Farewell, Mr. Martinez…

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Now that it’s the off-season, all we baseball fans have to talk about are trades and signings. For the Red Sox, it seems like half the team is up for free agency. One of the big questions has been whether Pedro “The-Yankees-Are-My-Daddy” Martinez will play for the Evil Empire that is George Steinbrenner’s baseball club. And now it has finally happened — next season, Pedro’s going to be playing in New York.
No, not that New York.
It’s not official yet (I don’t think), but it looks like Pedro is on his way to returning to his National League roots by way of the New York Mets. Perhaps the World Series reminded him how much he likes to be on the otherside of an at-bat. Or maybe the Mets just offered him more money. Either way, he earned his ring in Boston and now he’s moving on.
The real question is, how will the Mets take to Nelson de la Rosa?

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7 responses

  1. Pedro, shmedro… he’s just a guy who once played for the Red Sox; a second-rate organization if there ever was one. The sad news in baseball today is that Corey Koskie is signing with the Toronto Blue Jays. Sure that makes him the first full-time Canadian-born player on their roster, but what it really means is that he’s no longer in Minnesota. And that’s a tragedy.
    Boston is a town that booed Ted Williams and they’ve escalated salaries so there can no longer be home town heroes. Let’s face it, they were only interesting as long as they managed to choke every year in the playoffs. They’ve won one World Series – one more than the Washington Nationals by the way – and now they are just another team that doesn’t measure up to the Yankees… and worse, one with no heart.

  2. “and now they are just another team that doesn’t measure up to the Yankees… and worse, one with no heart.”
    Wow, Erin, your dad really hates the Red Sox.
    While one could have at least argued for the above statement’s veracity prior to October 2004, at present it is simply laughable. The historic comeback and defeat of the Yankees is a pretty effective refutation of both of these accusations.
    Escalating salaries are due to the league-wide problem of a lack of a salary cap, not the Sox’ payroll. No “home town heroes” is a problem throughout MLB, not specific to Boston. The current ownership just demonstrated that it wouldn’t overspend to keep Pedro. You can hardly blame the Red Sox for playing the spending game like the Yankees – it was the way to beat them, after all. When you are locked in the same division as the team with the most bloated payroll in MLB, it is only logical that you have to spend a lot to compete.
    Perhaps the Sox won’t be interesting anymore to people like you, Russ, now that they are no longer the perennial chokers. But rest assured, they will still hold the interest of Red Sox fans.
    And the Sox have actually won six WS.
    Thanks for Ortiz and Mientkiewicz, by the way.

  3. I think it’s unfair to suggest that someone must hate the Red Sox. Perhaps one should, but pity is perhaps the better emotion. And to be fair, albeit with little assistance from the Red Sox, the Boston sports franchises have tended to vastly outperform the sagacity of the fans. The Red Sox just have the added factor of being a particularly inept franchise when compared through history.
    But even through the glory years of the Celtics, Bruins, Patriots, etc., the fans have consistently shown a lack of class both for the individuals performing great feats and the sports themselves.
    I suppose it’s impressive that there are fans who still blame Johnny Pesky for holding the ball too long, but basically it shows that the Boston fan barely understands the game being watched. (Ok, they’re not as bad as “he kicked a touchdown”, but it’s only a matter of degree.)
    The list of players run out of Boston by the misguided (and to some extent bigoted) fans easily fills several Halls of Fame. From Babe Ruth through Ted Williams, the aforementioned Pesky, Jim Rice, Fred Lynn, Bill Lee to now Nomar Garciaparra, the Red Sox have led the way in being intimidated by such fans. But all the franchises suffer from it. Even Red Auerbach had to take great pains to keep Bill Russell from fleeing the team when the community refused to let him live there.
    And if anybody out there can explain why Bobby Orr was forced to leave Boston and end his career with the Blackhawks, well, you’re a better person than I am.
    So in the end, I don’t hate the Red Sox, I pity them and all the teams within the area. (Ok, I really don’t care about your soccer team if you have one.) It’s a pity borne because they are forced to perform for such undeserving fans. (It’s only marginally cute that 60% of all fans at Fenway think the opponent is the Yankees regardless of who’s actually on the field.)

  4. I think it’s unfair to paint an entire fanbase with the same brush. There are ugly/rude/undeserving fans everywhere, Boston included, but I believe the city also has one of the most passionate, knowledgeable, and dedicated groups of fans in sports.
    I find it curious that one would pity teams of which countless players extol the virtues of playing for the city of Boston.
    I don’t think your list of players “run out of Boston” by the fans is very accurate. Williams’ name carries the utmost reverence here. Johnny Pesky sat on the Sox’ bench for most of the ’04 season (until MLB told him he wasn’t allowed to do so). Jim Rice has continued to work for the Red Sox in various capacities, as hitting coach and now commentator on NESN, the Sox-owned New England Sports Network. I can’t speak to the circumstances of Fred Lynn’s departure, but in recent interviews he has expressed regret about leaving Fenway. Nomar was the face of the franchise for years, and he was a big fan favorite. The ownership’s decision to trade him was extremely controversial with the fans at the time it was made.
    It seems you have some animosity towards Boston sports teams/fans, and that’s fine, although I certainly don’t think it’s reasonable. You can term it pity, but it definitely comes off as a strong dislike – perhaps “hatred” was too strong a word. I was only basing the suggestion on your own comments.

  5. Ok, I’ll come clean on my feelings toward the Boston area sports teams. Prior to the Timberwolves, the Celtics were my favorite NBA team, even through fallow periods post-Russell, post-Cowens and pre-Bird (or more correctly the pre-McHale) years. It’s arguably true that Bill Russell is the greatest NBA player ever, although Chamberlain, West, Erving, Bird, Magic and Jordan loyalists have fairly decent arguments, but not to me.
    The Red Sox have always been a mystery to me. There’s no doubt that through the years they have been one of the most under-achieving franchises in all of baseball. And it seems to be due in equal parts to bad luck – Tony Conigliaro, hubris – see Carl Yazstremski or Ted Williams, stupidity – Jim Lonborg and skiing, and lousy management – the Yawkey years. Yes, they won the WS this year and it’s in no small part due to their general manager, the wunderkid. But that may also be the proverbial “even a blind pig finds an acorn once in awhile.” Point is in terms of being a model franchise, the model is closer to that of the New York Mets than the New York Yankees.
    As to the Patriots and the Bruins, I have little feelings either way. It’s a case of either wrong league/conference or wrong sport. In short I tend not to think about them much.
    Regarding the comment that it’s unfair to paint all fans with the same brush… I live in fly-over land, you don’t have to explain stereotyping to me. Of course it’s unfair.
    But then, being a sports fan is inherently a stupid thing to do. And the more hard core one is the dumber they must be. Investing time and energy in something as pointless as a sporting event can’t be construed as intelligent. Investing to the point that people are killed and property destroyed after an event has to be even dumber. So why does anyone, myself included, be a fan? The same reason one is an alcoholic; because one likes it.
    That can’t be all bad.
    Are Boston fans actually dumber than most? Probably not, maybe a tad more monomaniacal, but they can’t be worse than Cheeseheads.
    Thus, I apologize, mrhe, if I’ve ruffled your feathers… except, of course, that I don’t mean it. Since that’s what I meant to do. After all, all I’m really saying is the RedSox wouldn’t have made it to the World Series if they would have had to play the Twins.

  6. Fair enough.
    I was too young to appreciate the Celts’ glory days, so I only really follow the Sox and Pats. I don’t follow the Bruins either.