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Pedro Martinez spent seven seasons with the Boston Red Sox from 1998 through 2004.
A ton of players filtered through Boston in that time, but the Red Sox, for the most part, remained competitive, eventually winning a World Series title in Martinez’s final season.
Some of the players Martinez took the field with in Boston were good. Some weren’t.
Some of his Red Sox teammates were memorable, whether it was for their on-field performance or an off-the-field quirk. Others were just plain forgettable.
So, let’s try something now that Martinez’s No. 45 will forever adorn the right-field facade at Fenway Park. How about we run down the top 45 Red Sox players of Martinez’s Boston tenure?
It’s a difficult exercise for several reasons, many of which center on context.
Do we give more weight to a player with an iconic moment or one very good season than another player who provided three steady seasons? Should we factor in things like team performance, organizational impact or even personality?
Rather than sitting here all day and debating parameters for what essentially is a meaningless (albeit fun) activity, let’s go over a couple of quick notes and then start shooting from the hip.
These rankings are based solely on what each player did during Martinez’s Red Sox tenure (1998-2004). In other words, everything David Ortiz — spoiler: he’s on the list — has accomplished since 2004 is irrelevant. It simply didn’t happen in this bizarro world we’re about to stumble into.
More weight inherently is given to players who played with Martinez in Boston for a longer period of time. There’s no guarantee such players will outrank their one-year wonder counterparts, though. A player’s peak performance, value and contributions to the greater good all are considered. So yes, this list has a soft spot for those who suited up in 2004. The rings don’t lie.
Keep in mind this is an inexact science. In fact, there’s nothing scientific about it whatsoever. The list mostly is based on the eyeball test and admittedly is littered with personal biases, as you’ll soon see.
It’s all about stimulating discussion with No. 45’s number being retired. There’s no harm in that.
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