Pedro heads to Hall, now ‘teammate' of the Bambino

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COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. -- Pedro Martinez and Babe Ruth have buried the hatchet.

In his time in Boston, Martinez, who will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame Sunday, provided one memorable quote after another.

Once, asked about the notion that the Red Sox were somehow cursed by the ghost of Babe Ruth - in retribution for Ruth being sold to the rival New York Yankees -- Martinez lost his patience with the notion.

"I’m starting to hate talking about the Yankees,” he said on May 30, 2001. “The questions are so stupid. They’re wasting my time. It’s getting kind of old. I don’t believe in damn curses. Wake up the damn Bambino and have me face him. Maybe I’ll drill him in the ass, pardon me the word.”

But now that Martinez is about to share baseball immortality with Ruth, he thought it time to make amends.

"We are teammates,'' said Martinez. "I had the opportunity to go over and look at his statue [in the Hall of Fame] and I did apologize for the comments I made that day. That was [Dan] Shaughnessy and [WBZ Radio reporter] Jonny Miller getting in my face. I said those things because I didn't believe in curses.

"But I know, especially after that moment, I got to really appreciate how good the Bambino was and how good he was to people in society and for baseball.''

In Martinez's mind, the two have a shared goal.

"I am teammate [of his],'' said Martinez, smiling. "He forgave me for what I said and we've moved on now. I'm counting on him to go deep and I'm going to get the next eight shutout innings.''

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