Boston manager says ace didn't get guidelines

Updated: April 7, 2004, 10:42 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

According to Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona, The Great Pedro Flap isn't getting off the ground.

Pedro Martinez
Martinez

Francona, in a story posted on the team's Web site, said Tuesday that he spoke to Pedro Martinez about the pitcher's early departure from the park Sunday night and that the issue has been resolved.

"It's not an issue," said Francona, who has a policy about pitchers staying until the final out of the game. "I wasn't that shook up about it the other night."

Curt Schilling, talking with ESPN Radio after his debut win, agreed the media were making much ado about nothing.

"It's really not that interesting because it's a non-issue, and it's made out to be some huge deal and people are trying to make a summary of 'Tito' as a manager ... " Schilling said on "GameNight."

Francona said on the Web site that the rule simply hadn't been conveyed to Martinez properly.

Because of an excused personal absence, the Red Sox ace arrived at camp four days later than the Feb. 20 date for pitchers and catchers to report. That late arrival meant he missed the sheet of guidelines, and Francona forgot to give Martinez the list of rules, according to the site.

Francona also said on the site that the no-leaving rule isn't ironclad, that there will be occasions when a pitcher will be permitted to take off early.

"If a guy who's starting the next night wants to go home, I've always been OK with that," Francona said. "It can be a young kid. That's their day to pitch. There's going to be days when I let guys leave early. This is not a [boot] camp. This is a professional baseball team with grown men who work hard."

Schilling said the Martinez incident hadn't been talked about in the clubhouse, and he chided the Boston media for overreacting.

"I have never seen -- and I'm not stereotyping everybody in Boston, there's a lot of good writers, there's good people in the media just like any other market -- but I have never seen more people out to create stories on their own in one space in my career, and that's just in this brief time. ... " he said.

"They think we're stupid, and they don't think we see and pay attention. I've never seen so many anonymous quotes from people in a shorter period of time than I have in the last three days."