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Pedro Martinez: “I did it clean and my integrity is right where it belongs”

Dec 8, 2012, 9:55 AM EDT

Boston Red Sox Getty Images

Pedro Martinez was in attendance for David Ortiz‘s celebrity golf fundraiser in the Dominican Republic yesterday and he had some interesting things to say about the steroids era and his own legacy.

What Martinez did during his career was impressive enough without context, but many have wondered what his numbers would have looked like if everyone was on an even playing field. Martinez wonders the same thing, but told Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe that he has no regrets.

“I never had a complaint. I don’t have it. I think I did it the best way possible,” he said on Friday. “What would have happened if I had a level playing field? It’s something to be guessed. This is the same body that you saw, except for a couple of more pounds.”

With a hotly-contested Hall of Fame vote just weeks away, Martinez offered no firm opinion on the candidacies of Roger Clemens or Barry Bonds, but noted that they had impressive statistics before “everything exploded.”

“It’s really difficult for me to choose either one. I would have loved to face Roger Clemens when he was Roger Clemens with nothing. I would have loved to face him all the time.

There has never been any evidence to suggest that Martinez used performance-enhancing drugs during his playing career, so he should be a no-brainer, first-ballot Hall of Famer when he’s first eligible two years from now. But he still made it a point to say that he was clean and played the game the right way.

“I was clean. I know I was clean. That’s all I can say. I was out there and they got the best out of me. Beat me or not, that was the best I had, and clean. I wish it were the same way for every one of them.”

“In my last years with the Mets, I was pushed too far. I was going too far with the pain. I did it naturally, I rehabbed naturally. I went through struggles a lot naturally. Today I can actually sit back, relax and enjoy the flight because I did it clean and my integrity is right where it belongs.”

I don’t mean to single out Martinez here and I’d like to think that he was clean since he was one of my favorite players ever, but it would have been nice to see some of these guys speak out while they were still playing. Perhaps we’d have less irresponsible guesswork being done by columnists who have these player’s legacies in their hands.

  1. lostsok - Dec 8, 2012 at 10:13 AM

    I remember what a hothead he was when he came up for the Dodgers. Who would have guessed he’d turn into such a classy, generous, well-spoken man. A fine example for all of us…

    • jerze2387 - Dec 8, 2012 at 10:26 AM

      he was a bit of a hot head in boston too (don Zimmer toss is what ill always remember with Pedro), but he managed to keep the intensity to the field. Cant knock the guy from what ive seen of his career and such.

      • antifreeze27 - Dec 8, 2012 at 10:50 AM

        You know, I’m one of the biggest Yankee fans around, but I always defended Pedro’s actions during the Zimmer incident. Zimmer had no business at all being anywhere near Pedro. Pedro sees a brawl erupting, and out of the corner of his eye sees a Yankee uniform rushing towards him, and all he did protect himself and non-violently get his attacker to the ground. Not like he pounced on him and pummelled a helpless old man. He showed remarkable restraint all things considered.

      • xmatt0926x - Dec 8, 2012 at 12:17 PM

        Absolutely agree with antifreeze. I’m not a Sox fan or Yankees fan so I have no rooting interest in it, but I think it’s a shame that the Zimmer incident gets looked at as a black mark against Pedro Martinez. Really, he did all he could do with a guy charging at him. He threw him aside and didn’t throw a punch, which would have been his right to do. If it wasn’t loveable ol’ Zimmer nobody would have looked at it in nearly the same way as they do now.

      • jerze2387 - Dec 8, 2012 at 12:27 PM

        I agree with antifreeze too. Im not saying he was wrong…Zimmer was charging at him like he was still a young’n fighting in an alley in the 40’s. i was just saying its the image that sticks. In fact, i have an article on the fight “5 tips to beating up the elderly” on my fridge (after haveing my 70 year old neighbor take a swing at me. his head wasnt as large and bulbus as zims, thus making it impossible to execute the same head throw.)

      • antifreeze27 - Dec 8, 2012 at 2:31 PM

        Completely agree w/jerze that the image definitely sticks and looked awful. And I remember being really amused by SNL’s take on it that weekend (Horatio Sanz being Zimmer).

        Just imagine if that was someone like Clemens on the mound in that scenario. I doubt he backs off after he sees an old man on the ground.

        /hated Pedro during his prime with the Sox, but it was definitely out of respect for his dominance

  2. hojo20 - Dec 8, 2012 at 10:13 AM

    I always enjoyed seeing Pedro on the Expos matching up against the Braves Big 3.

  3. dcfan4life - Dec 8, 2012 at 10:24 AM

    As much as we love the way certain players now take on steroids in their post playing days, we need not forget the way Jose Canseco was utterly chastised by everyone for his accusations, most of which were found out to be true. Players, writers, everyone hated him. Now imagine if a well liked player like Pedro accused someone, while playing. Saying you wish they had spoken up well after the fact is just not feasable. Being silent was the only choice they had whether they knew or not.

  4. frank35sox - Dec 8, 2012 at 10:33 AM

    Wait, wait, wait…anyone else seeing the irony here?

    • vallewho - Dec 8, 2012 at 10:45 AM

      a “small” power pitcher, speaking about PEDs at D. Ortiz’s tourney.

    • yahmule - Dec 8, 2012 at 10:47 AM

      I see Ortiz squirming uncomfortably. Which is part of the reason you didn’t see active players outing steroid users when they had to be around potential violators for eight months at a time.

      • deathmonkey41 - Dec 8, 2012 at 11:09 AM

        They must have gotten their milkshakes at different places in the DR.

  5. lphboston - Dec 8, 2012 at 10:39 AM

    Can’t deny the man’s talent or his competitiveness, but the truth of the matter is that when he was in Boston, Martinez thought he owned the clubhouse, coming and going as he pleased. One night manager Jimy Williams had enough, and when Martiznez showed up late, gave the start to someone else.

    He claims to have been clean, and there appears to be no evidence to the contrary. But he was 5-foot-10 and at times hit 99 mph on the gun.

    • jerze2387 - Dec 8, 2012 at 10:43 AM

      How does being tall make you throw faster? Its arm motion and strength that allows for the pitch speed. Shaq is over 7 feet and huge, but i bet he couldnt hit 99 on the gun.

      • contraryguy - Dec 8, 2012 at 12:11 PM

        Give Shaq a few warmup pitches, and he could probably throw *the gun* in the 90s.

      • manchestermiracle - Dec 8, 2012 at 10:50 PM

        Highly doubtful with those wrists he busted as a kid falling out of a tree.

    • giselleisasucubus - Dec 8, 2012 at 3:35 PM

      Really? That is what you are going with? OK, here is the real deal, since I’m someone who watched his entire career. Jimy Williams had battles w/a ton of guys, he was OLD school, and Pedro tried to keep the guys loose. Your story about Pedro being late and missing/being skipped…yeah, the way you explained it never happened. Jimy was going to DISCIPLINE him, but he never missed a start, so get your facts straight. BTW, his brother was also rail thin, could throw through the wall and then one day, couldn’t do it anymore, just like Pedro. When he was in Boston, he was the best pitcher in baseball. Are u a Red Sox fan? If so, your delusional to think Pedro had negative effects when he was in Boston.

    • louhudson23 - Dec 9, 2012 at 1:04 PM

      Gator Guidry weighed 165 pounds.

  6. yahmule - Dec 8, 2012 at 10:44 AM

    I have no problem with any player announcing he was clean. It seems a natural response to me when you have convicted felons with obvious agendas like Victor Conte and other ill-informed PED apologists recklessly throwing out purely speculative estimates claiming 90% of players were using.

    I laugh at the idea of a media member saying a player should have spoken up about steroids when it was the media who gave four MVP awards to Barry Bonds when he was so clearly juiced out of his ginormous head. A player’s job is to play, but you want to hold them to a higher standard than the people who are actually paid to analyze the game.

  7. vallewho - Dec 8, 2012 at 10:44 AM

    a “small” power pitcher, speaking about PEDs at D. Ortiz’s tourney.

  8. mikhelb - Dec 8, 2012 at 10:53 AM

    “it would have been nice to see some of these guys speak out while they were still playing. ”

    Let me remind you something somebody said while being active:

    “I think you clean up the game by testing…You test positive, you’re going to be out. Period” said a player in february of 2009, and 5 months after that, it was revealed that he was among the 104 players who tested positive and MLB protected them.

    Said player, David Ortíz, spoke harshly after the first reports of Alex Rodríguez testing positive and before it was known that Ortíz, himself, was a user. Since then, he opted to avoid speaking about that and offering an explanation of what happened.

    After the report was made public, Ortíz spoke to the media:

    “I want to let you know how I am approaching this situation.

    One, I have already contacted the Players Association to confirm if this report is true. I have just been told that the report is true. Based on the way I have lived my life, I am surprised to learn I tested positive.

    Two, I will find out what I tested positive for. And, three, based on whatever I learn, I will share this information with my club and the public. You know me — I will not hide and I will not make excuses.”

    But he was lying, because whenever a player testes positive, he is first informed by MLBPA.

    Even more so: Pedro Martínez every offseason in the DR sought the help of the same personal trainer who trained a variety of players who tested positive and MLB suspended that trainer for giving his trainees banned stimulants, and PEDs… his name: Angel Presinal.

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Dec 8, 2012 at 12:54 PM

      So what?

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Dec 8, 2012 at 1:02 PM

      Who are you?

  9. sidelineshot - Dec 8, 2012 at 11:14 AM

    Pedro’s secret must have been eating lots of rice and beans.
    Never run out of gas.

    • lumpyf - Dec 8, 2012 at 6:39 PM

      I just spit out my beer. Good one!

      • sidelineshot - Dec 8, 2012 at 8:25 PM

        hahahaha

  10. ras1tafari - Dec 8, 2012 at 11:47 AM

    Dominance, excellence and entertainment. Pedro is still the only athlete that’s ever been appointment viewing for me.

  11. Chris Fiorentino - Dec 8, 2012 at 12:32 PM

    Pedro was the right handed equal of Sandy Koufax. Check the numbers. Both men were as dominant as possible during their primes. If Pedro doesn’t get in on his first ballot with 85+ % of the vote, it will further prove what a sham the hall of game voting truly is.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Dec 8, 2012 at 3:04 PM

      And both Sandy and Pedro pitched a game in which they retired the first 27 batters. The major difference is that Sandy’s Dodgers eked out a run for him, without a hit (they later got one hit), while Pedro’s Expos did not and he lost his perfect game in the 10th.

      • cur68 - Dec 8, 2012 at 9:45 PM

        Bip Roberts, wasn’t it? I seem to recall it was the Bipster who got that hit offa Pedro. Damn shame.

  12. dirtyharry1971 - Dec 8, 2012 at 2:20 PM

    sure you did pedro, i believe ya

  13. beelza - Dec 8, 2012 at 3:07 PM

    I did it clean, means Pedro never reused crack pipes. The Oompa-Loompa had no business challenging Pedro. Conversely, bragging about an Oompa-Loompa beat down will cost Pedro his induction to the HoF.

  14. modellforprez - Dec 8, 2012 at 3:54 PM

    I loved this guy until he shoved an 80 year old man! I don’t care what he did he didn’t deserve it let alone for different uni’s.

  15. sfm073 - Dec 8, 2012 at 5:41 PM

    Why take him at his word when no one takes jeff bagwell at his word?

    • samu0034 - Dec 9, 2012 at 7:17 AM

      Because they fucking should take Bagwell at his word. What kind of shitass world do you live in where it’s cool to question everyone unfairly because some idiot already questioned someone else unfairly?

  16. romoscollarbone - Dec 8, 2012 at 6:21 PM

    Who is Karim Garcia?!? I am Pedro Martinez CY Young winner!

    Pedro’s the man.

    -From a Yankee fan.

  17. rc33 - Jan 8, 2014 at 2:43 PM

    Grabbed Zimmer by his ears and threw him down, face first. The best part about that incident, when you watch the replay, is that Zimmer bounced.

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