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Martinez prepared to walk

Page 3 of 3 -- Martinez said he did not know why the Sox have not pursued him more intensely, but he suggested they may be interested in saving money. He did not name president and CEO Larry Lucchino but indirectly cited him.

"If you look at the background of those people in management, who was there with the Orioles when the team went from a competitive team to a noncompetitive team?" Martinez said. "Who was behind the Orioles? I don't know. You take your pick. I'm not going to mention their names."

Martinez is expected to use the perceived slight as motivation.

"I'm going to try to prove them wrong," he said. "I told them that, too. I told them if they let me go, I could understand it and I could live with it, but I'm going to try to prove them wrong."

Martinez had previously said the only team he would never play for again was the Dodgers. But now he even is open to the possibility of playing in Los Angeles.

"I will consider any team as of now," he said. "The Dodgers don't have the same people that were there when I was mistreated. I'm open to anybody, just as I am open to anybody in the future."

He stopped short of threatening to bolt to the Bronx after the season, though he left the door open. The Sox will have a brief window to exclusively negotiate with Martinez as a free agent after the season.

"I'll play for anybody, but I'm not going to say I'm going to try to play for the Yankees before I give Boston the opportunity to sign me," he said. "Boston has probably the same chances the Yankees will have."

As for the prospect of him wearing pinstripes, he said, "I have to earn a living. I have to keep a job. I'm not going to go home at 32 and actually sit on my back. If I get an offer and the Boston Red Sox don't want me, I'm not going to sit on my back just because I used to play in Boston. I have a life, too."

He said he would cherish a World Series ring with the Sox more than any other. And he said the fans should not hold his position against him.

"The fans know that my heart and my body and my whole professional career belongs to them," he said. "If they want to judge this as me being a rebel, no. That's not it. I gave Boston the best opportunity I could give any team to keep me here the rest of my career." 

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