FORT MYERS, Fla. — Pedro Martinez emerged from the Red Sox clubhouse on Friday morning wearing a team-issued red T-shirt and blue shorts. He didn’t look much different than the group of pitchers he followed out the door.
But Martinez didn’t have a glove. He was on the field only to watch and lend a few words of advice when asked.
“I’m the new guy,” he said.
Martinez, 41, has not pitched since the 2009 season. He rejoined the Red Sox in January as a special assistant to general manager Ben Cherington.
Martinez spent some time on the field speaking in Spanish to young pitchers Felix Doubront and Rubby De La Rosa while they played catch. He then stood behind a fence in the bullpen and unobtrusively watched several other pitchers throw.
For even veteran major leaguers, seeing Martinez around the team is a thrill.
“I met him today for the first time,” reliever Andrew Bailey said. “I was actually talking to somebody in the hallway when he came out a side door. I was like, ‘Pedro Martinez, there he is.’ It was pretty cool.”
Bailey is eager to get to know Martinez.
“His presence, just being around . . . the carefree mentality, just having fun is great, especially at this time of the year. During camp everyone is like that,” Bailey said.
“I think any baseball fan can appreciate what he did and what he meant to the game. The numbers that he put up are just ridiculous.”
Manager John Farrell said Martinez will be free to contribute in different ways.
“It’s kind of an open book right now,” Farrell said. “The one thing that’s great about Pedro is that he has been an open book for us in wanting and willing to give that experience and that guidance in any way he can. He’s respectful not only of the coaching staff but the structure that’s in place. We’ve got a very good resource to tap into.”
As the Globe reported on Thursday, Major League Baseball launched an investigation in 2008 after Curt Schilling informed the Red Sox that a member of the team’s medical staff suggested he try human growth hormone to treat a shoulder injury.
MLB officials confirmed the inquiry, as did Schilling. Neither named the staff member, who no longer works for the team.
On Friday, MLB issued a statement regarding the investigation.
“At the time of the incident in question in 2008, the Boston Red Sox immediately reported the allegations to Major League Baseball as required by our investigative protocols,” it read. “Once the Red Sox reported the matter, Major League Baseball assumed sole responsibility for the investigation. The club handled the matter consistent with all MLB rules and requirements and in a manner that was above reproach.
“Major League Baseball thoroughly investigated the allegations and considers the matter closed.”
Cherington said he had no comment on the issue.
Playing it safe
Designated hitter David Ortiz is still recovering from a strained right Achilles’ tendon and may be slowed for a portion of camp. But Farrell expects Ortiz will be ready for Opening Day.
“He’s still going through some agility work and some rehab with the Achilles’,” Farrell said. “That’s one of the areas that the workload and the volume of it will be monitored.”
Farrell said the extent of that would be determined once the medical staff gets a look at Ortiz in person.
“How we get [to Opening Day], that might take some initial adjustment along the way,” Farrell said.
On the way
New first baseman Mike Napoli is scheduled to arrive here on Saturday. Despite a hip condition that led to a reduction of the contract he originally agreed to, Napoli is cleared to play.
“He talks very confidently of how he feels,’’ Farrell said. “The work he’s gone through; he’s on a treadmill now running. Even though it’s a modified treadmill to reduce overall some weight impact, he’s back running. And watching him hit, there is no restrictions on his lower half.”
Farrell said that Napoli would not be doing any catching, however. The Red Sox will be careful not to place any unneeded stress on his hips.
Bailey lives in Cheshire, Conn., with his wife and infant daughter. They are about 40 minutes from Newtown, and news of the tragedy there on Dec. 14 hit hard.
“It was so close to home,” Bailey said. “Just being in that area . . . and hearing the stories. I couldn’t imagine what those kids were going through.”
On Jan. 27, Bailey and teammate Craig Breslow ran a baseball clinic in Newtown for kids at Sandy Hook Elementary School and others from the town. Red Sox prospect Matt Barnes, a Connecticut native, helped out. So did former Sox manager Bobby Valentine.Continued...