Red Sox News: J.D. Martinez supports former teammate Mike Fiers
Boston Red Sox slugger J.D. Martinez recently spoke about the debacle in Houston and stood by his friend and former teammate Mike Fiers.
It’s now just over a week since MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred dropped the hammer on the Houston Astros for their sign-stealing behavior in 2017. Since the report and subsequent penalties were made public the baseball world has heard from anyone and everyone that’s ever stepped on a diamond. The Red Sox recently held its annual Winter Weekend event and the topic came up with some of the players.
One of the members of the club that spoke about the matter was former Astro and current Boston slugger J.D. Martinez. The DH gave his thoughts on his former club as well as his former college teammate Mike Fiers and his actions. Martinez was pretty clear on his thoughts and spoke in support of his friend and his choice to blow the roof off of what was happening in Houston.
"“Sucks for him. I’ve talked to him about it,” Martinez said. “I understand his side of it. I understand his side of it, being in that division and going against those guys. It’s one of those things where it’s an uncomfortable position for him. I understand why he did what he did.”"
J.D. didn’t play with Fiers in Houston but was his teammate during their time Nova Southeastern University. They remain friends to this day so it’s no surprise that the Red Sox powerhouse would be in-touch with the pitcher.
By coming forward and unraveling what the Astros were doing during the 2017 season Fiers has made himself a pariah to some and a saint to others. It’s without a shadow of a doubt the epitome of being between a rock and a hard place.
It just speaks to the character of Martinez that even with Fiers being enemy number one to many, he will stick by his friend. I’m sure many of you out there are saying that you’d do the same. It’s easier said than done as many of us won’t ever have to face that scenario.
Boston finds themselves embroiled within their own cheating allegations as a report by Evan Drellich and Ken Rosenthal in The Athletic claims they improperly used the replay room during 2018. Though there hasn’t been a result of that investigation yet, there are some rumblings that Manfred and his team aren’t finding much in the way of evidence towards those claims.
Martinez also feels that his squad will be cleared of the allegations focused on them during their 2018 World Series campaign.
The baseball world is still reeling from Fiers coming forward with what the Astros were doing and the hurler has received pushback from the like of ESPN commentator Jess Mendoza and even Red Sox legend Pedro Martinez. However, it needed to be done and Martinez fully understands his friend’s actions and reasoning.
"“I don’t know what’s going to happen,” Martinez said. “I wish him the best with everything. I talked about it with him. He obviously felt like he needed to and I understand it.”"
This storm will get worse far before it gets any better. Three managers have lost their jobs thanks to what was happening in Houston and who knows how far down the rabbit hole will go. As of now, it feels like Manfred and the MLB aren’t punishing players for the behavior in exchange for information.
Not a surprising deal to be handed out to those involved but still unsettling that those completing the act will get away scot-free.
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Red Sox manager Alex Cora was one of the few that felt the guillotine drop thanks to the actions of the Astros. Granted, he was named more than anyone else in the MLB’s report, but we can get to that easy route of finger-pointing at another time.
Boston has plenty of in-house options to take the throne next and I can imagine most would want to carry on Cora’s legacy of building the clubhouse around camaraderie and love of the game.
As for Martinez, he chose to opt-in for the 2020 season but his future is all but certain. He has the chance to once again leave the Red Sox in the winter of 2021 and test the free-agent market.
With some of his closest teammates all but gone, Brock Holt is a free-agent now and Mookie Betts will be next winter, it’s unclear where his allegiances fall. Boston has fully embraced the designated hitter with open arms and it feels like he has finally found a home in the baseball landscape.
Even with the world of baseball burning around him, J.D. Martinez showed great character by standing by his friend. In a time where not many are coming forward, it’s always a nice sight to see someone stand up against the masses. Red Sox Nation loves Martinez not just for what he does on the field but also what he stands for off of it. He’s a hell of a player and a hell of a person and he will have a home at Fenway Park as long as he wants.