The Red Sox received only a minor punishment from Major League Baseball for their actions during the 2018 season. But J.D. Martinez feels even that was too much.
“If they went to court with that, it would get thrown out. There was nothing there,” Martinez told the Globe on Wednesday. “The judge would laugh.”
The Red Sox lost their second-round pick in the upcoming draft and a low-level staffer was suspended for this season for using a video feed to help decode signs from opposing catchers.
MLB’s report, released on April 22, acknowledged any advantage was “limited in scope and impact.” But commissioner Rob Manfred nevertheless suspended replay coordinator J.T. Watkins.
“That pissed me off. It wasn’t right,” Martinez said. “They just ruined this guy’s career with no evidence.”
Martinez believes MLB felt compelled to levy a punishment because the Sox were found to have used a Fitbit to relay signs in 2017.
“They had to do something,” he said. “They really didn’t find anything.”
The immediate concern for Martinez is whether there will be a season as the nation deals with the COVID-19 pandemic. He told the MLB Players Association there should be strict conditions on playing again.
“Everyone would need to get tested — players, coaches, the media, security guards,” he said. “If you come in the ballpark, you get tested. I’m not an expert on this virus but you need daily testing.”
Martinez is “pretty confident” there will be a season of some sort. MLB is expected to soon present a plan to the Players Association that could have spring training resuming in June and the season starting in early July.
For Martinez, who has hit .305 with a .961 OPS and 184 home runs the last five seasons, time is wasting.
“I’m 32. I’m an antique. I need to be out there playing,” he said. “This sucks. Hopefully we’ll get a day and I can crank it up to get ready.”
For now, Martinez is working out at his home in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and hitting twice a week at the Southwest Ranches, Fla., home of Padres first baseman Eric Hosmer, who is riding out the quarantine in San Diego.
“He has a cage and I can hit there. It’s not ideal, but it’s fine. I’m in offseason mode,” Martinez said.
The rest of his time has been spent fishing.
“I’m on my boat almost every day," Martinez said. “I catch fish but I should be doing better. It’s being out on the water alone. You have to do everything.”
Martinez also is helping out the Florida Mental Health Coalition by donating the proceeds from his Cameo account to the organization. Cameo is a video-sharing website that connects celebrities with fans willing to pay for a personalized message.
“I was looking for something to get into to help. They’re helping first responders with any issues they’re having because of the pandemic,” Martinez said. “My mom was a nurse and my roommate is a cop. It’s a tough time for people with everything that is going on. They’re seeing a lot.”