Pedro Martinez says he thinks David Ortiz should’ve played for one more season. (Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports)
Count Pedro Martinez among those who wants David Ortiz to come back.
In an interview Friday on OM&F, the first ballot Hall of Famer said he thinks Ortiz should’ve kept playing for one more season.
“I’ve been trying so hard to get David back and help out these kids,” he said. “I thought they needed one more year to kind of realize what they have to do. But you can’t blame David, either. You go through the struggles of baseball, the day-to-day–– the stuff that you have to do –– it gets to a point where you just get tired. You just get tired of the same routine, and all of that.”
Following the Red Sox’s 3-0 loss to the Yankees Thursday, shortstop Xander Bogaerts acknowledged Ortiz’s presence is missed. The Red Sox are 13th in the American League in runs scored.
Martinez explained how Ortiz’s leadership would’ve been valuable to the young players on the club this season.
“Those guys are at a level where they’re good, they’re going to perform, but they need to realize why they perform,” he said. “That’s what David was probably going to be able to relay in one more year. One more year of experience around those kids would be exactly leaving those kids graduated from college. They needed one more year to graduate.”
Perhaps the biggest positive for the Red Sox in the first month of the season has been the electric performance of Chris Sale, who’s doing his best Martinez impression every time he takes the mound. It’s quite a difference from David Price’s first month in Boston last season, in which he posted a 5.76 ERA.
Martinez said the biggest difference between the two hurlers is attitude.
“Chris Sale is somewhat a throwback kind of player, someone that’s not going to be watching what the papers say,” Martinez explained. “He’s not going to pay attention to what the fans might say if he doesn’t perform. I mean, this is a guy who’s very unusual. He’s not intimidated by anything, this is a guy that’s out there to show you and say to you, ‘This is how I am. This is who I am. This is what I’m here to get.” And it’s all around the pitcher’s mound. That’s what his business is.”
The other big story surrounding the Red Sox this week was Dustin Pedroia’s criticism of teammate Matt Barnes for throwing at Manny Machado’s head Sunday. When asked his feelings on the matter, Martinez said he doesn’t fault Barnes for the way he handled the retaliation.
“As much as I love Machado, who’s one of my boys –– I love him dearly –– I would’ve [gone] and hit him square in the ribs or maybe in the butt cheek. I honestly think I have to protect my players,” Martinez said.