BOSTON (CBS) — Last week, in an interview with USA Today, Red Sox pitcher David Price volunteered a story in which he cautioned J.D. Martinez to expect to be booed in Boston.
As you might imagine, it generated quite a bit of attention.
Now though, after the deal has been made official by the team, Martinez said that Price never issued such a warning.
“That’s funny, because he never said that to me, honestly,” Martinez said Monday when asked about Price’s comment by Mike Mutnansky on WEEI’s Kirk & Callahan Show.
Price originally told Bob Nightengale of USA Today last week, “I told J.D. he will love the guys here in this clubhouse, but also told him he’ll get booed. He’s a quiet, soft-spoken guy, but he’ll handle it. Besides, everyone gets booed. I heard Big Papi get booed many times in Fenway.”
Though Martinez said that warning never was delivered to him, he acknowledged that players in Boston occasionally get booed. It’s not something he’s afraid of.
“But you always hear that. It’s one of those things where you’ve heard that from, that’s the thing around the league, everybody knows that,” Martinez said on WEEI. “But it’s a part of it. I get it. If I’m doing well, I know I’m going to get cheered. If I’m doing bad, I’m probably booing myself. I’m in the outfield and fans are telling me I suck, I’m saying the same thing. So I get it. I’m on board with it, I understand it, and I’m excited just to be able to play in front of fans that feel the same way about the game and feel the same way about my performance as I do.”
Martinez also stuck up for Price, whom he considers to be a good friend — and someone who’s been recruiting Martinez to Boston for years.
“David’s awesome, man. He’s a great guy, he’s a great friend. We definitely talked. He loves it out here, despite the reputation that he has. He loves being and pitching in front of his fans, and pitching underneath the lights out there,” Martinez said. “We briefly talked about baseball, really. Mostly we talked about other stuff, just catching up. We’re friends at the end of the day. Obviously he wanted me to come. He’s been talking to me about this since he signed. He said, ‘Hey you’re a free agent in two years, you ready? You’re coming to Boston.’ And I started laughing, I said, ‘We’ll see, David.’ And he said, ‘I’m going to put in a word.’ And we kind of just laughed about it. But David’s a great guy, man.”