When Pedro Martinez walks in to the Boston Red Sox dugout this spring, it will be the first time since 2004. We all remember 2004, don’t we? The year of the merry band of ‘Idiots’ that captured the World Series Title for the first time in.. well you know the story.
Martinez was hired by Sox GM Ben Cherington to be Special Assistant to the GM (the same title was given to Jason Varitek this past September), a position that could be interpreted in a number of ways.
“Pedro will be involved in several areas, including the evaluation, mentorship, and instruction of young players in spring training and throughout the season.”, Cherington was quoted as saying. Martinez’ talent, grit, determination and overall desire to win was one of the key factors in that 2004 season. Just being in the clubhouse with his attitude is something that the Sox have sorely lacked for some time now.
Martinez spend seven seasons with the Red Sox, and ironically, had his lowest regular season winning percentage, .640, on the way to the the title in 2004. Overall, he has the best winning percentage in Red Sox history (.760), and also the most strikeouts in Red Sox postseason history with 80. But those numbers don’t define Pedro in Boston. He wanted to be on the mound. He wanted the ball in key situations. His enthusiasm was contagious. The smiling, the excitement, the overall feeling that he wanted to be nowhere else but on the mound pitching is something this current Red Sox team desperately needs.
Over the course of the last two seasons, there has been way too many slumped shoulders, discouraged and disappointed looks coming from the Red Sox players. No doubt he can help some of the young players with their mechanics, preparation, how to work counts- the list goes on. What he really brings to the dugout are the intangibles that can’t be diagrammed or analyzed with statistics. The Pedro attitude. The three Cy Young awards. The World Series Title. The desire to win at all costs.
“I am thrilled to be returning to this organization and to the city I love,” Martinez said. ” My heart will always be live in Boston.”
Welcome back Pedro. You have been missed.