"They thought he was not going to be able to hold out": Pedro Martínez reveals in an interview the reason why Dodgers did not believe in him in a true historical error
An organization like the Los Angeles Dodgers that produces so many good players is sometimes wrong. and let go of brilliant players. The Dominican Pedro Martínez, perhaps the greatest Latin American pitcher in history, is one of them.
The Dodgers had him and they let him go. Pedro Martínez then proceeded to build a fabulous career (1992-2009) that included 219 game wins, three Cy Young trophies and numerous records. of the Major Leagues, after which he was immortalized with his induction into the Cooperstown Hall of Fame in 2015.
In a recent chat with La Opinión, Pedro Martínez explained why Dodgers fans can only sigh about what he could have been as a Dodger.
"What happens is that in those days there were many limitations to analyze baseball from another angle," said Martínez, 51, noting that the teams were guided by the experience and physical appearance of a player. "Although I was always successful in the minor leagues - I broke all the records that the Dodgers had in the minor leagues - I did not give the physical relationship that my brother had."
Ramón Martínez, 1.93 m. tall, he won 123 games with Los Angeles between 1988 and 1998. Pedro was under 6'1" and skinny.
“My brother was tall, he looked like a model. So that was the characteristic that he liked in the Dodgers organization.. Tom Lasorda was a manager old schoolas we say, from the old school, who liked players with the physical traits that he simply grew up seeing,” explained Martínez, who currently works as an analyst for TBS and MLB Network.
“I was a boy of medium height, 5-11 and a half…6 foot with my cleats posts. I wasn't fat either, I was very skinny, I was around 154 pounds when I got to the big leagues," Martínez added in the interview. “He had a power arm that was what scared the organization: an arm of almost 100 miles and with a very tiny physique that unfortunately they thought he was not going to be able to withstand.still maturing a little more, the physical load that entails [ser] a pitcher in the Major Leagues.
The man who put Pedro Martínez on the path to stardom
Pedro Martínez made his debut at the age of 20 with the Dodgers in 1992 and the following year he began to shine as a reliever (10-5, 2.61, 119 strikeouts in 107 innings). He says that when the Dodgers promoted him to the Big Top after setting organizational records in the Minor Leagues there wasn't much understanding of his work by the team and he was never considered one of MLB's great prospects.
For Pedro Martínez, everything changed when Felipe Alou, a prominent Dominican baseball player who later became the manager of the Montreal Expossaw him pitch as a starting pitcher in Dominican league games in the winter.
“He was able to appreciate in winter league what the Dodgers organization couldn't appreciate,” Martinez said of Alou, who had him start in the 1992 Caribbean Series in Hermosillo, Mexico.
After the 1993 campaign, the Dodgers traded Pedro to the Expos, one of the most unfortunate trades in Los Angeles franchise history.
“Felipe saw that I was available in a trade, he immediately asked me as a starter. And the Dodgers, no, they never thought of backing down; they acquired a very talented young man, Delino DeShields, one by one, and that's how my trade happens. But in reality I did not fill the characteristics that the organization had to develop a pitcher, "Martínez recalled.
Pedro Martínez: "I am the product of an opportunity"
In his fourth season with Montreal, Pedro Martínez won his first Cy Young trophy after going 17-8, 1.90, 305 strikeouts.. Months later he was traded to the Boston Red Sox and that's where the Dominican made a name for himself as an ace, being an architect of the renaissance of the old franchise, including the 2004 title that ended the so-called "Curse of the Bambino."
Looking back, Martínez humbly pointed out the difficulties of his early days in baseball and even recalled that his passion was not sports, but medicine.
"I had many needs," Martínez admitted in the talk with La Opinión. “When I was 12 and 13 years old I was selected to represent my country. Due to financial needs, I was never able to represent my country, and that was marked on me as a child.".
Regardless, the Manoguayabo, Dominican Republic native persevered in baseball until he turned professional, enlisting the help of his brother Ramón, who helped him greatly in his development.
“I am the product of an opportunity,” asserted the legendary Pedro, who after consolidating himself in the Major Leagues began to assume a mentoring role for other Dominican players who came later, since he assures that “98.5% of young players need guide".
From star pitcher to mentor to young players
In that vocation or "mission", as Pedro Martínez says, to help guide other baseball players, it all started with Vladimir Guerrero, another Dominican who is already in the Baseball Hall of Fame and who played the first part of his career with the Expos. Pedro Martínez supported him as if he were "his little brother"as revealed.
It's like when you have a child teenager and he doesn't know how to tie his tie, and you're the dad who proudly, when he's going to graduate, tie his tie and put on his little suit and teach him how to dress and teach him to combine them”.
Years later, Martínez was the main player in getting David Ortiz a job with the Red Sox after being laid off by the Minnesota Twins. “Big Papi” is also in Cooperstown. And he also advocated for Manny Ramirez to be acquired by the Red Sox, where he shined brightly.
In short, that unfortunate decision by the Dodgers ended up changing the course of the history of the best baseball. of the world.
Today, Pedro Martínez continues to mentor young Latin American baseball players.
“We have a responsibility that goes beyond playing. I always wanted to maintain full integrity so that I could speak with authority, be able to express myself and be able to serve others,” she commented.
Pedro has managed to transfer his great personality that he had on the diamond to his current role as a baseball analyst, something that he admits never having imagined. in those years as a streamer:
"This gives me a very unique opportunity to express my knowledge, my feelings about what I perceive from the game, from my experiences, from me as a human being, and also how different I can be from what I was as a player."
Regarding being a communicator, Martínez believes that he has "been able to penetrate many hearts" and feels more respect for journalists than when he was a baseball player: "Before, I only perceived the journalist as a person who simply wanted to investigate... but in reality I did not realize that there was so much responsibility behind journalism.”
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