Ortiz: Pedro a great pitcher, ‘incredible' human being


BOSTON - John Farrell wasn't sure Pedro Martinez was a Hall of Famer when he worked with him years back.

David Ortiz, on the other hand, "definitely" knew Martinez would be a Hall of Famer.

The one thing they both can agree on? Martinez was an even better person.

If you've followed Martinez over his career, you know that he's about as serious as it gets on the mound, and as jovial as it gets off it.

Ortiz and Shane Victorino (Victorino was a teammate of Martinez's in his final MLB season) reminisced about being teammates with Martinez at their lockers before Sunday's game.

Victorino, though only a teammate of Ortiz's for a short time, didn't have a great impression of Martinez as a competitor, but upon becoming teammates and getting to know Martinez, his feelings took a 180-degree turn. Victorino also learned how smart Martinez was when it came to the game.

These are things Ortiz had known for a long time after playing with him and winning a championship together in 2004.

"Pedro was special. … Unbelievable competitor," Ortiz said. "Best stuff I've ever seen in a pitcher and the most important thing, an incredible human being. I think a lot of people misjudge Pedro because of the way he was goes about his business. Besides that, Pedro is a very Christian person and person that has much love for everyone. I don't think you can be around a better human being than what he is. I was watching the whole [Hall of Fame speech] and it was very emotional. It was what I was expecting."

Ortiz is obviously close with Martinez, so his speech didn't surprise him in many ways. But for those that don't personally know Martinez, it's a good way to see Martinez the person, and not just the player.

"I know Pedro very well. What I saw was a guy that I know," Ortiz said of Martinez's speech. "It was good that this happened because being a fan, being a fanatic sometimes you get the wrong idea about us. That's the human side of us that if you're not following us on a daily basis, if you don't watch us very closely you will never know. Like I don't really know Randy Johnson, but when I saw his speech, it kind of hit me. I look at him differently. I don't think Pedro had anyone hating on him. Pedro is a class act guy. What you see is what you're going to get."

Farrell also enjoyed the speech.

"After watching it," Farrell said, "I think we all come to recognize that anything Pedro gets involved in there's going to be a certain flair and energy brought to it and that was the case whether it was him dancing at the podium or just acknowledging the many people that have touched his career along the way. I think in general probably what you might expect from Pedro."

But can Farrell expect to see another Martinez on the mound?

"I hope so. I hope he's wearing a Red Sox uniform too. I think the one thing that's changed even in the last 10 years, is each one of those pitchers that went into the Hall of Fame today, they never pitched in the pitch-count era and they either complete games or pitched on short rest. The game has changed so much with protecting pitchers, you wonder if those opportunities will be given as frequently."

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