Baseballs

Nov. 18, 1997

Red Sox fans should celebrate this a holiday.

Word broke that Dan Duquette and Jim Beattie had come to terms on a deal that would send Pedro Martinez to Boston.

To acquire Martinez the Red Sox gave up Carl Pavano, who enjoyed a long, occasionally memorable career, and Tony Armas, a journeyman pitcher with a lifetime record of 53-65. It is fair to say that the Montreal Expos were fleeced.

With Boston, Martinez did what the Los Angeles Dodgers thought he could do when they signed him in 1988 and what the Expos knew they couldn’t afford. The best right-hander of his time is also the best Red Sox pitcher of all time – except, perhaps, Babe Ruth.

After hearing a question about the Curse of the Bambino one too many times, Martinez famously snarled, “Dig up the damn Bambino and I’ll drill him in the ass.”

He feared no one, and was not shy about drilling any batter he saw digging in a little too close to the plate. Without his presence, the Curse would have lingered past 2004.

As former Red Sox manager Jimy Williams said whenever Martinez turned in one of his many gems, “Do you understand what you are seeing here?”

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