Pedro Martinez on D&H: 2004 Red Sox were 'like a good date'

May 30, 2014 - 9:27 am
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Former Red Sox pitcher Pedro Martinez joined Dale & Holley on Wednesday afternoon to reflect on his major league career. To hear the interview, go to the Dale & Holley audio on demand page. Martinez returned to Boston along with a group of other former Sox players Wednesday night to honor the 10-year anniversary of the team's 2004 World Series championship. "The fun in that group has never gone away," Martinez said. "Every time we have an opportunity to actually interact with each, it seems like we went right back to what we'€™re used to doing." One thing that team was known for was its unique personalities throughout the roster, something Martinez said worked because the team "kept it loose" in the clubhouse. "When you want to meet a good woman, you date her for a long time and you spent a lot of time together," he said. "That'€™s what we did. We were like a good date. We were always out, always the same group of guys. Not too many coaches, except one or two who wanted to join, but we were always out, always together in everything we did. If we had to fight, we were all together and we knew what we were doing as a pack, as I'€™d describe as a wolf pack, or a group of lions working together. "The personality thing? We just found the greatest group of guys to have fun and be loose and be loud and be careless of what you thought. That'€™s the approach we took, and I think that'€™s why the personalities never clashed, because we were all after having fun, being crazy, being loose and not worry about what you were thinking, about what the media was saying." Each start was valuable to Martinez. Every time he took the mound, he pitched with extreme intensity because he felt like he had a chip on his shoulder. "I was denied so many chances, it made me angry," he said. "But at the same time, I held so much inside, so much anger for being denied, being second-guessed so many times that I actually developed a habit of being like that whenever I had to pitch because I was told I was never going to do it. I was told that I wasn't good enough to do it and I wanted to prove everybody wrong. "That little bit of anger that I had all the time became a habit for me, and for some reason as soon as the game was approaching I had that demeanor. I think it worked pretty good to keep me focused. I think not messing around, not looking at anybody as a friend because I was called head-hunter, I was called all kinds of things coming up, I was always misjudged." Martinez pitched in 203 games in a Red Sox uniform, but he said the one he was most proud of came in Kansas City at a time when the team was short on relief pitchers. He was called upon by manager Jimy Williams to go as deep into the game as he could to spare the bullpen that night. Martinez gave up five runs in the first inning but still managed to go eight innings. "Why was it so important? Because it was the first time someone ever expressed to me, you are the one that I want to do this job," he said. "Normally they let you go and they expect you to compete and do those things, but to have a manager come up to you as an ace and tell you it'€™s your responsibility today to pick up your teammates. That was the main reason, my teammates. The bullpen that was overused, the bullpen that was beat up. I felt like I was letting them down if I didn't go deeper." Martinez took pride in the fact that he still found a way to dominate, even while pitching in an era tainted by steroid use. "I always felt like I was the underdog, but I really wouldn't want it any other way," he said. "I wanted to face the best guys out there, the best that they could be, to see what I was made of. I don'€™t think I let anybody down, and I was proud of what I had out there." Following are more highlights from the interview. For more Red Sox news, go to the team page at weei.com/redsox. On whether or not he knew he was going to pitch in relief in Game 7 of the 2004 ALCS: "No. I had one day'€™s rest. I'€™m a starter, I have to pitch a game, and I stayed here to work out and I went over to New York. I had just gotten to New York. I couldn't understand how in the hell I was in the game, and nobody has ever explained it, either." On the incident in 2003 when he threw down Don Zimmer: "The Zimmer incident is the only thing I'€™m embarrassed about. But it'€™s not because of what happened, really, it'€™s who it happened with. I'€™m very respectful of the people and I never really had any problems in the streets. If it was [Jorge Posada] or [Derek Jeter] who charged me, it would've been OK. But the old man, it shocked me. It also shocked me to hear the word he called me right before he tried to jab me. ... He didn't have my mom in a really good place, so I was really kind of shocked and I was disappointed a little bit." On his workout routine: "First of all, I would run for an hour. I don'€™t know if you remember, I used to go on the warning track after BP started and after being finished, I would go on the stairs. If it was early, I would go for an hour then I would run the stairs, sometimes take Derek Lowe and go running in the park. I would go for an hour every day except for the day I pitched.'€ "I would have to go do legs, I'€™d have to go do medicine ball, I would have to go do core. I had so many things I had to do, get my bullpens in between, get my throwing in between. It was a long process. Sometimes I would come out in the third or fourth inning of a game if I didn't get there really early."

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