Pedro comes home

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Pedro comes home

The Red Sox are experiencing a rare gust of positive publicity this afternoon, thanks to the announcement that Pedro Martinez has re-joined the organization as Special Assistant to the General Manager.

For more on what that actually means, here's Ben Cherington, via the team's official press release: "Pedro will be involved in several areas, including the evaluation, mentorship, and instruction of young players in Spring Training and throughout the season."

Translation: Pedro's going to do whatever the hell he wants. He'll come and go as he pleases. He'll be great to have around, but he won't always be around. Bottom line: I highly doubt you'll see him sitting in Johnny Pesky's old dugout seat 81 games a year.

And that's fine. After all, that's Pedro. He did whatever he wanted when he was pulling in eight figures as the ace of one of the most obsessed-over franchises in sports. There's no question that he'll approach this new position with that same unique Pedroality. Personally, I'm already looking forward to team picture day, when everyone's waiting around the Monster as Lucchino stands in the corner screaming into his cell phone: "Where the eff is Martinez?! God damn it, Ben. I told you this was a stupid."

It's going to be awesome. Just the idea of having Pedro around, even if it's only once in a while, is going to be awesome. If he takes the job seriously, you have to think that he can make an impact. Who doesn't respect Pedro Martinez? Who knows more about the art of pitching and the mentality a player needs to be successful (especially in Boston)? Even if he doesn't take it that seriously, it will just be fun to have Pedro back in the mix; a welcomed diversion from the mess the Three Stooges have made.

Either way, it's winwin.

But here are three ways it can get even better.

1. Pedro needs to join Twitter. He was born for Twitter.

2. Pedro must insist that the Sox hold a special pre-game ceremony to honor the life and legacy of Nelson de la Rosa who was conspicuously and flagrantly absent from last year's centennial celebration.

3. You've heard of teams growing playoff beards, but that's played out. On the other hand, playoff jehri curls are an untapped commodity, and just what this team needs to get back to the top. And if they don't make the playoffs? I don't care. Call them "last place jehri curls."

As long as there are jehri curls.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Red Sox celebration quickly washes away walk-off loss

Red Sox celebration quickly washes away walk-off loss

NEW YORK -- It had the potential to be the most awkward celebration ever.

In the top of the ninth inning at Yankee Stadium, before their game was complete, the Red Sox became American League East champions, by virtue of one other division rival -- Baltimore -- coming back to beat another -- Toronto -- in the ninth inning.

That eliminated the Blue Jays from the division race, and made the Sox division champs.

But that ninth inning reversal of fortune was about to visit the Red Sox, too.

Craig Kimbrel faced four hitters and allowed a single and three straight walks, leading to a run. When, after 28 pitches, he couldn't get an out, he was lifted for Joe Kelly, who recorded one out, then yielded a walk-off grand slam to Mark Teixeira.

The Yankees celebrated wildly on the field, while the Red Sox trudged into the dugout, beset with mixed emotions.

Yes, they had just lost a game that seemed theirs. But they also had accomplished something that had taken 158 games.

What to do?

The Sox decided to drown their temporary sorrows in champagne.

"As soon as we got in here,'' said Jackie Bradley Jr., "we quickly got over it.''

From the top of the eighth until the start of the bottom of the ninth, the Red Sox seemed headed in a conventional celebration.

A two-run, bases-loaded double by Mookie Betts and a wild pitch -- the latter enabling David Ortiz to slide into home and dislodge the ball from former teammate Tommy Layne's glove --- had given the Sox a 3-0 lead.

Koji Uehara worked around a walk to post a scoreless walk and after the top of the ninth, the Sox called on Craig Kimbrel, who had successfully closed out all but two save opportunities all season.

But Kimbrel quickly allowed a leadoff single to Brett Gardner and then began pitching as though he forgot how to throw strikes. Three straight walks resulted in a run in and the bases loaded.

Joe Kelly got an out, but then Teixeira, for the second time this week, produced a game-winning homer in the ninth. On Monday, he had homered in Toronto to turn a Blue Jays win into a loss, and now, here he was again.

It may have been a rather meaningless victory for the Yankees -- who remain barely alive for the wild card -- but it did prevent them the indignity of watching the Red Sox celebrate on their lawn.

Instead, the Sox wore the shame of the walk-off -- at least until they reached their clubhouse, where the partying began in earnest.

It had taken clubhouse attendants less than five minutes to cover the floor and lockers with plastic protective sheets. In a matter of a few more minutes, the air was filled with a mix of beer and bubbly.

President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski wore a goggles and only socks on his feet.

As the spray reached every inch of the clubhouse, David Ortiz exclaimed: "I'm going to drown in this man.''

Defeat? What defeat?