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Martinez returns to Red Sox as assistant

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BOSTON (AP) - Pedro Martinez has returned to the Boston Red Sox.

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On Thursday, Martinez, a three-time Cy Young Award winner and eight-time All-Star, who spent seven seasons in Boston, was brought back to the franchise. He will serve as a special assistant to general manager Ben Cherington.

``(Pedro) was one of the game's most dominant pitchers and without a doubt a beloved figure in Red Sox history,'' Cherington said. ``Similar to former teammate Jason Varitek, who joined the baseball operations staff in September, Pedro will be involved in several areas, including the evaluation, mentorship, and instruction of young players in spring training and throughout the season.''

Martinez became a Red Sox starting pitcher in 1998 and was a key cog in the 2004 team that brought a World Series title to Boston for the first time since 1918. With the Red Sox, he went 117-37 with a 2.52 ERA. He has the best winning percentage (.760) in franchise history, and ranks third in strikeouts (1,683) and sixth in wins (117). Martinez is also the franchise's all-time leader in postseason strikeouts (80).

``I am thrilled to be returning to this organization and to the city I love,'' Martinez said. ``Ben Cherington's meetings this week have been outstanding. It is an honor to be back with the Red Sox and help in any way I can. I am grateful to our leaders; I believe in them, and I thank them for allowing me to return to the field and help us win again.

``My heart will always live in Boston.''

During his 18-year major league career, Martinez went 219-100 with a 2.93 ERA and 3,154 strikeouts. His has a career .687 winning percentage, and led the majors in ERA on five occasions, including 1997 with the Montreal Expos (1.90). He also started and notched the win in the 1999 All-Star Game at Fenway Park.

Signed originally in 1988 by the Los Angeles Dodgers, Martinez also played for the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies.

AP NEWS
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The Associated Press
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