Some friendly advice for J.D. Martinez on playing in Boston

Jim Davis/Globe Staff

Wednesday was the final day of spring training workouts for the Red Sox. The team begins exhibition games with a doubleheader against college teams Thursday.

By Globe Staff 

FORT MYERS, Fla. — There was great energy in the Red Sox clubhouse at JetBlue Park Wednesday morning. J.D. Martinez was in the house, getting a physical and waiting for Scott Boras to arrive. The locker room was positively buoyant as David Price and his Richie Havens beard held court in one corner while other players chatted in front of their stalls.

ESPN and MLB Network were on hand, as were a handful of New York reporters. It felt like the old days as national media legends Gammons, Kurkjian, and Mendoza finally found their way back to the center of the baseball universe.


On a table in the middle of the room was a copy of Wednesday’s USA Today, chock-full of quotes from Price talking about his recruitment of J.D. (the two were teammates briefly in Detroit).

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“It’s tough here,’’ Price said. “There’s just so much more negativity . . . I’ve never been through anything like it . . . I told J.D. he will love the guys here in this clubhouse, but also told him he’ll get booed . . . It is different, different than New York or anywhere else, for sure. I know how tough it is to be here. It’s tough when things aren’t going good.’’

Advice from David Price on playing in Boston. Perfect. That’s like getting a seminar on stealing bases from Pablo Sandoval, or tips from Warren Beatty on how to announce Best Picture at the Oscars.

In this spirit, I hereby submit my own humble advice to J.D. Martinez: Clip and save. Here are the dos and don’ts of playing in Boston.

 Remove all radios from your home and automobile. No sports talk radio for you. Ever. From now on, it’s Kenny G, Katy Perry, and Beyonce.


 Don’t ask the clubbie, “Hey, can I wear No. 9?’’

 Don’t complain about having to travel after Sunday night games.

Blame yourself when things go wrong. Be harder on yourself than any wiseguy columnist or radio shock jock. The late Dennis Johnson was the master of this. He’d rip himself after shooting 2 for 10. Ditto for Bill Walton. After Walton’s first game as a Celtic (a loss in New Jersey), Walton said, “I was a disgrace to the game of basketball.’’ This disarms the media and the fans. How are we going to rip somebody when they’ve already scorched the earth?

It’s OK to smile when you go about your work. Saying hello to strangers is not a commitment.

 Be nice to the 63-year-old guy in the TV booth with the 1970s hairdo and the Snidely Whiplash mustache. His name is Dennis Eckersley. He’s in the Hall of Fame and did more in this game than you ever will. He’s candid on TV, but he’s also fair. He was a stand-up guy and set the standard for facing the music when he surrendered one of the most famous home runs of the 20th century. Do not try to impress teammates by ambushing him on the team charter.

 Delete your Twitter and Facebook accounts. Immediately.


If Mookie Betts steals home when you are at bat, congratulate him after he crosses home plate. Do not step back in the batter’s box with the bat on your shoulder like a cigar store Indian. Show a little emotion. We had another high-priced talent named J.D. here. He was a good guy, but fans never warmed up to him because he showed no emotion.

 Never talk about having to carry your own luggage.

Don’t barge into the manager’s office demanding you get credit for an RBI.

Spend a lot of time in Harvard Square. No one will have any idea who you are.

No Fitbits or Apple Watches while in uniform.

No fraternizing with Manny Machado before or after Orioles games.

 Don’t complain about anything offensive you might hear from the Fenway stands unless you have audio tape or witnesses. If you don’t have proof, be prepared for Curt Schilling and some radio tough guys to call you a liar.

Visit the Jimmy Fund Clinic — preferably in uniform — as often as possible.

The baseball beat reporters — the ones who actually come to the clubhouse every day — are not your enemies. They are professionals and will treat you professionally.

 Do not refer to Alex Cora as “Manager Alex.’’

 After an excruciating loss, don’t say, “It was God’s will.’’

 Tell everybody you’ve always hated the Yankees.

 Any time you interact with a fan, start the conversation with, “I can’t believe Malcolm Butler didn’t play in the Super Bowl.’’

 Run out your ground balls. Toss your helmet now and then if you make a big out in a clutch situation. Play hard and show the fans that you care. They will love you for it. You will decide that this is not such a hard place to play.

Dan Shaughnessy can be reached at dshaughnessy