Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

J.D. Martinez on K&C says David Price never warned him about getting booed in Boston

Alex Reimer
February 26, 2018 - 10:37 am

David Price told USA Today part of his Red Sox free agent pitch to slugger J.D. Martinez included a warning about getting booed in Fenway Park. But Martinez denies that conversation occurred.

In an interview with “Kirk & Callahan” Monday, just minutes after the Red Sox finalized his five-year, $110 million deal, Martinez said Price never raised the possibility of fans turning against the outfielder.

“He never said that to me, honestly,” Martinez explained. “But you always hear that. That's the thing around the league. Everybody knows that. But I get it. If I'm doing well, I'm going to get cheered. If I'm doing bad, I'm probably booing myself. If I'm in the outfield and fans are telling me 'I suck,' I'm saying the same thing. I get it. I'm on board with it. I understand it. I'm excited to just be able to play in front of fans who feel the same way.”

Though the Red Sox and Martinez agreed to the contract last Tuesday, it took nearly an additional week to complete. WEEI’s Rob Bradford reports concern over a previous foot injury Martinez had suffered with the Tigers was one of the areas of concern. The final deal includes three opt-outs for Martinez and protections for the Red Sox in the fourth and fifth years of the deal.

Despite the holdup, Martinez says he’s enthusiastic about playing in Boston. 

“You talk about baseball, you talk about the Yankees and you talk about Boston. You talk about the Dodgers. Those are probably the three most iconic teams in baseball,” he said. “You know that Boston is one of the few teams out there that takes pride in the product they put on the field. They're always going to have a competitive team and you're always going to have the chance to win a championship here. The fans in Boston are passionate. I'm passionate, too. I love this game and put my whole life into it. To go out there and play in front of fans –– you know every night you go out there it's going to be sold out, packed. It's like a Monday Night Football game every night in Boston. What better place would you want to play?”

Martinez also says Boston was never presented to him as a difficult place to play. Instead, he says Red Sox fans are viewed as the gold standard in baseball circles.

“It was never pitched to me as a tough market to play in. It was always pitched as a fun market, like, 'Can you imagine playing in front of these fans every single day?,’” Martinez said. “It's packed every single day. I remember coming with Detroit when I first came here. When I came with Houston, and we were last place in the league, we came to Fenway and it was packed. I was like, 'This is unbelievable.' That's the way I took it. From an outsider looking in, I've always dreamed of playing on a team with so much history.”