Speaking prior to the tribute to Johnny Pesky at Fenway Park Sunday, former Red Sox pitcher Pedro Martinez shared his view on the current state of the Sox.
"I'm not that far apart from also having teams that went completely bad, especially after the second half," said Martinez when asked about any disappointment regarding how the organization had taken a turn for the worse in 2012. "I'm very familiar with it. Those are things that could be achieved, some of the things they have to do.
"They have to change some things. When things go wrong, you have to really look for the things that went wrong and fix them. The team has the tools to actually come back next year. I was on a lot of teams where we had a lot of sore and painful defeats, but it all showed up the next year and we got better and better and better. This team, all they have to do is fix their character, come back next year and think that anything is possible, and start nice and fresh. Hopefully management will make the adjustments they need to make, work on the character of the team a little bit more. I think the talent is basically there. They need to just work all together, pulling toward the same side and focus on it. I think it's achievable."
Martinez was one of a group of former players and coaches who joined the current Red Sox players in helping honor Pesky's life. Some of the other returning former Sox included Roger Clemens, Carlton Fisk, Rich Gedman, Brad Mills, Luis Tiant, Keith Foulke, Reggie Smith and Jim Rice.
"I just think that his soul was attached to Boston in some way that nobody's ever probably able to describe," Martinez said. "That makes Johnny unique, makes his soul unique. Just like we have the pole, I don't think Pesky will ever go away. If anybody thinks about going away from Johnny, they'll have to look at the pole and right away remember who Johnny was.
"That's the amazing thing. He never wanted to have anything said about him. All he wanted was the best for the players that were coming over and the players that actually were going to help the team hopefully win it for Boston. He was the first one in the field and the first one showing his character, so that everyone on the team could relate to it. ... I would have loved to play with him. Just by looking at the way he went about trying to help all the people become successful and to win championships and be better in the game, it tells me a lot about his character, his way, his professionalism. I don't want to say this just because he died. I always expressed it in any way or form that I could any time I saw him. He will always remain in my heart, in my memories, in my history with baseball."
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