There’s no question that Red Sox Nation loves their team. When they embrace you as a member of the Boston Red Sox, it’s for life. For newly-inducted Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez, the club and the fans showed yesterday how much that bond means to them. However, that love comes with a price, especially for new Red Sox players who still need to earn that respect. If you play for Boston, the fans are behind you, but you better deliver quickly or you’ll hear about it.
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Before that surfaced, Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe reported the wonderful pregame ceremony where Martinez had his number 45 retired, forever on the wall above the right field fence in Fenway Park. “Two days after he was inducted in Cooperstown, Martinez again heard his name chanted by the fans of Boston. As he loves to do, Martinez reveled in the moment. ‘You will be linked to my heart. You will be linked to my life, forever,’ Martinez told the cheering crowd. That Martinez was the first Red Sox pitcher to have his number retired humbled a man who has no lack of confidence.”
Former Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek caught Pedro throwing the ceremonial first pitch, with Martinez’s wife and family watching and beaming with pride.
They were not the only friendly faces, either. Many former Red Sox greats were on hand, including former teammates like Curt Schilling, Tim Wakefield, and Trot Nixon. Nomar Garciaparra had a video message played to him in front of the Fenway faithful (he’s a busy man, leave him alone).
"Hall of Famers Carlton Fisk, Jim Rice, and Carl Yastrzemski — whose numbers were previously retired by the Red Sox — helped salute Martinez. So did another Hall of Famer, Dennis Eckersley. Former Sox greats Dwight Evans, Tommy Harper, and Luis Tiant gave Martinez a 45 from the left field scoreboard. During his remarks, Martinez said Tiant should be considered for the Hall of Fame.– Pete Abraham, The Boston Globe"
Wakefield was called upon to present Martinez with a $45 000 contribution from the team to his charity Pedro J Martinez and Brothers Foundation, which has its headquarters in Boston but concentrates mainly on helping children receive an education in his homeland of the Dominican Republic.
That country has been a big part of the Red Sox and baseball history, so it’s great to see the team give back to such a worthy cause. Pedro might have been signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1988, but it was when he arrived in 1994 in Montreal to play for the Expos and former manager Felipe Alou, another Dominican native, that he learned his craft. Alou was on hand to take part in the ceremony, to the delight of the overjoyed Martinez that he could see him again.
Another fellow countryman and former teammate David Ortiz came out to say how much he cares about his friend and to call for the unveiling of Pedro’s number up on the high wall. Ortiz even took a selfie of them on the field. That picture is his avatar, which is not shared with the public for consumer use. Here is another picture taken that Ortiz tweeted to the world:
Hanley Ramirez, another Dominican native, got into the act as well:
It was an absolute Pedro-lovefest, by both parties. Martinez thanked all of the clubhouse attendants by name, which is pretty incredible from the low standards that many celebrities have set before in terms of appreciation.
The eight-time All-Star was also honored by the grounds crew: “A large 45 was mowed into the outfield grass, just behind second base. The number also was stenciled into the mound, providing a reminder of the many great games Martinez pitched at Fenway.”
That specific place would also be the marker for Miley to look down and remember each time he took the mound that the fans loved Pedro’s efforts. While Martinez ended the ceremony by saying how he never gave up and that should inspire others to do the same, to possibly even get to his status of success or higher, Miley was struggling early. He may have wanted to give up when he allowed five runs in the first inning, the first thing that fans saw just after Martinez’s ceremony.
Miley may have wanted to give up even more when Pedro’s name was bellowed again and again after the debacle. With all of the love that was within the chant before the game, the fans now used the same chant with as much venom as they could muster. It even sprinkled throughout the innings that Miley didn’t pitch, serving as a warning and even a declaration of disgust for the entire current Red Sox pitching staff for their poor play in this game and this season.
Jul 28, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Hall of Fame player Pedro Martinez throws out the first pitch under the watchful eye of former Boston Red Sox players Tim Wakefield, (left) Jim Rice, Carlton Fisk and Carl Yastrzemsk during his number retirement ceremony before the game at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
Red Sox Nation will honor you if you pour your heart out in your performance and do not embarrass the team. They will also hate you with a passion beyond what you can imagine if you fail to do that. They’ve gone through losing seasons. There was a time when a certain curse of a certain large man haunted the team, so you can’t say their standards are too high. When you know the entire baseball world is watching the team honor one of their greatest players, with his family, former teammates, and other Red Sox Hall of Famers in attendance, you don’t allow five runs in the first inning from a team like the Chicago White Sox, whom have had a horrific season of their own. If you do what Miley did, then you should expect retribution.
The Nation did that last night. They honored their hero before the game and they wished for his greatness during it. Miley is not Pedro, nor is anyone on this Boston pitching staff. A fact known all too well by the fans. Not that Martinez would want the fans to commit such an insult, in his name, to anyone in a Red Sox uniform, but that’s Boston. They wanted to make sure Miley and the other pitchers remember what the standard is on that mound.
In the cathedral of Boston, anything else desecrates that soil.
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