John surgery. He was dealing with the transition to a new organization, along with the frustrations created by a limited pitch count. Read the rest of this entry »

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