Pedro Martinez did not want to discuss baseball on Friday, but he was eager to share that he taught Manny Ramirez’s son how to fish. Back in the Dominican Republic, where his boat is docked, Martinez loves to reel in marlin and wahoo. He has sharpened his techniques over many an offseason, including the longest one of his career.
That offseason stretched into July as he rejected contract offers because something was not good enough – either the money offered, which cut straight to Martinez’s pride, or the interested team. He wanted only to pitch for a National League contender so that he could add a second World Series ring to the one he earned with Boston in 2004.
The last three and a half months have unfolded precisely as he intended, and now Martinez is days from playing a crucial role in fulfilling his wish. The Phillies have yet to announce their World Series rotation, but manager Charlie Manuel confirmed before Friday’s workout at Citizens Bank Park that Martinez would get a start.
With Philadelphia’s rotation shaky behind Cliff Lee, Martinez will play an important role, most likely pitching as early as Game 2 but no later than Game 3.
“I don’t think you can go wrong with Pedro Martinez,” said Brad Lidge, the Phillies’ closer. “He’s such a big-game pitcher. And then when you see what he did against L.A., he’s pretty impressive.”
Before his start against the Dodgers in Game 2 of the NL Championship Series on Oct. 16, Martinez had not pitched in 16 days. In fact, he had pitched only four innings since Sept. 19. Yet it was impossible to tell. He threw seven scoreless innings, allowing two hits and walking none. His manager marveled. So did his teammates.
“It’s pretty exciting to know that a future Hall of Famer is going to crank it up one more time in the postseason,” reliever Chad Durbin said.
Martinez. who went 5-1 with a 3.63 earned run average after signing with Philadelphila, loves everything about pitching in the playoffs – the intensity, the pressure, the expectations. He is 6-2 with a 3.13 ERA in 14 postseason appearances.
Lovullo eyes Indians job
Torey Lovullo wants a chance to manage the Cleveland Indians after spending the last eight seasons working in the club’s farm system.
“I’m familiar with the setting,” Lovullo said Friday, after interviewing a second time with general manager Mark Shapiro. “This team is a lot further along than some might believe.”
Dodgers hitting coach Don Mattingly and Angels bench coach Ron Roenicke are expected to be brought in next week for interviews. Former managers Manny Acta and Bobby Valentine also have been interviewed, and Shapiro hopes to finish his search by the end of the World Series.