Jose Abreu

Jose Abreu

Almost a year after the Red Sox inked Rusney Castillo to a seven-year, $72.5 million deal, the outfielder has collected a fair amount of naysayers.

But don’€™t count Jose Abreu among that group.

The White Sox slugger ‘€“ who hit his 52nd career home run in the first baseman’€™s 238rd big league game Tuesday night during his team’€™s 9-4 win over the Red Sox at Fenway Park ‘€“ believes good times are ahead for his former Cuban national team teammate.

“Yes, of course,” said Abreu through a translator when asked if he believed Castillo would be a star in the major leagues. “He’€™s a five-tool player. He’€™s just trying to work hard every day. He’€™s a great, great player.”

While the 28-year-old Abreu is just less than six months younger than Castillo, the pair’€™s immediate major league success has been strikingly different.
The Red Sox outfielder has totaled a .272 batting average, .688 OPS and three home runs in 38 major league games, while also 40 more games with Triple-A Pawtucket this season.

Abreu, on the other hand, by this date in his first full major league season had already hit 31 homers.

The White Sox slugger suggests, however, that all Castillo needs is more time.

“I played against him a lot in Cuba and I know him very well. He’€™s a very good player,” Abreu said. “My advice for him is to just keep working hard every day because he’€™s got a lot of talent to show up here.”

He added, “I see him as the same player as he was in Cuba. Sometimes it’€™s difficult for a player to just play one game or two and not have that consistency instead of playing every day. He has to keep working his way because he’€™s not a manager. He just has to play hard.”

And then there is that sting that Abreu left for Red Sox fans when the White Sox out-bid Boston for the player’€™s services by less than $5 million. (It is believed that the narrow miss by the Red Sox on Abreu pushed the team harder toward signing Castillo, with principal owner John Henry emailing WEEI.com last August, “Yes, the financial aspects [of Castillo’€™s contract] were impacted by coming close on Abreu. The White Sox did their homework.”

“I just kept my mind open for each team,” Abreu said. “I have to thank the Red Sox organization because I was working out in their complex in the Dominican Republic, so I have to thank them for that because they gave me the facility to show off for other teams, and for them also. But things were right for the White Sox.”

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford
Pedro Martinez had his No. 45 retired by the Red Sox Tuesday night. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Pedro Martinez had his No. 45 retired by the Red Sox Tuesday night. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

There was a long wait for it, but Tuesday night was all about Pedro Martinez again at Fenway Park.

As the Red Sox retired No. 45 to the right field wall, Martinez reflected on all he had accomplished during his time in Boston as well as how he reached this point in his career.

It was all he could do, he said.

Prior to the game, the Sox held a ceremony for the recent Hall of Famer, bringing out former members of the team like Carl Yastrzemski, Jim Rice, Carlton Fisk, Dennis Eckersley, Curt Schilling, Jason Varitek and others.

“All I could do was reflect when I saw everybody there,” Martinez said. “And seeing the franchise standing right there, all the players … reflect, reflect and reflect and maybe one of these days I will wake up and say, ‘Hey, my god, this just happened.’ But right now I’m like in a bubble, I’m flying around. I haven’t set my feet down yet.”

He also emphasized just how much all of his accolades have affected him, and how he’s still strapped for words when he thinks about how he was the one on the receiving end of them.

“It seems like destiny had me linked in a very different way to everything,” he said. “The Red Sox, the seasons, the championships, ’04, 86 years and then I’m part of the All-Century team for the Red Sox, and I see so many great players that passed by that couldn’t pull it off. I was part of the ones that pulled it off, and not only that, I’m the first pitcher that goes into that exclusive wall of numbers retired.

“It’s a unique opportunity to feel this, and I don’t know how to describe it. I get confused in the middle of trying to explain why, why me? How? And I’m trying to enjoy it as well, and I’m trying to have a great time and soaking up as much as I can, but I’m still floating from being in the Hall of Fame, from being in the Red Sox Hall of Fame, Latino Hall of Fame, so many things that happened that I can only say I’m fortunate. I’m so fortunate to have had the opportunity to represent so many different things.”

Not surprisingly, he was met with thousands of cheers throughout the ceremony, creating an atmosphere that reminded the former pitcher of his days on the mound in Boston.

“Today I felt the same, the same little movement,” Martinez said. “The kids walking, and the cars parked a little further down, and the kids are rushing into the stadium, and the people are happy and they’re excited and they want to be out there.

“I love that, and that’s what makes Boston unique. Now when I was standing by the podium over there, I could hear someone, ‘I love you Pedro!’ and that’s the only stadium where you can probably be able to hear that and feel that kind of passion and love … it’s a unique feeling being here in Boston.”

Manager John Farrell said that one of the characteristics that defined Martinez’s starts at Fenway, aside from his sheer pitching ability, was the way people reacted to him. It created a different kind of day for those at the park. But inside of hurling the baseball, Martinez found ways to impress in a time when runs typically came in droves.

“The thing that stood out at the time was someone of his physical stature was capable of throwing the baseball and manipulating the baseball as he could,” Farrell said. “With the power that he had, you wonder, OK, a guy of his size, how long’s it going to last? It obviously lasted a long time with a heck of a lot of success. In an era that was dominated by offense, he was equally or more dominant on the other side, which makes his time here in Boston that much more special.”

While Martinez has been praised over and over for his numerical and statistical success as a player, he said he’d rather be remembered as a sign of hope as someone who “unexpectedly made it further than he ever dreamed” because he refused to give up and had no space for failure.

“Instead of greatness and achievement, I’ll take hope and faith and determination, hard work and dedication,” he said. “[So they say,] ‘There’s a symbol of dedication, there is a symbol of integrity, there is a symbol of hope, there is a sign of hope for everyone that’s coming out,’ and especially for me, to be born in the Dominican Republic with a shot and coming from a third world country that this sign of hope that I want to represent for those people is even bigger. That would make a lot more sense to me than the individual achievements.”

But when people look up at his number now at the park, all Martinez wants them to think about is having fun.

“The same way that number’s hanging, they’re hanging here …” he said. “I am fun. I am having fun, and I love to have them here, and I hope they have the same feeling when they see that number.

“‘Pedro, that’s Pedro! Oh, Pedro is always in the parade. Pedro’s always happy, Pedro’s always grateful. Pedro, you never know what Pedro’s going to be,’ so just go out there, have fun. Remember me for a fun guy, sign of hope, a sign of someone that was always happy and grateful.”

Blog Author: 
Judy Cohen
Joe and Dave are joined by Pedro who was at the game and had his number 45 retired by the Red Sox in a very touching pregame ceremony. Pedro talks about going into the Hall of Fame, his time in Boston and love for the game of baseball.
Joe and Dave are joined by Pedro who was at the game and had his number 45 retired by the Red Sox in a very touching pregame ceremony. Pedro talks about going into the Hall of Fame, his time in Boston and love for the game of baseball.

[0:00:01] ... You're regarded his sixth inning. And the Red Sox trailed 52 is. We're joined them momentarily here Bradley great Pedro Martinez ground ball bounced to short by Beckham grabbed by Bogart's throws to first. One pitch and one man out here in the ...
[0:05:16] ... up five in the first and then you shot him down and Red Sox won the ballgame. But that the it was the only time that's flights those special to me that game but that was ...
[0:06:03] ... a big big attack is it happen in this season with a Red Sox went on a post season and was a key win. It was great to see your family here and a nice visit ...
[0:09:24] ... this idea with the trainers walking back to the dugout along with John Farrell. Know they can stay in the game BP popped up cocaine and jumped back over. That fans which is about five feet ...






Joe Kelly’s first inning Monday night was bad — allowing four runs — putting the Red Sox in a quick 4-0 hole.

Wade Miley allowed five first inning runs in the Red Sox' loss to the White Sox Tuesday. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Wade Miley allowed five first inning runs in the Red Sox‘ loss to the White Sox Tuesday. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Joe Kelly’s first inning Monday night was bad — allowing four runs — putting the Red Sox in a quick 4-0 hole.

But, Tuesday night was even worse as Wade Miley allowed five first-inning runs, digging the Red Sox a hole they couldn’t dig out of in their 9-4 loss to the White Sox on the night Pedro Martinez‘s number was retired before the game.

Martinez wouldn’t have liked what he saw, as after striking out the leadoff batter, Miley allowed the next five batters to reach, all of which scored, as the White Sox took a 5-0 lead before the Red Sox even stepped to the plate.

The big blow came on a two-run Geovany Soto double, which scored two runs. Emilio Bonifacio followed with an RBI double for the fifth run of the inning.

Miley settled down, firing four scoreless innings until a freak play in the sixth ended his night.

With two outs in the sixth inning and the White Sox carrying a 5-2 lead, Jose Abreu launched a first-pitch fastball to deep right-center field. Mookie Betts raced back to catch the fly ball, but after two steps hurdled his body over the right field fence.

The outfielder tumbled into the Red Sox bullpen, landing on his head and neck. While the ball trickled out of Betts’€™ glove after landing on the ground, Abreu was initially called out. But after an umpires’€™ review, the call was over-turned, giving the White Sox slugger his 16th homer and the visitors’€™ a two-run lead.

Making matters worse, Betts was forced to leave the game and was tested for a possible concussion.

Miley went 5 2/3 innings allowing seven runs on 10 hits, while walking three and striking out five.

The Red Sox cut into the White Sox’ lead in the second inning on a Pablo Sandoval two-run homer the other way. That was all the Sox could get against White Sox starter Jeff Samardzija until a meaningless two runs in the ninth.

The right-hander went 8+ innings allowing four runs on seven hits, walking one and striking out three.

In relief of Miley, Justin Masterson allowed a towering homer to Soto in the seventh and another run in the eighth. He allowed two runs over his 3 1/3 innings of relief.

The Red Sox have now dropped two straight games and are 2-9 since the All-Star break.

Here is what went wrong (and right) in the Red Sox’ win:

WHAT WENT WRONG

— Although Miley made it into the sixth inning after his issues in the first, the Red Sox needed a better effort. He had been better at Fenway Park, as he entered the game 4-2 with a 3.59 ERA at Fenway Park since May 2.

Mike Napoli went 0-for-4 with a strike out and grounding into a double play. After a mini hot streak, he’s 0 for his last 6.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

— Sandoval’s home run was his eighth of the season, but just his third of the year at Fenway. It was the first home run for Sandoval since June 28, which spanned 90 at-bats.

— The Red Sox held a terrific pregame ceremony to retire Martinez’s number. He ended by throwing out the first pitch to Jason Varitek.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

What appeared to be one of the season’s more dramatic plays for the Red Sox simply resulted in a two-run homer for Chicago’s Jose Abreu and an injured Mookie Betts.

What appeared to be one of the season’s more dramatic plays for the Red Sox simply resulted in a two-run homer for Chicago’s Jose Abreu and an injured Mookie Betts.

With two outs in the sixth inning, and the White Sox carrying a 5-2 lead over the Red Sox, Abreu launched a Wade Miley first-pitch fastball to deep right-center field. Betts raced back to catch the fly ball, but after two steps hurdled his body over the right field fence.

The outfielder tumbled into the Red Sox bullpen, landing on his head and neck. While the ball trickled out of Betts’ glove after landing on the ground, Abreu was initially called out. But after an umpires’ review, the call was over-turned, giving the White Sox slugger his 16th homer and the visitors’ a two-run lead.

Adding injury to insult, Betts would be removed from the game after having to sit on the ground just prior to reaching the Red Sox dugout. Rusney Castillo came on to replace the center fielder.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

Two days after Pedro Martinez was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, the Red Sox retired his No. 45 during a pregame ceremony Tuesday night.

Tim Wakefield, Curt Schilling, Luis Tiant, Carl Yastrzemski, David Ortiz and Jason Varitek were among the many current and former Red Sox who joined Martinez on the field for the ceremony. Check out all of our photos from the ceremony here.

Pedro Martinez addresses the Fenway crowd during the ceremony to retire his number. (Photo: WEEI.com)

Pedro Martinez addresses the Fenway crowd during the ceremony to retire his number. (Photo: WEEI.com)

Blog Author: 
WEEI

Jason Varitek was 25 when Pedro Martinez was traded to the Red Sox from the Expos.

In just the second year of his major league career, the catcher was behind the plate for Martinez’s second start as a member of the Red Sox against the Angels on April 6, 1998. When he pitched in Game 3 of the 2004 World Series for his final Red Sox start, Varitek caught that too.

“You look back and it’s just an opportunity,” he said. “I was so young … it was the most memorable moments that I had to do behind the plate. You don’t appreciate how good someone is until you play your entire career and you don’t really see it again.”

“He had the physical tools with an exploding fastball, location of it, the ability to change speeds, a devastating changeup developed into the same curveball,” Varitek added. “He had plus pitches across the board, but that only goes so far unless you have the competitiveness and the heart that he had when he pitched, and it made him who he was.”

He was emotional when Martinez gave his Hall of Fame induction speech Sunday, sitting in front of the television for three and a half hours so he wouldn’t miss a thing.

“You just kept waiting, waiting, waiting, and he took the stage, but it showed what heart he has for both the United States and for his home, the Dominican …” Varitek said. “I’m just so proud and happy for him. It’s his moment, his time and so well deserved.”

There isn’t a whole lot of space on the right field deck for very many retired numbers, and that, to Varitek, speaks volumes of just how big it really is to have No. 45 go up there Tuesday night.

“It’s huge,” he said. “I mean you look on that board, and there’s only a few, there’s only room for a few [numbers], and deservedly so that Pedro’s is going to go right up there with them.”

In Martinez’s seven years with the Red Sox, Varitek said he gained baseball knowledge working in tandem with him because of how special he was as a pitcher and how well he could read and react to a game.

“His ability made him different,” he said. “His ability to read hitters from the mound in pressure situations, read swings, make those adjustments along with his competitiveness made him elite. He had the repertoire, but not everybody can see the game as slowly and the ability from the mound that he could, and I do truly believe that’s where I would learn from him.”

While the right-hander had his fair share of impressive games throughout his career, his battery mate noted that each night Martinez toed the rubber, there was a chance that things could become memorable fast.

“Everybody wants to pick the game in New York between him and Roger [Clemens], but you have opportunities,” Varitek said. “He’s had games against Cleveland. He’s had games against Anaheim, 1-0, and with some exploding offenses there too. I think the rest of our ERA for our starting staff was about 4 1/2 innings, and he’d go out there and he’d average 7 1/2, eight, whatever it was, and it was a bullpen day off, which didn’t happen too too often. His best moment was almost every time he took the mound.”

Now that they’ve both finished their playing careers, Martinez and Varitek have positions within the Red Sox organization, working as special assistants to general manager Ben Cherington. But while their job titles are similar, Varitek said they don’t often run into one another, though he loves it when they do.

“I love seeing him,” he said. “I love the impact, his knowledge, every time he speaks about pitching you want to put an ear in there and listen because he struggled. He’s been through struggles, so it wasn’t always easy for him. He understands the different levels and trying to work toward seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and perfecting your craft, but along the way also not ever quitting and be determined towards that and don’t fall short of your own dreams. I think he does am excellent job of portraying that.

“He had some gifts and ability to manipulate that baseball that only he can relate that sometimes to pitchers to where it comes out of Pedro Martinez‘s mouth, then somebody’s going to listen.”

Blog Author: 
Judy Cohen