Former Boston Red Sox ace Pedro Martinez is heading back to Beantown…
The 41-year-old Dominican born baseball star, an eight-time All-Star, three-time Cy Young Award winner and 2004 World Series champion, is returning to the organization as a special assistant to general manager Ben Cherington.
Martinez, who joins former catcher Jason Varitek in that capacity, said he plans to dedicate his time to developing players and collaborating with team brass.
“I’ve been away long enough now,” said Martinez. “I spent time with my family, and now the situation is right. I think they need people like me that could probably relate to the players, relate to the front office, have the good communication and the interest that they need right now. I think the players still see me as a player and they can naturally communicate with me. I’m also a veteran, a real old veteran and I think I can offer some advice how to handle different situations.”
In particular, Martinez will spend time mentoring the team’s young pitchers.
“I love to teach. I love to deal with the players,” he said. “I have a very good relationship with the players and I’m also fun. I like to have and I think they need a little bit of that in the clubhouse.”
Though he said a comeback was out of the question — “Don’t even think about me coming back,” he said — he’s looking forward to getting his “nose dirty.”
“I miss the field,” said Martinez. “Once I get on the field, I’m going to get involved and get going. I like the field. I like the feel of the sun, sweating on the field and hopefully some of the knowledge I have I’ll be able to communicate to someone and have someone take advantage of it.”
Martinez spent seven seasons in Boston (1998-2004), winning two of his three Cy Young Awards and a World Series ring during his time with the Red Sox. He went 117-37 (a franchise-best .760 winning percentage) with a 2.52 ERA in his seven seasons with the Red Sox, leading the league in ERA four times in that span.
Martinez left the Red Sox after the 2004 season to sign with the Mets, for whom he pitched four more seasons. His final season in the majors was 2009 with the Phillies.
“I am thrilled to be returning to this organization and to the city I love,” Martinez said in a statement. “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.”