Red Sox

J.D. Martinez states without equivocation that Red Sox will be exonerated by MLB investigation

J.D. Martinez states without equivocation that Red Sox will be exonerated by MLB investigation

SPRINGFIELD -- For five hours on Saturday morning at Winter Weekend, Red Sox players and coaches delivered basically the same message in regards to the 2018 cheating scandal: We're not at liberty to say anything until the league finishes its investigation.

And then J.D. Martinez stepped in front of the cameras.

The slugging DH, who earlier this offseason chose to remain in Boston rather than exercise an opt-out in his contract, minced no words when asked if the Red Sox did anything wrong during their championship 2018 season.

"You know, it sucks, to be honest with you," he said of the investigation. "It does suck. But you know what? I know I'm excited for the investigation to be over with just so that they can see that there was nothing going on here."

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So he believes the team is innocent of the charges that it used the replay room to steal opposing signs in real time?

"I believe that, yes," Martinez said.

And what gives Martinez this confidence, despite a report to the contrary in The Athletic claiming that the Red Sox stole signs?

"Because I was in there," he said. "I saw what was. . . . Straight up, everyone seems to forget that in 2017 and '16 this team was a really good team. This team won 93 games those two years and then we just got better."

Martinez spoke without hesitation, and also saluted departed manager Alex Cora, while offering some insight into why Cora decided to leave the team.

"Kind of heartbroken about it," he said. "I talked to him before and I understood his side of it. He didn't want to be a distraction going into the season. I know it was wearing on him and his family, so I obviously feel for him and I wish him the best. But I know he played a big, big role for our team and he was one of my favorites, if not my favorite manager that I've had. It's going to be tough."

Brock Holt: 'I never expected to wear any other uniform but a Red Sox uniform'

Brock Holt: 'I never expected to wear any other uniform but a Red Sox uniform'

Brock Holt has left the Boston Red Sox, but it certainly doesn't seem like he wanted to.

The super-utility player became a free agent and the Red Sox opted not to re-sign him as they looked to cut costs ahead of the 2020 season. So, Holt, who turns 32 in June, lingered for a while on the free-agent market after seven seasons with the Red Sox before ultimately agreeing to a deal with the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday.

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And in an interview after arriving at the Brewers camp in Arizona, Holt spoke about wanting to remain in Boston and never expecting to go anywhere else in his career.

"I was with Boston for so long and I honestly never expected to wear any other uniform but a Red Sox uniform," Holt said in a video captured by Scott Grodsky. "I loved it there. I loved playing at Fenway, I loved the fans, I loved the city. I was a huge part of the community so it was tough for me to come to the fact that I wasn't going back.

"But like I said, everything happens for a reason. I'm excited to be here."

This will tug at the heartstrings of the Boston faithful, as Holt was a fan favorite and a great force in the Red Sox locker room and community. He will certainly be missed by the team, and it is fair to wonder why Sox management decided not to at least try to match the one-year deal Holt got from Milwaukee. Financial terms weren't disclosed. Holt made $3.575 million with the Red Sox last season.

After all, they opened up some room under the luxury tax by trading Mookie Betts and David Price. So, why not use some of that to re-sign Holt?

Holt will now suit up for the Brewers and as he communicated to reporters, he is very much looking forward to playing at Fenway June 5-7 when the Brewers visit for an interleague series.

And he's sure to get a warm welcome when he returns.

Who J.D. Martinez will celebrate home runs with now that Brock Holt is gone from the Red Sox

Who J.D. Martinez will celebrate home runs with now that Brock Holt is gone from the Red Sox

The Boston Red Sox suffered a big loss when it was announced that Brock Holt would be signing with the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday night.

Holt was a great super-utility player who could play almost every position on the diamond in a pinch. In addition, he was a fantastic locker room presence and did a lot off the field to help organizations such as the Jimmy Fund.

There's no doubt that the Red Sox will miss Holt on and off the field. But J.D. Martinez may miss Holt most of all.

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Martinez had a post-homer celebration that he always did with Holt. Holt would swarm Martinez after every home run the slugger blasted, and Holt would wrap him up in a bear hug and jump around the dugout.

But with Holt now gone, who will Martinez celebrate with?

"That’s a good one," Martinez said when asked about the topic by MassLive.com's Chris Cotillo. "Whoever’s there. I don’t know."

It's certainly going to depress Red Sox fans not to see Martinez celebrate homers with Holt anymore. But as Martinez noted, that's just part of the business of baseball.

"You wish him the best," Martinez said of Holt to Cotillo. "He was a character in here. He was fun to be around. You wish him the best, but that’s the business side of it."

Holt posted a farewell to Red Sox fans on Wednesday that reflected on the relationships he built in seven years in Boston that went beyond baseball for the native Texan.

That business side of baseball is something that Red Sox fans are becoming increasingly frustrated with and Holt's departure and absence from Martinez's home run celebration will only add to their growing discontent.