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Red Sox 5, Orioles 0: J.D. Martinez is making Major League Baseball tweet about him

Rob Bradford
May 20, 2018 - 4:31 pm

J.D. Martinez had a point Saturday when talking about where Major League Baseball directs its promotion.

"Me and Goldy (Arizona's Paul Goldschmidt) used to laugh about it in Arizona because whenever somebody would do something good, MLB would blow it up," Martinez told WEEI.com. "They would put it on their Instagram. Put it on Twitter. Put it on MLB Network. ESPN would talk about it. Me and Goldy would be like, ‘Didn’t you do that two days ago and nobody said anything?’ We would just laugh about it. Goldy would hit three home runs a game and it would be like, ‘Oh, Goldy hit three home runs.’ But one of these other guys, it would be monumental. That’s kind of the way it’s always been."

Martinez added, "I don’t know what it is. To me, baseball has their guys and they’re going to advertise them. If you’re not one of those you better walk on water. That’s what we always laughed about, saying, ‘Bro, you have to walk on water to make that show.’ It’s cool to at least get some recognition."

The recognition that Martinez initially received was from Frank Thomas, who went on FoxSports to tell the world he believed the righty batter was the best hitter in MLB since the beginning of the 2017 season.

Judging by the reaction that is bubbling up of late, Martinez might be finding him in the same conversation as MLB's perceived golden boys.

Sunday, MLB did tweet after each of his home runs, the first wrapping around the Pesky Pole in right field in the second inning (324 feet) and the second coming via a 443-foot blast into the centerfield bleachers. (For a complete recap of the Red Sox' 5-0 win over the Orioles, click here.)

There was also this post on MLB's Instagram account ...

Baseball’s *really* fun when it’s this easy for you ➡️

A post shared by MLB ⚾ (@mlb) on

Perhaps the dynamic that is two Red Sox players -- Martinez and Mookie Betts -- sharing the lead for most homers in the majors will push along the conversation when it comes to the Sox' outfielder/designated hitter. But it shouldn't have to. The righty slugger should be able to stand on his own when it comes to what he respresents.

Nobody in baseball has more games with at least one extra-base hit (23) than Martinez, who heads into the off day with a .343 batting average and a 1.083 OPS.

So, why are so many late to the Martinez party?

We can't really say nobody took notice of what he has done to this point. There's a reason he signed a five-year, $110 million contract. (To that Martinez also said, "My whole career, even in the offseason, everyone is kind of like, ‘Who is this guy asking for all this money? Nobody knows who this guy is.’ I’ve always been living in the shadows of Miggy [Cabrera> and all these guys in Detroit. It’s cool to get some recognition for it.")

But there is something to be said for what Martinez is trying to suggest. Giancarlo Stanton? Don't you think MLB is pushing the Yankees' behemoth more than his Red Sox counterpart? They are sure. And it doesn't take a deep dive into the numbers to understand that, judging by both players' recent sample sizes, Martinez is better at what each is put on a pedestal for -- hitting.

Maybe it's that Martinez's arrival on the top of these leaderboards was relatively out of nowhere, with most of the other marquee names getting a running start thanks to the prospect hype machine. Or perhaps it has been due to the markets he has excelled in, with Detroit and Arizona not exactly going to be prioritized by the ratings vultures.

Listen, nobody is saying to put Martinez ahead of the likes of Betts, Manny Machado, or Mike Trout when discussing the best of the American League -- although he does represent the best opportunity for a Triple Crown winner. It's just that Sunday should offer another reminder that what the Red Sox have to date isn't the norm.

Walking on water never is.

- Red Sox starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez certainly did his part, not allowing a run over 5 2/3 innings. He did scatter nine hits while needing 110 pitches to get through the outing, but the lefty didn't manage any walks while striking out seven.

- Andrew Benintendi is starting to get hot hitting .365 over his last 15 games after going 3-for-5 with a home run Sunday.

- Jackie Bradley did strike out two more times, but he also managed his first extra-base hit since April 20 when he rifled a double into the right-field corner. The outfielder also drew a walk, with his average now sitting at .165.

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