Pedro: Little knew I was tired in last game
By By John Burke and Ed Medina, Boston.com Staff, 11/7/2003
Red Sox ace Pedro Martinez said today that even though he told former manager Grady Little that he could get Yankee Hideki Matsui out when he faced him in the fateful 8th inning of Game 7 of the ALCS, the decision to leave Martinez in really was Little’s.
In a wide-ranging press conference in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic this afternoon, Martinez admitted he was tired when he returned to the mound for the 8th inning.
"… at the end of the seventh inning, I wasn't in good shape," the three-time Cy Young winner told reporters during the conference, broadcast live on ESPN.
"(Little) told me they were going to have a pitcher behind me," Martinez said. "When Matsui was coming to bat, he asked me, 'Do you think you can put him out?' and I said, 'Yes.' No pitcher is going to say no to that."
“But it was Little’s decision.”
Matsui was one of several Yankees who got hits off Martinez during the inning, in which the Yankees came from three runs back to tie the game. The Yankees won in extra innings to advance to the World Series, where they lost in six games to the Florida Marlins.
Martinez said he was sorry that Little was let go, and praised him as “a great manager, a great friend; someone we could get along with.''
He also reaffirmed that he wants to end his career with Boston, but said that he will accept it if the team trades him. "For me it would be an honor to play in Boston, but it is not in my hands," he said.
Martinez said his future goals were to be elected to the Hall of Fame and to be healthy when he retires so he can enjoy life with his family.
He also talked about his stormy relations with the media in Boston, saying the press often misinterpreted his remarks.
Quite a difference from:
"There is no reason to blame Grady. Grady doesn't play the game. If you want to point the finger, point the finger at me."
I'm tired of his antics.