September 2011. Then-Yankees catcher Russell Martin said this:
“Anything to get the Red Sox out would be awesome for me . . . Because I hate the Red Sox. They are fun to play against because they have a quality team and they are gritty and they play hard and stuff, but I would love to see them lose . . . I guess it just comes with the territory. When you wear the pinstripes, you just kind of learn to be that way.”
Russell Martin, impending free agent, in September 2014, on the possibility of signing with the Boston Red Sox:
“It’s definitely a place to consider if the option is there,” Martin told WEEI.com during a late September interview . . . “It’s a great baseball town. People love their baseball. For the most part they’ve always been competitive. They’ve got a great team. [Dustin] Pedroia is one of personal favorites. I love the way he competes so it would be a pleasure playing with him.”
The lesson here is not that Martin is a hypocrite or anything. The lesson here is that free agency politics and saying the right thing to the local press at a given time is a far greater consideration for players than the rivalries we as fans have decided are important.
We’re rooting for laundry, people. The players know this way better than we do.