March 25, 2015 – MLB Network today announced that newly elected Baseball Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez has joined its roster of on-air talent as a studio analyst. Martinez, who was elected on the first ballot to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in January, will make his debut on MLB Tonight during Opening Week and appear across MLB Network’s studio programming. Martinez will also be part of MLB Network’s pre-game coverage of the Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees game on Friday, April 10 on MLB Network Showcase. Martinez’s work with MLB Network is in addition to his role as a Postseason analyst with Turner Sports, which he began in 2013. Martinez can be found on Twitter at @45PedroMartinez.
Martinez, a three-time Cy Young Award winner and 2004 World Series Champion with the Boston Red Sox, posted a 219-100 record with a 2.93 ERA during his 18-year career. An eight-time All-Star, Martinez is the only pitcher in history to lead MLB in ERA in five different seasons. Martinez began his career with the Los Angeles Dodgers (1992-1993) before joining the Montreal Expos (1994 – 1997), Red Sox (1998 – 2004), New York Mets (2005 – 2008) and Philadelphia Phillies (2009).
Following are quotes from a media conference call hosted earlier today by MLB Network with Martinez and MLB Network President Rob McGlarry:
We’re very excited to welcome newly elected Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez to MLB Network. Pedro will be appearing across all of our studio programming throughout the regular season, in addition to continuing his work with Turner Sports during the Postseason. Pedro will make his debut with us during Opening Week on MLB Tonight, and he’ll also contribute to our pre-game coverage of our first MLB Network Showcase game, which is Friday, April 10. As you all know, Pedro was a terrific competitor and an electric performer both on and off the field, and he’s always displayed a unique appreciation and understanding of the game. We look forward to having him join his Hall of Fame classmate John Smoltz as an MLB Network analyst and share his perspective with our viewers throughout the season. We’re really looking forward to him working with all of our analysts and providing his unique perspective.
Martinez on joining MLB Network:
I’m extremely excited to join this great group of human beings, before I say “players” and “former players.” I’m looking forward to having fun, to doing what we like the most, which is talking baseball, relive moments, analyze some of the things that happen in the game and how we would approach some of those things. I’m extremely excited and can’t wait for the moment to get there and actually see those guys, start the handshakes, and also just, you know, acting with them and spending time with them. It’s going to be great, I think.
Martinez on working with fellow Hall of Fame inductee John Smoltz at MLB Network:
I’m extremely excited to be with him. Not only to work with him, but to interact with him as a human being. Wow, what a gentleman, what a family. I’m more excited about being with him in the same area than I am actually to analyze the game and work with him. Just to hear those guys and see what kind of family men they are, how funny they are, it’s extremely exciting to me. I can’t wait for the moment to be with those guys.
Martinez on how he’s progressed as a TV analyst:
I have been trying to learn every time I go up there. I’m feeling more comfortable just as I got closer to TV and how things work. I’ve also had a lot of help from the people I work with. They have been really patient, really generous as far as being with me and teaching me the right things to do, and also very efficient as far as making it easy for me and getting all the data and all the information that I need. I feel a little bit more comfortable every time I go out. I feel like I have progressed a little bit, but I have so much to learn in this field.
Martinez on his time in TV and how David Ortiz would do as a broadcaster:
I am enjoying working on TV, at least for the time I’ve done it on TBS, a lot more than I thought. It’s a lot of hard work, so I have a lot more respect for you guys that do this on a day-by-day basis. There’s a lot of analysis that goes on behind doors. It’s a lot more work that I thought, but I also enjoy it because it gets me analyzing players and I love doing that. I love looking at the players, looking at the games, looking at the situations. You learn so much as well and not only that, you’re kind of learning to build a new career for yourself. I’m extremely happy doing it for the time I’ve done it for TBS, and now I’m looking forward to doing it this time.
For David, I don’t know how much he will enjoy it because David is always in the spotlight. I remember after I stopped playing baseball for the first two years, I didn’t want to be seen on TV even though you have to show up. It’s part of the job to actually cooperate with the media. I didn’t want to be seen on TV any more than I was in baseball. For David, he’s got the same chances we all have. With learning, dedicating himself to analyzing and doing the things and putting the time in, I think he can do it. Why not?
Martinez on making seven consecutive Opening Day starts:
I enjoyed those moments. I wanted to be that guy that was singled out to go and take responsibility of the team from the get-go. I wanted to be the guy that was responsible to say, “Hey, this is how we started and we started this way because of me.” I also wanted to take the pressure off the rest of the pack that was coming behind me. I always liked big games, big moments and I was so looking forward to those challenges. I’m pretty sure this team in Boston realizes how important it is to actually look forward to the challenge and face the challenges.
Martinez on Theo Epstein and the Chicago Cubs:
Theo is a very smart man. [He’s] kind of reserved to himself a little bit, but he can be aggressive if you give him leash. I wish he had more leash in Boston to actually do the things that he wanted to do, but being a young GM, you sort of had to guide him first…but I think in Chicago he’s got his hands a little bit free to do more of the things that he thinks he can do and I’m pretty sure he’s going to do a great job. So far, with the team he’s putting together, it looks like he’s trying the right way.
Martinez on the Red Sox’ offseason moves and their upcoming season:
I’m excited, I’m excited. I actually went over to John [Farrell] and David [Ortiz] and some of the players and we kind of held a little group meeting where we were just talking, and I pictured myself facing the Red Sox and I came up with so many things that I realized would happen during the season. Guys with a little experience in the big leagues with the starters, they’re going to have a hard time dealing with that lineup. When you look at Mookie Betts, [Shane] Victorino, [Dustin] Pedroia, you look at Bogey [Xander Bogaerts], you look at David, you look at Hanley [Ramirez], you look at Panda [Pablo Sandoval], you look at [Mike] Napoli – healthy, totally healthy, and one of the best trackers – even behind Panda. Panda is one of the toughest at-bats that you can get in the big leagues – the toughest to strike out, so Napoli is going to track a lot of pitches. It’s going to be really, really a headache to face that lineup, and from the pitching standpoint, it’s going to kick in to everyone over there that they’re all aces. I think that even though they’re not called “aces” by numbers, they’re going to have to step up it and be that ace, even though some of those guys have done it before, and they all have the talent to do it. I think they’re capable of doing anything that any other ace does, and it’s just a matter of them approaching it that way.
Martinez on his early World Series pick:
I’m going to say it’s too early. It all depends on how they break out of camp, but so far, there are teams with plenty of talent. Believe it or not, the Red Sox is one of the teams if they stay healthy…the Washington Nationals, I would have to say Toronto, I think they are really tough. So many teams that can probably be in the hunt for it. It all depends on how healthy everybody leaves camp and if everybody is the way that they’re structured to be. I would say between the Red Sox, the Washington Nationals, if the Yankees stay healthy, they’re going to be in the hunt, Kansas City without a doubt, you can’t take them lightly. I think the Dodgers are going to be tough, also. I’m talking about playoff teams. I can’t tell you really a winner, no, but playoff teams that I believe can be in, those teams that I just mentioned can probably make it. San Diego could be a team that could surprise everybody.
Martinez on Felix Hernandez’s streak of Opening Day starts:
When you ask about durability, when you ask about consistency, I think Felix brings every one of them. Not only that, Felix is still so young, so capable of doing anything…King Felix will be that guy that you ask to be that ace for a long time. Thank God Seattle has him there.
That’s another team that’s going to be interesting as well. Now with Nelson Cruz and the offense going a little better, I think that’s another team you have to keep an eye on. King Felix will probably set the tone for all of them.
Martinez on Pete Rose and the Hall of Fame:
With all due respect to everybody and to the Hall of Fame, the new commissioner, the former commissioner, I believe he should be in there as well. I’ve always been very vocal about Pete because I remember coming up in the 80’s and watching Pete Rose – “Charlie Hustle,” like they called him – and his performance in the field, to me, was outstanding and something that, looking at the history of the game, “Who is the next guy?”. I thought Derek Jeter had probably the best chance at probably catching Pete Rose, he retired and he was the closest…so what he did is special for the game. I think he paid his dues already, I think he’s been out and suffering for not being in long enough, I believe he should be in.
Martinez on Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds:
My words about Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds have been that I thought they were Hall of Famers before they got into the different things that they did.