Pedro ready to start teaching what he knows


Pedro ready to start teaching what he knows

BOSTON -- The Red Sox added a three-time Cy Young winner to the organization Thursday. This one, however, wont be part of the rotation.

Saying he missed the competition, Pedro Martinez, who led the Sox to the 2004 World Series, returned to the organization as a special assistant to general manager Ben Cherington. He will work with pitchers at all levels in the organization.

Anything I have to do to actually help out the organization and get things better for the team and for the results, Martinez said of his duties.

I actually can read . . . mechanics and tendencies that pitchers have (pretty well). Being a pitcher for a long time allows you to learn a lot about different bodies and tendencies that we have, things that will get you hurt, angles. And Im pretty confident that I can probably read a lot of it. Also I think I can read who can pitch and who cannot.

He knows that working with young pitchers can be intimidating. Martinez -- the eight-time All-Star, two-time 20-game winner in his 18-season career, five-time major league ERA leader, whose .760 winning percentage is best in Red Sox history knows how to work around that.

You know that not everybodys going to be at your level and that everybodys unique, he said. Being honest, everybodys unique in their own ways. If you analyze my career, I have a lot of Greg Maddux, a lot of Roger Clemens, a lot of everybody that I could get my eyes on. And a little bit of Nolan Ryan. A little bit of Tom Seaver. You find a lot of little things that you analyze to try to put together to make your body of work the best . . . possible. And thats what I did.

And I believe if I can have the patience to look at the talent thats coming up and understand that theyre going to be their own way in some parts, I should be able to handle it. Im not going to force them to be like me. Its impossible to be like me. Its impossible to be like Roger. But you can also pick and choose some of the things that you can help them with and hopefully help out.

Martinez, who retired after the 2009 season, when he went 5-1 with a 3.63 ERA in nine starts with the Phillies, will be in Fort Myers for spring training for as long as the Red Sox need him.

The timing, he said, is right.

Ive been away long enough now to spend time with the family, said Martinez, who turned 41 in October. I think the situation is right. I think they need people like me that can probably relate to the players, relate to the front office, have the good communication and trust that they need right now. I think the players somehow see me a little bit like a player. They can communication with me. Im also a veteran, a real old veteran, and I can probably offer some advice to some of them about how to handle different situations.

Martinez went 117-37, with a 2.52 ERA in seven seasons with the Sox, winning two of his Cy Young awards in Boston. His role will be more advisory than coach. He doesnt want to get in the way of the coaches. But, he knows he has something the clubhouse after disastrous finishes in the last two seasons might need.

Im also fun, he said. I like to have fun and I think they need a little bit of that in the clubhouse.

Hes looking forward to working with all the pitchers hes said. One young pitcher he has already seen is Rubby De La Rosa, the fireballing right-hander the Sox got from the Dodgers in the August blockbuster trade, who immediately became one of the Sox top pitching prospects. De La Rosas grandmother was at one time the nanny for Martinez in the Dominican Republic.

Great arm. Great talent. He tops 100 mph, Martinez said of De La Rosa, who is coming back from Tommy John surgery in the 2011 season. That is going to be really interesting. He tops out in three digits sometimes and its a special talent. Its a little raw still, but I hope it matures enough where he can come back and surprise a lot of people.

But Martinez knows its important for the major-league staff to have an ace.

Thats the key, he said. You have to have number one, number two, number three, number four, number five. But the good thing is every one of them becomes number one on their turn to pitch.

Just dont expect that to be him.

Dont even think about me coming back, he said. Those three years four years that Ive been away really made it clear that I dont belong on the field anymore.

Red Sox exec Amiel Sawdaye follows Hazen to Arizona


Red Sox exec Amiel Sawdaye follows Hazen to Arizona

The Red Sox lost another key member of their front office Monday, when vice-president of amateur and international scouting Amiel Sawdaye followed former general manager Mike Hazen to Arizona.

Sawdaye will be the Diamondbacks' assistant GM. As stated by Rotoworld, he had been instrumental in building up the Red Sox' young big league talent and farm system.

The Boston Globe reported today that the Red Sox may not fill the GM vacancy created when Hazen left, instead using "other staffers to take on Hazen’s administrative duties". President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski handles many of the duties traditionally associated with the general manager's position, leaving the actual GM's job in Boston as "essentially an assistant [position] with a lofty title but little power".

The Red Sox have also lost two other front-office members this offseason: Senior baseball analyst Tom Tippett, who had been with the organization for eight years, and director of sports medicine services Dan Dyrek, who had been with the Sox for five years.

McAdam: World Series win could clear path to Cooperstown for Epstein or Francona

McAdam: World Series win could clear path to Cooperstown for Epstein or Francona

Sometime over the next 10 or so days, either the Chicago Cubs or Cleveland Indians will win the 2016 World Series.

Naturally, that will mean one of baseball's two longest-suffering franchises will end their championship drought. Either the Cubs will win their first title since 1908, or the Indians will win for the first time since 1948.

That alone should make for an epic World Series.

But there's another bit of history at stake, too - one of legacies.

In addition to the great discomfort felt by Red Sox ownership -- which fired the manager of one participating team and was seemingly happy to hold the door open for the exit of an executive now running the other - it will also almost certainly result, eventually, in either Terry Francona or Theo Epstein being enshrined into the Hall of Fame.

Epstein would go down as the architect who helped two star-crossed franchises win titles - the Red Sox in 2004, and the Cubs this fall.

The Red Sox went 86 years between championships; the Cubs would be ending a run of futility that stretched across 108 seasons.

That would provide Epstein with an unmatched resume when it comes to degree of difficulty. It's one thing to win it all; it's another altogether to do so with the Sox and Cubs, two clubs, until Epstein's arrival, linked in ignominy.

Epstein could become only the fourth GM in modern history win a World Series in both leagues. Frank Cashen (Orioles and Mets); John Schuerholz (Royals and Braves) and Pat Gillick (Blue Jays and Phillies).

He would also join a short list of executives who have won three rings, a list that includes contemporaries Brian Cashman and Brian Sabean.

Of course, Epstein can't claim to have constructed the entire Cubs roster, no more than he could have done when the Red Sox won in '04.

In Boston, Epstein inherited key players such as Manny Ramirez, Pedro Martinez, Derek Lowe and Jason Varitek. Similarly, Javier Baez and Willson Contreras pre-date Epstein's arrival on the North Side.

But Epstein is responsible for nearly the remainder of the roster, and hiring manager Joe Maddon, the coaching staff and most of the Baseball Operations staff, including GM Jed Hoyer and scouting director Jason McLeod.

Francona's influence on the Indians is just as obvious.

Hired in late 2012 after spending a year in the ESPN broadcast booth, he inherited a team which had suffered through four straight losing seasons. In the five previous years before Francona's hiring, the Indians averaged just over 72 wins per season.

Since his arrival, the Indians have posted four straight winning seasons, with two playoff appearances, while averaging 88 wins per season.

It hasn't seemed to matter to the Indians that they've been without two of their three best starters (Danny Salazar and Carlos Carrasco) this postseason or arguably, their best offensive player for all but 11 games this season (Michael Brantley).

The Indians don't make excuses for injuries, or bemoan their modest payroll. Under Francona, they just win.

This postseason, he's made up for the absences in the rotation by masterfully utilizing reliever Andrew Miller anywhere from the fifth to the ninth inning.

A third World Series would put Francona in similarly rare company. Only 10 managers have won three or more World Series and just six have done so since World War 2 - Walter Alston, Joe Torre, Tony La Russa, Bruce Bochy Sparky Anderson and Casey Stengel.

The individual accomplishments of Epstein and Francona won't take center stage this week and next -- that attention will, rightly, go to their respective beleaguered franchises.

But the subtext shouldn't be overlooked. Once the partying and the parades come to an end, a path to Cooperstown for either the winning manager or winning president of baseball operations can be cleared.