Pedro Martinez is back! But not in the way the Red Sox could probably use him. It was announced today that the man easily considered one of the best pitcher in the franchise’s history is returning as a special assistant to general manager Ben Cherington.
“We are very excited to have Pedro on board with us and back in the Red Sox organization,” said Cherington said to MLB.com. “He was one of the game’s most dominant pitchers and without a doubt a beloved figure in Red Sox history. Similar to former teammate Jason Varitek, who joined the baseball operations staff in September, Pedro will be involved in several areas, including the evaluation, mentorship and instruction of young players in Spring Training and throughout the season.”
“I’ve been away long enough now to spend time with the family and I think the situation is right,” said Martinez to MLB.com. “I think they need people like me that could probably relate to the players, relate to the office, have a good communication and interest that they need right now. I think the players somehow still see me a little bit like a player. They can actually communicate with me. I’m also a veteran, a real old veteran. I think I can probably offer some advice to some of them about how to handle different situations.”
Full of that familiar enthusiasm Red Sox fans came to love over the years, Martinez said he looks forward to throwing on uniform No. 45. Although not officially retired, hasn’t been worn by any Red Sox player since his departure. Pedro said that he will be there during Spring Training, and whenever else he might be needed.
The way the Red Sox played last year, the second in the rotation?
“Of course,” said Martinez. “I miss the field myself. I’m going to be in the field, and once I get to the field, I’m pretty sure I’m going to get involved and get going. I like the field. I like feeling the heat of the sun and sweating in the field. Hopefully some of the knowledge I have, I’ll be able to communicate with someone, and have someone take advantage of it.”
“It probably means he has to be on time now,” quipped Terry Francona to MLB.com. He was Martinez’s manager in 2004. “I’ll tell you what, if you want to get input on how to pitch, you can’t go to a smarter guy. I think it’s great. I think it’s a good fit. When you start bringing guys back like Varitek, Pedro, they are the Red Sox. I think it’s terrific.”
“I love to teach,” said Martinez. “I love to deal with the players. I have a very good relationship with the players and I’m also fun. I’m also fun. I like to have fun, and I think they need a little bit of that in the clubhouse.”
“I am thrilled to be returning to this organization and to the city I love,” Martinez said. “Ben Cherington’s meetings this week have been outstanding. It is an honor to be back with the Red Sox and help in any way I can. I am grateful to our leaders; I believe in them, and I thank them for allowing me to return to the field and help us win again. My heart will always live in Boston.”
“I believe if I can have the patience of the talent that’s coming up and understand that they’re going to be their own way in some parts, I should be able to handle it,” Martinez said. “I’m not going to force them to be like me. It’s impossible to be Roger [Clemens], but you can also pick and choose some of the things that you can help them with and hopefully help out.”
Regardless of where the Red Sox place this year…they definitely became interesting.