Oct. 24 Derek Lowe, Pedro Martinez & Trot Nixon pregame interview

Oct. 24 Derek Lowe, Pedro Martinez & Trot Nixon pregame interview

Q. You're together again. Looking back at the '04 World Series and just the memories or what's been going on since you all have sort of gotten back together.

DEREK LOWE:  Retired? Four weeks ago I did the Red Sox-Devil Ray game, so I was able to see him (to Pedro). I saw him in Cleveland a couple of years ago (to Trot). So these three, we've seen each other little bit. I think the Red Sox organization has always done a great job of bringing ex-players back. And I know for me personally I know it's very special. I know this is the current team's moment.

But it's fun to see these guys and a lot of us have been out of the game not that long, and we get to watch this guy (Pedro) on TBS, and he's doing a great job.

TROT NIXON:  I think the same thing for me. These guys, it's their moment, like Derek said. Whenever we get a chance to be around these guys, because once you retire, you go off and live your own life pretty much. I've been business with my boys and wife. I get to coach football and baseball, as they continue to grow. And just be a dad. But when you get the opportunities to be around former teammates, it's always a blast for me, because, you know, every day -- I always tell people, what was it like, what was it like, this team kind of reminds them of us.

Well, like I said, this team is them. They've got their own identity. But for us, we couldn't wait to get to the clubhouse every day to be around each other. And that's good. I think that says a lot about teams. I'm sure there have been plenty of teams that have had success the other way, I don't know. But it was a blast to get to the field. Everybody's ego was checked at the door. Nobody was immune from getting picked on. Once it got to about 6:30, 6:45, guys had their game faces on and were ready to play baseball.

PEDRO MARTINEZ:  And to me it was a parade. Since '04, every time I see one of these guys, it's parade time. So I have been around Boston a lot, and these guys deserve a lot of credit, all the credit in the world. And also as players, I feel proud of all those guys and the achievement that they have so far posted for Boston. I know that they still have a little bit to go, at least three more games. And I'm pretty sure that they're going to probably bring it back to Boston. If not, I'm praying that they do and repeat the story.

But without a doubt this team has a lot of character. It's a team that looks pretty much like us, yes, because they can't wait to get to the field, like he said. It's a team that wants to play. They want to leave it all out. And I don't know if you guys have been noticing the way they play the game. They play the game like a wolf pack, that's how I describe the whole team, like a wolf pack. They draw a plan to kill and to feed everybody --

DEREK LOWE:  What are we talking about again right now? (Laughter). You got me lost. You started talking about kill.

PEDRO MARTINEZ:  Because they go after the kill. A little baby animal that's hurt or something like that, the easiest catch.

DEREK LOWE:  (Laughing) Did you guys get all of that?

Q. Pedro, you talked earlier about the looseness that you guys played with, and how this team sort of has it as well. How important is that nature when you get to this point in the series?

PEDRO MARTINEZ:  Well, it's really important because it gets you away from all the attention of the negativity that's around. I think it's important that you maintain your focus while you're playing. But when you have some time off, there's nothing wrong with having fun. The season is too long. All of these guys are grinding by this time. And a lot of them are sore.

So your comfort zone is when you get with your teammates and you're on the field. And why not spend that time having fun and trying to forget about the things that might be going wrong for you?

Q. All three of you guys experienced the times here before the World Series had been won. And since you guys took the field in 2004 they've won nine straight World Series games. What's it been like to watch that happen? Is it something that was sort of hard for you to believe early in your career with the Red Sox?

DEREK LOWE:  I think for me, even -- I was playing during those years, and I've always been a Red Sox fan. But I think once you win a World Series here, I think there's always going to be a piece of you that roots for them. It's a special place. There's a lot of asked of you when you play here. But I think you don't appreciate it, at least I didn't, until you leave. Once you leave and you miss this, you know. How many other World Series teams have a bunch of guys like us come back and talking to you? You kind of get forgotten and you just move on down the road. And I think that's one thing that's always been a very special place about this city.

TROT NIXON:  Well, I think Derek said it right, but -- I lost my train of thought.

Q. Pedro, a different perspective now that you're working on TV and what the media wants and what you can offer them now that you did some TV?

PEDRO MARTINEZ:  Well, I fell into the trap that Millar set for me and Barry Larkin and those guys, and then Cuckoo Bird (Lowe) later on got me into the booth. He had three days to do the booth for the Red Sox. And being around them, it seemed so easy, you know. It seems so comfortable to be around them. And anytime I get a time to be with Millar and all that, and any of them, it seemed like it was easier for me because all I had to do was sit down and talk about baseball, and I know baseball.

But after going over there and working at it, it takes a lot more time than I thought. I fell into the trap. Millar dropped a low blow on me because he didn't tell me how much work you have to do, how much researching you have to do and how much analysis about the game and the players. But at the same time, like I said, I enjoy that. I enjoy watching baseball. And I now have more respect for you guys, after seeing that.

Q. Pedro, this is for you: I'm wondering if you've had a chance now to look back on your own career, and how much pride you take that in your prime you were facing hitters, whatever percentage were on steroids, and how difficult it was to succeed in that era?

PEDRO MARTINEZ:  Well, I don't think I wanted it any other way. I wanted to be the best. I wanted to take pride on beating everybody else and doing it the best way possible. I never thought that the steroid scandal would be such a big deal because all I saw out there was a player that wanted to beat me and I wanted to beat him. I never thought about the steroids and the stuff like that. But even though we were all aware that that was happening, I never saw it as a different challenge.

Now that I know what the effects were and how you could probably recoup so quickly, maybe I was at a little bit of a disadvantage. But I can only thank God and thank my teammates for the support and everything that we did together, because now my numbers, if they were big, they look bigger. My numbers now look like they took steroids, all of a sudden from one year to the other.

DEREK LOWE:  How do mine look?

PEDRO MARTINEZ:  Better. A lot better, too.

The people that actually never had participated on the steroid use or anything like that can actually today say proudly that they had a career. Some of those guys I'm pretty sure are dealing with the guilt of knowing that they did something dirty to get some advantage.

Q. For all three of you: Derek and Pedro, obviously you were among the free agents who were let go after the '04 World Series. What were your thoughts on the fact that that group was not kept together? Trot, as the one who remained on the team, it would be interesting to hear your perspective on that, seeing those core free agents leave.

DEREK LOWE:  I will say this, playing in the city, you know, we had Johnny Damon, Pedro, Varitek and myself. And I believe those were -- probably more guys. When you play in the city, all you have to do is listen to WEEI and read the paper, and you'll know who is coming back and who isn't coming back. In June or July they started talking about Johnny's age, and they started talking about my off-the-field stuff and his aching shoulder, and they never said anything about Varitek. I mean this in a positive way. I think you go back, when I first started, the Mo Vaughns, the media will tell you who's coming back or not coming back. So I knew pretty much -- plus it was one of the worst seasons I had.

So I knew going into the playoffs this was going to be our last run. And so I think that's why it made it so special because I knew for me, personally, around the June mark that I was done, and there was no better way for me to leave than with a World Series.

TROT NIXON:  Well, of course for me, being able to have stayed here, when you have a champion team, you'd like to be able to go into the next season with the same team and try to repeat the best you can. But I think we all understand the dynamics of baseball. There might be a better ballplayer -- I always knew there was a better ballplayer out there that they could have probably put in right field. There's plenty of All-Star guys that were out there. I often thought about it, too, if I was going to go or be traded and all this stuff, but really it's something that I couldn't focus on. If I let that consume my time, then I wouldn't be prepared to be on the field.

But obviously for me, and I think a lot of those guys, we would like to have gone into the '05 season with everybody, to see if we could repeat. But sometimes you can't control certain things like that. I couldn't do it. These guys couldn't do it. But it would have been nice to have that team try to go into the '05 season. We still had a great season, also, but it would have been nice to have everybody back.

PEDRO MARTINEZ:  Well, for me, I'm not going to lie, it didn't take me completely by surprise. But at the same time I think I hurt my chances even more by being like I've always been, outspoken, from the heart. I think I was a little bit too outspoken at the time to talk to the Red Sox at the end of the season. I remember having this same spat after the World Series, and listening to some of the questions that you guys dropped on me. And you guys asked me, if that was my last game I pitched for the Red Sox. And you remember my answer? If I'm not mistaken I said, "Hopefully not. I'm not expecting this to be my last outing with the Red Sox. I have too much to lose. I just bought a new house. All my interests are staying in Boston."

Little did I know that that would come back to bite me, because during negotiations, you don't talk about those things. You give the team of advantage of offering whatever they thought. Even though I was honest later on and I said, Lucchino, I got four years from another team. Guaranteed all four years. And all I'm asking from you guys is three years or two years and an option. And they said, nahhhh. He said, nahhhh. I'm repeating the story, "That's BS," he told me. And I took my glasses down, and I said, "Larry, I never lie. I'm telling you, I have four years." He said, "Nah, you're trying to trick me." And I said, "No, I've got four years."

For me it wasn't a surprise, but at the same time I think I hurt my chances by expressing to the Red Sox how much I wanted to be in Boston, so they felt like I would take a huge cut, one year guarantee. And the following year, the option year, if I was to get hurt in that year, it was non-valid. That was the kind of contract that I was thrown out there. And I did not appreciate that. So I had to pretty much do what I thought was right for me and my family, which was just continue on. But it was always in my heart. There was a crying in baseball in my heart that said I didn't want to leave Boston.

Q. This is a question for all three of you: What do you think of the whole beard phenomenon surrounding the Red Sox team?

TROT NIXON:  I like it.

PEDRO MARTINEZ:  I love it.

TROT NIXON:  People ask me what's up with beards and mustaches in baseball? And I'm like, you know what, it's a long season. You guys know it. You're down a month and a half for Spring Training and then the 162-game schedule for baseball, and then the postseason. For you guys it doesn't stop. You may get a week off but it continues, because the offseason speculations that are out there, and guys moving here and there.

So baseball is a long season. And something just to change things up, you know, the guys throwing beards around. Derek has got his beard going -- but whether it's goatees or just the mustaches one year. I know we had guys that would shave their head and so forth. But who knows what goes on between baseball players' ears. I don't know what was going on between mine half the time. But just something to change up. I had a mohawk one year, and it was God awful. When I looked at pictures of it, and I couldn't believe my wife let me wear my hair that way.

I think it's just to change up the monotony that you go through every day, and who knows, I don't know. Clubhouses get crazy and guys have a little bit of fun, whether it's their beards or mustaches or haircuts. But I like it, it's pretty good.

DEREK LOWE:  I second that. I think again looking at everybody, I mean, I think John Farrell may be the only one that doesn't have one. Clubhouse guys, clubhouse kids, parking lot attendants have them. It's a positive thing. It's a cool thing that they've done. It's kind of their schtick. It started in Spring Training. It took off. Here we are Fenway Park, Game 2.

TROT NIXON:  Baseball could be a very individual sport, as you can tell. It can be a very individual -- when these guys come together, it just says a lot about them. That's why I think it's great. And you get that team camaraderie, and it doesn't matter if you can't grow a full beard or not.

PEDRO MARTINEZ:  You're talking about me? Since I can't grow this one, I made sure I grew up this one (indicating), so that's great for baseball. I think it's great for the morale that the team has in the clubhouse. And I think those guys, even though they look like Santa Claus, pretty much every one of them with red beards. But don't make a mistake, those guys are going out there like professionals, like they should, and they're not out there to embarrass anybody or embarrass the organization. They're representing the organization really well.

Q. This is for Derek and Pedro: I'm sure you guys are now fully versed on the Jon Lester controversy that's been all over this place today about the substance that he had in his glove last night, whatever it was. You talk to a lot of people, hitters and pitchers alike, and they will say this is fairly common practice in baseball. It has been for years, especially in cold weather situations, where pitchers will look to have something to help them grip the ball better. And basically the batters know it, too, and nobody really cares that much about it unless, obviously, pitches are dancing all over the place. Is that your experience, as well?

DEREK LOWE:  I don't know how it's not legal, in all seriousness. Don't look at me, Trot. Everyone has pine tar. Hitters have pine tar, they have it all over themselves, it helps them hold the bat, right? Why are you staring at me this whole time? But what's the difference if you have pine tar in your glove or what a lot of people do is just put gobs and gobs of hair spray in their hair, and they do this (running hands through hair), and you're going to get the same result, but that's legal.

I think the whole pine tar thing, now I agree if we're not doctoring the ball as far as sandpaper, but I don't want to say everyone does it. Someone's going to have it on their hats or belts, somewhere. Exactly what you said. We're playing in October, it's 32 degrees out. I mean, what he did -- I'm not saying he did. I saw like four seconds of it. I have zero problem with. And I promise you, again, it's been going on for a long time. I think, again, they should just make it legal. And no way, no form does it have anything to do with cheating.

PEDRO MARTINEZ:  Well, as a pitcher, I'm going to say one thing, and as a baseball player, as well, I was never fond of doing anything illegal for baseball. I would burn the resin bag. I don't know if you guys know that the resin bag is sticky. If you manage to get some humidity on your hands and you rub it off against your uniform, it gets sticky. That's pretty much what we need. I was a feel pitcher, pretty much.

But like Derek says, anything could work to get you -- you can grab a bat and it's full of pine tar, and you can just go and feel your hands sticky. It's just so many things that you probably do. Even not realizing that you're doing it. But if we all watch baseball and we watch what happened last night, it's not about what he had in his glove, it's about how bad St. Louis came out to play. They did not execute. They did not do anything right, and Lester had everything going on for him. That's all you had to look at, St. Louis was flat. Lester had his good stuff and he beat them. That's it. Clean and simple. That's it.