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Pedro Martinez “I never considered myself a great player”

Feb 19, 2013, 10:00 AM EDT

Boston Red Sox Getty Images

Sean McAdam of interviewed Pedro Martinez, who has been at Sox camp this spring working as a special assistant/coach/interview subject. He talked a lot about getting back to the game after two years away. But then he dropped this one:

“This may sound weird but I never considered myself a great player,” he said. “I made myself, along with my teammates, a better player than I was. I never thought I was a superstar. I worked like I was a hungry man going for the first game in the big leagues . . . There was a lot of work for me to do to have success.”

I guess that’s more properly read as him not considering himself a natural talent, but even that seems like insanely irrational modesty. He’s one of the greatest any of us has ever seen.

  1. Chris Fiorentino - Feb 19, 2013 at 10:06 AM

    I wish I could be as “not great” at what I do.

  2. dirtyharry1971 - Feb 19, 2013 at 10:06 AM

    Thats good pedro i never did either

    • nategearhart - Feb 19, 2013 at 10:23 AM

      Then you’re pretty bad at watching baseball.

    • aceshigh11 - Feb 19, 2013 at 11:06 AM

      This comment is repulsively stupid even by your normally-abysmal, hateful standards.

      • paperlions - Feb 19, 2013 at 11:27 AM

        That’s okay, he’s never considered himself a great commenter.

    • mathieug79 - Feb 19, 2013 at 11:21 AM

      Ladies and Gentlemens, The award for the “username” with the most Negative posts this year goes to ….dirtyharry1971. He was also nominated for the most thumb down award.

      • buggieowens - Feb 19, 2013 at 12:07 PM

        wow…I would have thought that award does to “bozosforall.”

      • buggieowens - Feb 19, 2013 at 12:08 PM

        dammit…I hit cancel reply but not fast enough to catch my typo. I officially ban myself for 24 hours.

      • aceshigh11 - Feb 19, 2013 at 12:22 PM

        dirtyharry and bozosforall almost seem like the same guy, although dirtyharry isn’t QUITE as nasty.

        Bozos has a hatred for anything associated with the city of Boston that borders on homicidal.

        He must’ve had a girlfriend (or boyfriend) that cheated on him with a Bostonite.

      • American of African Descent - Feb 19, 2013 at 4:09 PM

        This award mathieug79 mentioned is more formally known as the “Bicepts Award.”

    • hammyofdoom - Feb 19, 2013 at 12:24 PM

      I want to be mad at this post, but I cant. If you are even pretending that Pedro isnt a hall-of-famer that had 2-3 of the best pitching seasons ever then I can only be impressed at the sheer level of trolling or of self delusion. Its remarkable really

      • indaburg - Feb 19, 2013 at 1:27 PM

        Being angry at this post is like being angry at a retarded child. You can’t be. You just smile, nod, pat his head, and move on.

  3. seahawks80 - Feb 19, 2013 at 10:08 AM

    This is surprising, most average players feel they are better than they really are

    • js20011041 - Feb 19, 2013 at 10:10 AM

      Alfredo Aceves nods at your comment approvingly.

  4. chacochicken - Feb 19, 2013 at 10:08 AM

    What’s Roger Clemens’s take on Pedro? Has he made a statement yet?

  5. csndrew - Feb 19, 2013 at 10:09 AM

    Rickey Henderson: “I never considered myself not a great player.”

    • tmohr - Feb 19, 2013 at 10:22 AM

      That should read “Rickey never considered himself a great player.”

      • stlouis1baseball - Feb 19, 2013 at 10:57 AM

        Nope. It should read…
        “Rickey has always thought Rickey was a great player.”

  6. dcfan4life - Feb 19, 2013 at 10:19 AM

    I dunno. His desire to prove a point in that memorable 1999 all-star game where he struck out 5/6 batters he faced including larkin, walker, sosa, mcgwire and bagwell sure seemed like to me he wanted to show he was better than those guys, even without the steroid cloud. You have to have amazing confidence in your ability as a superstar talent to go into a game against that lineup like that.

  7. Darkoestrada - Feb 19, 2013 at 10:26 AM

    Given the era, I had always considered him the best of all time. Maybe not the longevity of some of the other greats but at his peak he was as dominant as anyone.

  8. flosox - Feb 19, 2013 at 10:37 AM

    Flat out nasty on the mound! Tuned in every 5th day…

  9. hushbrother - Feb 19, 2013 at 10:45 AM

    THE greatest. There is no way anyone could have been more dominant than Pedro in ’99 and ’00. Not Koufax, not Gibson, not even Old Hoss Radbourn.

    Pedro’s historic run began, I think, with this game (which I was at):

    The narrative leading up to this series against the Angels was “Mo Vaughn returns to face his old team!” By the third inning that had changed to “Holy crap Pedro is mowing them down!” 8 innings, no runs, 15 strikeouts, no walks. For the next two years, this would pretty much be a typical Pedro pitching line.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Feb 19, 2013 at 11:38 AM

      I know you would like to think that Pedro started his historic run with the Red Sox, but he did win the Cy Young the year he left Montreal with a pretty good 17-8 record, 1.90 ERA and he led the league with 13 complete games. He threw 241 innings and K’d 305. He was pretty much a beast from 97-03

  10. bigleagues - Feb 19, 2013 at 11:02 AM

    I’m just glad he came back home. It’s nice having our “Daddy” back! 😉

  11. sabatimus - Feb 19, 2013 at 11:04 AM

    A lot of very talented people don’t believe they’re that good at what they do (except Muhammad Ali)–perhaps perfectionism is in the mix, but this can be what helps people to strive to be better and work harder.

  12. sandwiches4ever - Feb 19, 2013 at 11:15 AM

    Even as a Yankee fan, I can appreciate Pedro’s greatness. I remember the classic Sunday night Clemens-Pedro duel, back in 2000. What a game that was.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Feb 19, 2013 at 11:41 AM

      Kinda game that makes you think about how different history would have been without the juice. We wouldn’t have had a game like this from Clemens at 37 for sure.

  13. pisano - Feb 19, 2013 at 12:14 PM

    …..and neither did I.

    • raysfan1 - Feb 19, 2013 at 6:02 PM

      Note to self: remember to never request scouting advice from pisano as he is clearly not at all qualified.

  14. hitdog042 - Feb 19, 2013 at 7:37 PM

    What’s a bicepts? Seriously. It’s bicep.

    • raysfan1 - Feb 19, 2013 at 9:00 PM

      There was a frequent commenter, now banned from the site for various reasons, who went by the handle “Halladaysbicepts.” “American of African Descent’s” comment above was referring to him.

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