While most major league players will soon be taking a three-day respite, and a relative few big leaguers will remain on the job Monday and Tuesday to
entertain us, Pedro Martinez has already left for a week's vacation, with permission.
Martinez, whose estrangement with Boston media and fans began last year with a similar extended All-Star break, pitched Wednesday and threw in the
bullpen early Friday, then left for the Dominican. He's due back to start the Red Sox' second game following the All-Star break, Friday in Anaheim,
The Boston Globe reports that manager Terry Francona, like his predecessor, Grady Little, allowed Martinez to go home while his teammates continued to
work. Last year, it was the last game before the break; this year it's the final three.
Francona did take a day to decide, however.
Martinez asked Francona earlier in the week and the manager took a night "to think about it because I just wasn't sure how I felt about it."
After thinking about it, and talking to some of the key players, and to general manager Theo Epstein, Francona decided he felt OK about it.
Of his dealing with Martinez over the issue, Francona said that "he was very professional -- he actually said that if I decided for him not to go that
he wouldn't go and it wouldn't be an issue."
Martinez will get a chance to spend time with his young son who underwent surgery in February, and to visit his parents, his siblings and extended
family. It's his first visit home since the deaths of two uncles.
Pedro's departure was a non-issue with Kevin Millar.
"Starting pitchers, once they pitch," Millar said, "you're better off sending them home anyway because they're the non-athletes on the team."