Monday, January 5, 2015

Pedro Martinez Wanted to be a Yankee Before Getting Traded to the Red Sox

During his nearly two-decade major-league career, right-handed pitcher Pedro Martinez was a well-known foe of the Yankees.

The 43-year-old retiree, who played for the Red Sox from 1998-2004, went 11-11 with a 3.20 ERA in 32 games against them from 1992-2009, most of which came in a Boston uniform. 

Maybe that's why it's so strange he actually hoped to head to the Yankees prior to joining New York's arch rival, something he recently revealed in an interview with The New York Daily News' Christian Red. Martinez, speaking in the Dominican Republic back in December, said he openly hoped to be dealt to the Bronx while a member of the Expos, and admitted he wasn't that pleased when he was sent to the Red Sox instead.

"I wanted the trade to happen. I wanted out of Montreal," Martinez said. "I wanted to go to the best team out there. I saw [pitcher] John Wetteland, [outfielder] Marquis Grissom, [outfielder] Larry Walker go to different teams. But the one that ended up winning most of the time was the Yankees."

His logic there can certainly be understood, seeing as the Yankees appeared in five World Series from 1996-2001. The Red Sox, meanwhile, weren't much of a contender in the 90's, recording just one division title and a pair of wild card berths. 

They would make Martinez's time with them worthwhile in 2004, however, when the team swept the Cardinals in the Fall Classic for its first championship since 1918. 

"When I was traded to Boston, I was shocked," Martinez said. "Boston had finished in [fourth] place [in '97], just like [Montreal]. I had asked [Expos manager] Felipe [Alou] and Jim Beattie, the [Expos'] GM at that time, to at least give me the honor to trade me to a team where I would have a legit chance to win, to contend. It was the total opposite."

In total, Martinez went 219-100 with a 2.93 ERA as a professional, the 73rd most wins in baseball history. As for his strikeout count, which reached 3154, it currently ranks 13th all-time, 37 more than Cardinals great Bob Gibson. 

He's a first-time candidate for induction into the Hall of Fame this winter, having been away from the game for the required five years. 

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)