From his first appearance in a Red Sox uniform in 1998, until the ultimate finish in the 2004 World Series, every fifth day was Pedro Martinez Day. He didn’t just dominate major league hitters, he humiliated them. And not just any major league hitters, steroid-powered, HGH-pumping superhuman home-run hitting major leaguers. Remember, 1998 through 2004 was the peak of the juicing years, and still, 160-pound Pedro owned them all.
ESPN is reporting, to my heart’s delight, Pedro is coming back to Boston. As much as I’d love to see him take the mound, his new role is special assistant to the GM.
“I’ve been away long enough now,” Martinez said Thursday. “I spent time with my family, and now the situation is right. I think they need people like me that could probably relate to the players, relate to the front office, have the good communication and the interest that they need right now. I think the players still see me as a player and they can naturally communicate with me. I’m also a veteran, a real old veteran and I think I can offer some advice how to handle different situations.”
In particular, Martinez will spend time mentoring young pitchers.
“I love to teach. I love to deal with the players,” he said. “I have a very good relationship with the players and I’m also fun. I like to have and I think they need a little bit of that in the clubhouse.”
And the part of the story that sent me running for the tissues:
“I am thrilled to be returning to this organization and to the city I love,” Martinez said in a statement. “Ben Cherington’s meetings this week have been outstanding. It is an honor to be back with the Red Sox and help in any way I can. I am grateful to our leaders; I believe in them, and I thank them for allowing me to return to the field and help us win again. My heart will always live in Boston.”
Welcome back, Jefe!