J.D. supports foreign substance penalties
ATLANTA – Count Red Sox slugger J.D. Martinez among the biggest proponents of MLB’s commitment to enforce penalties beginning next week for pitchers who apply foreign substances to the baseball.
“I am in favor of it,” said Martinez. “In the last, I would say, two years, the ball has been moving a lot differently than it has in my first eight years in the big leagues.”
Martinez got tired of hearing that hitters such as himself who rely on launch angle were a major reason that there have been fewer balls put in play in baseball in recent years.
He thinks the latest developments prove that the hitters didn’t deserve all the blame.
“For years, hitters have been taking the brunt and the blame of this whole launch angle revolution on why the game has slowed down and everyone is trying to hit home runs,” Martinez said. “It’s been one of those things where it has always been the hitters’ fault. We’re trying to swing for the fences.
“But there has always been that underlying issue that nobody seems to talk about. And it’s one of those things now that I think MLB is addressing. I think it’s one of those things that is going to kind of level the playing field again.”
Though Martinez has adapted better than most hitters, he says that the art of offense has never been harder than in the current MLB climate.
“I think everyone has tried to do things like hit the ball the other way,” said Martinez. “But when you have balls moving in certain ways that they have never moved before you literally have to change your entire swing to hit that ball. If not, you just don’t hit it at all. You’re pretty much swinging under it, or fouling it off or whatever it is.”
As for Martinez, he is having a much better season than he did a year ago. He entered Wednesday hitting .307 with 13 homers and 41 RBIs.
However, he has tailed off since May 1, slashing .279/.329/.415 with four homers.
“I feel like I still have so much more stuff I need to work on and a lot more things to do,” Martinez said. “The season is a long grind. You can’t ever get too high or too down. It’s one of those things, there’s always work to be done. I’m itching to go to the cage right now and go grind on something that I saw last night to see how I feel for the next 60 games, really.
“Every day, you’ve got to grind on something new, it seems like. It’s one of those things. As far as for the [first 70 games] I’m happy. I think we’re in a great spot as a team. I’m not too mad about my start, I would say.”
Remy released from hospital
Red Sox broadcaster Jerry Remy was discharged from Mass. General Hospital on Wednesday, five days after he was admitted due to experiencing shortness of breath while calling a game at Fenway Park.
According to a joint statement from NESN and Remy, the popular announcer hopes to be back in the booth “soon.”
Here is the statement:
“On Friday, June 11, NESN broadcaster Jerry Remy experienced shortness of breath and stepped away from the NESN broadcast as a precaution. He was admitted to Mass General Hospital to undergo medical testing in order to better understand what was causing his shortness of breath. Today he was discharged from Mass General and he is now resting at home. He is thankful for the moral support from family, friends, and fans and is looking forward to being back in the broadcast booth soon.”