Pedro Martinez coming back to the Sox
After retiring from baseball in 2009, Pedro Martinez said he couldn’t stay away from the game but he only wanted to be a part of one team: the Red Sox.
“This team, this city, it’s in my heart,” he said. “I feel like I can add something and help the team be great again.”
On Thursday, Martinez was named a special assistant to general manager Ben Cherington.
“I was always really close to Ben, before and now,” Martinez said. “I offered my help.”
The Red Sox are employing Martinez to lend an experienced voice to personnel decisions and provide guidance for young prospects. He will be joining another retired player, Jason Varitek. Both were involved with the organizational meetings at Fenway Park earlier this week.
So what exactly is Martinez’s new job?
“Pedro will be involved in several areas, including the evaluation, mentorship, and instruction of young players in spring training and throughout the season,” Cherington said.
“All these are to be determined,” manager John Farrell said. “Both with Jason and Pedro, it’s going to come down to how much time is available. How can we craft and carve out responsibilities that are meaningful? These are two accomplished players. They’re not going to start something that they can’t give themselves fully to. But personal commitments are going to restrict that somewhat.”
Martinez says that he is willing to put as much time in it as the Sox need as long as it is not at the sacrifice of time with his family.
“It all depends on how much is needed from me,” Martinez said. “I love being on the field. I’ll spend as much time as they need. Definitely I need time to be with Mama, be at home, be a father. I won’t sacrifice that.”
Terry Francona, who managed Martinez in Boston, says that the hiring is a good idea for the Sox.
“It’s a good move for the Red Sox,” said Francona. “He has a photographic memory for pitching. How far it goes is probably up to him, how much he wants to get into it. He’s got the intelligence. He knows as much about pitching as anybody.”
Martinez said he knows that he cannot force pitchers to be just like him, but he said he thinks he definitely will be able to help them train.
“I’m not going to force them to be like me,” he said. “It’s impossible to be like me. It’s impossible to be Roger [Clemens]. But you can also pick and choose some of the things you can help them with and hopefully help out. I love to teach. I love to deal with the players. I have a very good relationship with the players. I’m also fun. I like to have fun and I think they need a little bit of that in the clubhouse.”
Martinez said he is excited for spring training and the season to start.
“We’re going to have some fun,” he said. “Trust me on that.”