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The Red Sox have hired Pedro Martinez

Jan 24, 2013, 12:46 PM EDT

Pedro Martinez AP

Multiple reports out of Boston that the Red Sox have hired Pedro Martinez to be a special assistant to to GM Ben Cherington.

I have no idea what most special assistants do, but I imagine that he’ll do much the same for the Red Sox that Sandy Koufax will do in his new job as special assistant to the Dodgers.  Spring training instruction. Be a team ambassador. Be a guy who knows oodles about baseball and is now, because of his job, always reachable.  There’s probably a lot of value in that, actually.

Also: I think of Pedro as being a modern Koufax, so I like that both of them got basically the same gig in the past week.

  1. dcfan4life - Jan 24, 2013 at 12:54 PM

    I think these guys have a unique situation. I think they can choose as special assistants to work hard and help the team in an effort to move up the ladder to maybe a GM spot or to do whatever they team tells them which wont be too much. Win win really.

    • ezthinking - Jan 24, 2013 at 2:49 PM

      GM’s are bred from the front office ranks – not from former star players. The GM skill set is far different than instructing.

      That said – great move by both squads.

  2. Rich Stowe - Jan 24, 2013 at 12:58 PM

    so Pedro’s job will be to hire “little people” to accompany the players everywhere and to call the Yankees “Daddy”…

    what a great job for one of (if not the) best starting pitchers in history

  3. Rich Stowe - Jan 24, 2013 at 1:01 PM

    but in all seriousness, having Pedro provide instruction in spring training and be available during the season (just like Koufax in LA) is cool…hopefully the players listen

  4. pellypell - Jan 24, 2013 at 1:03 PM

    As a Sox fan, he was the best of the best and I feel fortunate to have been able to witness him pitch in his prime.

    When he started, it was an event.

    Welcome home Petey.

  5. Rich Stowe - Jan 24, 2013 at 1:12 PM

    They hired him to protect the front office if Don Zimmer ever comes charging at them!

  6. tfbuckfutter - Jan 24, 2013 at 1:17 PM

    Vice President in Charge of Jheri Curl

  7. hammyofdoom - Jan 24, 2013 at 1:19 PM

    This is really interesting to me for one reason: Ruby De La Rosa (formerly of the Dodgers organization, now a top 5 prospect with the Sawx) actually learned his changeup FROM Pedro Martinez and the two of them have a prior relationship. I can only imagine that Pedro will be having a lot to do with Ruby over the spring

    • flosox - Jan 24, 2013 at 2:49 PM

      Petey learned a long time ago that the key is deception; not so much power. Dude was like a ninja coming after Zimmer…ha ha!

      Seriously though, he mastered the art of the change up and made a fool out of some of the best hitters in the best hitters era of the game. Triple digit heat is “sexy”, but A) you’ll most likely blow your elbow and/or shoulder (think Prior) and B) this is the Bigs; you’ll eventually get lit up (Farnsworth). There is almost no need for 12-6 curve balls or the like that put undo stress on your arm. Four seam, two seem, cutter, change-up; that’s it!

      Even the best hitters can’t think fastball and react to change up or vice versa. If he can teach the philosophy of deception to some of these young kids, they may be able to have long succesful careers without so called “raw” power.

      • jrobitaille23 - Jan 24, 2013 at 4:06 PM

        well, so called ‘raw’ power was exactly what Pedro had before hurting his shoulder due to the stress he put on his arm. He dialed it up to 98 on occasion and then that 89 mph changeup was unhittable. It wasn’t until after he got injured that he learned the art of deception and ‘getting by’ with his 90 mph heater, curveball and slurve. He and Maddox are two of the very best pitchers ever. Pedro should be a sure fire first round HOF’er.

  8. Old Gator - Jan 24, 2013 at 1:22 PM

    Great photo of Pedro there. “I gonna get you for that, you focking peegeon!”

  9. hushbrother - Jan 24, 2013 at 1:33 PM

    Great hire by the Red Sox!

    I can’t imagine that even Koufax was as dominating as Pedro in his best years. Sandy never had seasons with strikeout-to-walk ratios like Pedro’s, and he did his pitching mostly in a cavernous park in the 60’s, while Pedro did his at a time when the league ERA was up near 5.00.

    • kingscourt25 - Jan 24, 2013 at 1:38 PM

      But Sandy threw 300 innings

      • Glenn - Jan 24, 2013 at 7:55 PM

        Pedro had better stats in the peak of the hitter’s/steroids era in a hitter’s park. Koufax pitched in the height of the pitcher’s era in a pitcher’s park. I love Koufax, but it doesn’t take too much analysis to realize that Pedro was better than an all-time great whose name is synonymous with pitching excellence. Yes, Koufax pitched 300 innings, but not for long – he retired at age 30 from arm abuse.

    • kirkvanhouten - Jan 24, 2013 at 1:47 PM

      True, but you are comparing different eras here and have to account for that. Strikeouts occured far less often in the 60s than the 90s, pitchers threw *a lot* more innings (Koufax’s career high in IP was 94 more than Martinez’s career high). I think you have to keep eras in mind especially when comparing pitchers.

      That nitpickiness aside, you’re right. Koufax was absurdly great, but his two highest seasons in ERA+ would rank *6th and 7th* for Martinez.

      For all the attention on the hitters during the steroid era, it was also something of a golden age for the truly, consistently elite starting pitchers. I wonder if any era has ever had four different pitchers dominate an era to the degree that Clemens, Johnson, Martinez and Maddux did.

      • kingscourt25 - Jan 24, 2013 at 1:53 PM


      • kirkvanhouten - Jan 24, 2013 at 1:58 PM

        How great were those four?

        They made me totally forget that there was a pitcher who put up a five year run at the height of the offensive explosion (1996-2000) with this as his *average* season:

        17-9, 2,51 ERA, 242 IP, 212 K, 1.051 WHIP, 164 ERA+, 4.17 K/BB, 7.1 WAR

        Kevin Brown was really, really, really goddamn good.

      • stlouis1baseball - Jan 24, 2013 at 2:10 PM

        Great list Kirk. Hard to beat Clemens, Johnson, Martinez and Maddux.
        I will counter with Gibson, Marchial, Koufax and Bunning during the 60’s.
        Can’t go wrong with any of them.

  10. jaybird22seven - Jan 24, 2013 at 1:39 PM

    Wow Boston is really in the mood to hire anyone this year that wants a dream job !!!

  11. uyf1950 - Jan 24, 2013 at 2:10 PM

    Gentlemen for 5 consecutive years (62/66) Koufax was not just great he was incredible. Complete games, shutouts, innings pitched, strikeouts. Winning both the CY and MVP in 1963 and winning the CY and coming in 2nd in the MVP in both 1965 and 1966. If you never saw Koufax pitch you really can’t appreciate how good he was for those 5 years. The Dodgers in those 5 years appeared in 3 World Series winning 2 of them in no small part thanks to Sandy Koufax.
    Fans do players an injustice by comparing players of different generations appreciate the players for the time they played.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Jan 24, 2013 at 2:15 PM

      “Fans do players an injustice by comparing players of different generations appreciate the players for the time they played.”

      I agree with this 100%, that’s why Pedro and even Maddux get the nod over Koufax because they pitched in the steroid era. Pedro’s ERA+ of 213 over his peak 7 years is as amazing a stat as you will probably find over any 7 year stretch, and his career ERA+ is 2nd all-time to Mo…so it’s basically 1st all-time among starters.

    • stlouis1baseball - Jan 24, 2013 at 3:52 PM

      Hell…being 40 years younger Pedro could have hoped away on one damn foot.
      Yet…the only choice he has was to shove him into the ground.

  12. Chris Fiorentino - Jan 24, 2013 at 2:11 PM

    I feel as though I was lucky to have seen the greatest 7 years of pitching in the history of baseball. Especially considering it being smack dab in the middle of the steroid era.

    Pedro Martinez numbers from 1997-2003:
    118-36 2.20 ERA (213 ERA+) 3 Cy Young awards, 2 2nd place finishes, 1 3rd
    1408 Innings, 1761 Strikeouts, 315 walks, 1009 hits(LOL), 0.940 WHIP

    Not a big WAR fan, but his was 55.4 during those 7 years…I guess an average of 8 WAR per year for a pitcher is pretty good.

    I know many believe Koufax had the higher peak. Some will give you Maddux from 92-98. I will concede that Maddux 94-95 were better than ony two-year stretch for either Pedro or Koufax.

    My favorite was and always will be Pedro. He is the all-time leader in throwing to the ground fat, big-mouthed, idiot Yankees bench coaches and for that, he will always remain dear to my heart.

    • stlouis1baseball - Jan 24, 2013 at 2:27 PM

      I hear what you are saying in regards to their accomplishments overshadowing all others due to them pitching in the steroid era. But I also don’t think steroids had/have as great an impact on the game as some do. I would counter Gibson, Koufax, Bunning and Marchial are more impressive due to them not being the beneficiary of rest like today’s pitchers.
      Back in the day…dudes pitched till their arms fell off then were back at it a couple days later.
      Let’s compare innings piched, complete games, days rest, etc…

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jan 24, 2013 at 2:40 PM

        Nah, you can’t compare innings pitched because of the fact that those guys were raised to pitch that many innings whereas guys in later years were probably slowed down from high school and college…and definitely the minor leagues I am sure.

        If a guy pitches on 3-days rest throughout his career, then it is no problem for him because his arm is used to it. When guys get 4-days rest, that is their routine and anything changed…even more rest…can sometimes hurt their production.

        I don’t think pitching with less rest or more innings makes what Gibson, Koufax, etc did anything more than what Pedro did. You should compare how they pitched vs their contemporaries and what era. They raised the mound in 1963 which surely helped the guys you mentioned during their peak years. Koufax pitched on a newly raised mound while Pedro pitched in the era where steroids were prevalent.

    • stlouis1baseball - Jan 24, 2013 at 2:46 PM

      I love Pedro. Simply dominating. One of the all time greats to be sure.
      I hate the Yankees. Was raised from a very young age to hate the Yankees.
      Yet…I still think Pedro was a little Bitch for shoving Zimmer to the ground.

      • cur68 - Jan 24, 2013 at 3:26 PM

        Well what should he have done? Let Zimmer smash into him? Zimmer wasn’t coming put there to give him a hug.

      • uyf1950 - Jan 24, 2013 at 3:41 PM

        Cur, he could have easily moved out of Zimmer’s way. A 31 year old professional athlete versus a 73 year old portly bench coach. To say he had no other option but to push him to the ground defies logic.

      • cur68 - Jan 24, 2013 at 5:58 PM

        And then what? Rinse, repeat and so on? He’s in the middle of a fight, not a dance-a-thon. Deal with what’s coming at you as fast as you can because you don’t know what’s coming next or from behind you. Seriously, you guys have never been in a team-fight free-for-all? Where did you grow up? Marshmallow land? Even shinny hockey games turn into fights sometimes: there is no time to asses how old the crazed fool coming at you is. Just deal with it and try not to get hurt and anyone who second guesses you never could have dealt with it in the first place.

    • uyf1950 - Jan 24, 2013 at 3:15 PM

      Chris I’ll leave real baseball fans to think what they will about your last paragraph. Since you have a favorite Pedro moment I’ll tell you just one of mine. It’s was game 7 of the 2003 ALCS. The Red Sox leading 5-2 when Grady Little goes out to the mound in the 8th inning to talk to Pedro where he was expected to remove him from the game. Pedro convinces Little he still has enough in the tank. Little makes the fatal mistake of believing Martinez. Martinez gave up 3 runs allowing the Yankees to tie up the game at 5-5. The Yankees would later win game 7 on the now famous Aaron Boone home run in the 11th inning. All I’ll say is Martinez was 31 in 2003 and Don Zimmer I believe was 72 in 2003.Pedro and baseball fans everywhere should be ashamed of the actions he took that day.

      • stlouis1baseball - Jan 24, 2013 at 3:19 PM

        Absolutely 1950. I realize you are Yankee fan. Me? Can’t stand em.’
        Don’t blame me…put that one on my Father as I was brainwashed a Cardinals fan.
        But Predro (as great a pitcher as he was)….was a little Bitch for what he did to Zimmer.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jan 25, 2013 at 7:42 AM

        Yes, I understand where a Yankees fan would be upset about it. But the fact is you can watch the video a thousand times and it is never going to change. Zimmer charged Pedro and would have bowled him over if Pedro didn’t step to the side and throw his fat ass to the ground. If “poor, woe-is-me, 72 year old” Zimmer didn’t want his arrogant ass thrown to the ground, he shouldn’t have charged “31 year old” Pedro. Period.

      • drewzducks - Jan 25, 2013 at 11:19 AM

        And after completing the epic comeback in game 7 over the Red Sox they steamrolled over an overmatched Marlins club…oh that’s right, never mind.

  13. stlouis1baseball - Jan 24, 2013 at 2:43 PM

    But again…I don’t consider steroids as being that helpful. You think more innings pitched isn’t a good comparison cause’ dudes were used to it. I guess we are going to have to agree to disagree.
    But I will still take my chances with Bob or Sandy pitching against Pedro. You can’t really go wrong with any of them though.

  14. SpokaneGuy - Jan 24, 2013 at 2:51 PM

    The Expos should have hired Pedro first. Oh damn. Never mind.

  15. kalinedrive - Jan 24, 2013 at 3:09 PM

    I ♥ PEDRO!

  16. lphboston - Jan 24, 2013 at 3:30 PM

    No doubting the man’s talent, and on this board that seems to be how he is judged.

    But throughout Martinez’s time in Boston he cared about himself first and everyone else second. Jimy Williams was the only manager who had the stones to call out Martinez when he constantly showed up late for games, and Williams even took away a start because PM was a major PITA.

    And Martinez cost Grady Little his job when Little was too intimidated to take PM out in that playoff game in New York.

    Again, great talent. But a typical Boston prima donna.

  17. godofwine330 - Jan 24, 2013 at 4:29 PM

    He has two of my favorite baseball quotes of the bast 15 years.

    “There’s no crying in baseball.”

    and “Who is Karim Garcia?”

    As Brian Billick once said about Hines Ward, “I hate that guy…but I’d love to have him on my team.” No, I have always liked Pedro. A cool cat as far as I am concerned.

  18. themagicfanguy - Jan 24, 2013 at 11:28 PM

    So he was supposed to run from the old man? Yeah.. THAT makes sense. Zimmer was a dumbass for running at him, not Pedro’s fault.

  19. brsmith717 - Jan 25, 2013 at 6:12 AM

    Here’s a question for you (borrowed from Ken Burns’ “Baseball”): I believe the famous broadcaster Red Barber (or Vin Scully) was asked, “If there was a game to be played that your life depended on, who would pitch that game?” Gets ya thinking, doesn’t it?

    • Chris Fiorentino - Jan 25, 2013 at 7:40 AM

      Curt Schilling every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

    • 1historian - Jan 25, 2013 at 11:47 AM

      Sandy Koufax

    • drewzducks - Jan 25, 2013 at 10:29 PM

      Have to agree on Schilling. He was money. Borrowed then lost money but money nonetheless.

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