Friday, January 25, 2013

Welcome back, Pedro!

"This team, this city, it's in my heart," said Pedro Martinez of Boston and the Red Sox yesterday afternoon, in what can only be described as a successful attempt to make me tear up. As I'm sure you're all aware by now, Martinez has been hired by the Red Sox as a special assistant to the general manager, and Red Sox Nation is overjoyed to welcome him home.

Martinez should be uniquely helpful to a clubhouse in flux: his affable and jocular demeanor should relax a team that's gotten much too uptight, and his incredible pitching pedigree can only be good for a rotation in transition.

Pedro Martinez encompasses my adolescence as a Red Sox fan. He came to Boston when I was eight years old, just as I was beginning to understand the hopelessness inherent in my fandom, and he seemed ready to turn everything around. Of course, it took all seven of his Red Sox seasons, but what seasons they were!

He won two of his three Cy Young awards with the Red Sox, and four of his eight All Star selections were as a member of the Red Sox - he was absolutely dominant on the mound, not to mention all of the shenanigans we enjoyed along the way. Who can forget the time he told the media: "I don't believe in damn curses. Wake up the damn Bambino and have me face him - maybe I'll drill him in the ass!"

Through it all, Martinez was always here for a a good time, and always looking to win. He did us proud in the 1999 All Star Game, and consistently left everything on the field - a tendency perhaps best characterized by that fateful day in October of 2003, when Grady Little left him hanging, and Pedro dutifully (and unsuccessfully) gave it his all. The very next year, he helped to bring the Red Sox to an impossible comeback and then a sweep of the World Series.

Even if Pedro Martinez is an absolute failure as a front office guy (and I don't believe for one second that he'll be anything but spectacular), he's among the storied few who will be forever beloved by Red Sox fans. 

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