Martinez 'extremely honored' to go in Sox HOF with Clemens

Martinez 'extremely honored' to go in Sox HOF with Clemens
February 26, 2014, 2:00 pm
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FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Contrary to some recent speculation, Pedro Martinez will not mind sharing the stage with Roger Clemens when the two -- along with Nomar Garciaparra -- are inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame this spring.
     
Some past pointed comments and thinly-veiled references to the alleged PED use by Clemens had left some wondering whether the ceremony could be awakward.
     
But not according to Martinez.
     
"If I'm not mistaken,'' said Martinez to CSNNE.com, "(Clemens) did a great job right before I got (to Boston) and if you ask me, I was a big fan of Roger -- back then and still. Roger had his numbers when he left Boston; whatever he did afterwards has nothing to do with how he performed in Boston. That's why I'm extremely honored to go in (to the Red Sox Hall) with him."
     
In 2012, Martinez had said: "I would have loved to face Roger Clemens when he was Roger Clemens with nothing. I would have loved to face him all the time, like I did with (Greg) Maddux, (Tom) Glavine. I learned so much just from watching them. And I was clean. I know I was clean. That's all I can say. I was clean and I was out there. They got the best out of me. Beat me or not, that was the best I had, and clean. I wish it was the same way for everyone."
     
On Wednesday, Martinez seemed to soften those remarks.
     
"That's the spirit of competition,'' he said. "Not only him, but anyone who did it. I had a lot of hard games when I was pitching empty and I had to face (Andy) Pettitte and some of those guys using other things. But you know what? I didn't want it any easier; I wanted it the toughest way. That's why you guys have so much respect for what I did because I didn't take the shortcuts.''
     
Martinez reiterated that he retains "a lot of respect, regardless of what he did afterward. But I know his years in Boston were legit.
     
While with the Red Sox, Martinez had a few memorable battles with Clemens, then with the Yankees.
     
On May 28, 2000, Clemens and Martinez hooked up in an epic pitching duel, with each pitcher tossing eight scoreless innings before Trot Nixon's ninth inning homer tipped the game in Boston's favor.
     
In the 2003 ALCS, Martinez plunked Karim Garcia and Clemens responded by throwing high-and-tight to Manny Ramirez, resulting in a bench-clearing brawl that featured Martinez tangling with Yankees bench coach Don Zimmer.
     
Martinez called his election "a great honor. I don't have enough words to thank the organization. I'm extremely proud to have been chosen, really happy. This makes me more of a Bostonian than ever."