Ex-Astro Martinez holds no grudge
J.D. Martinez wants to thank the Houston Astros not get back at them for releasing him when he was struggling to make himself into a star.
The Red Sox slugger credits his growing pains in Houston for teaching him “how to fail,” a lesson he credits with transforming him into an MVP candidate who helped Boston win a franchise-record 108 games and reach the AL Championship Series against his former team.
“My failures in Houston is what made me who I am,” Martinez said Friday, a day before the Astros and Red Sox open the best-of-seven series. “There’s really no animosity there. In a sense they did me a favor by allowing me to leave and play on another team.”
It will be the second straight year the Red Sox and Astros meet in the postseason last year it was the ALDS and the second straight year that aces Chris Sale will go against Justin Verlander in the opener.
The biggest difference this time: Boston has Martinez on its side.
And the Astros could have.
Martinez made his bigleague debut for Houston in 2011, driving in 28 runs in his first full month in the majors. After playing part time the next two years hitting 18 homers with 91 RBIs in 199 games he was 26 years old and batting .167 in the spring of 2014 when the Astros released him, preferring to give the atbats to top prospect George Springer.
ANGELS TO INTERVIEW CUBS’ HYDE >> Brandon Hyde, the Chicago Cubs bench coach, is among the candidates to be interviewed for the Angels’ managerial job, according to multiple sources. Hyde, a product of Long Beach State, has been with the Cubs since 2014, under both Rick Renteria and Joe Maddon. This season was his first as bench coach. Hyde also reportedly interviewed for the opening with the Texas Rangers this week. YANKS’ GREGORIUS NEEDS ELBOW SURGERY >> Yankees star shortstop Didi Gregorius needs Tommy John surgery on his right elbow after injuring himself making a throw in Boston during the AL Division Series, and there’s no telling exactly when he’ll be able to play again. General manager Brian Cashman said that Gregorius will be out “until sometime next summer.” Cashman said the team will have a better idea about his return after surgery, which hasn’t yet been scheduled.
RANGERS INTERVIEW GIRARDI
FOR MANAGER >> World Series champion Joe Girardi has been interviewed by the Texas Rangers in their search for a new manager.
Arlington. The team is making no public comments about the first round of interviews as it looks to replace fired manager Jeff Banister.
Girardi managed the Yankees to a World Series title in 2009, their 27th overall and only one since 2000. He was New York’s manager for 10 seasons, but his contract wasn’t renewed after the Yankees lost in the ALCS last October.
In his only season managing the Marlins in 2006, the former big league catcher was the NL manager of the year after a 7884 record with the team that had the lowest payroll in the majors.
D’BACKS GOING ARTIFICIAL >> The Arizona Diamondbacks are switching from natural grass to an artificial surface in time for the 2019 season.
Team president Derrick Hall says the “state-of-art” synthetic grass will be better for players. He also says it will enhance the fan experience. because the roof of Chase Field won’t have to be open during the day before night games. That will allow for cooler conditions throughout the day in the ballpark. Hall says the challenges of maintaining a grass field in the desert environment are well documented and the team has looked at artificial surfaces for many years.