Ex-Astro Martinez holds no grudge

The Mercury News - - Sports -

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.

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