Red Sox slugger J.D. Martinez has had a few weeks to think about the punishment his team received from Major League Baseball for what they did during the 2018 regular season, and quite frankly, he’s still not happy about it.
On April 22nd, MLB released its findings into the 2018 Red Sox, resulting in the club losing their second-round pick in this year’s amateur draft while video replay coordinator J.T. Watkins was suspended without pay for the 2020 season.
Some may think that Boston got off light in this case given their previous offenses, but Martinez was having none of it while talking to The Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham on Wednesday.
“If they went to court with that, it would get thrown out,” Martinez said. “There was nothing there. The judge would laugh.”
The 32-year-old was one of the first Sox players to defend his team’s actions and proclaim innocence back in January. Now that the results have since been released, and the league found that any advantage the Red Sox had was “limited in scope and impact,” Martinez could feel some sense of vindication here.
He could have gone the “See, I told you so” route while speaking with Abraham, but he instead decided to defend Watkins.
“That pissed me off. It wasn’t right,” Martinez said of the former Red Sox farmhand’s punishment handed down by commissioner Rob Manfred. “They just ruined this guy’s career with no evidence.”
What could be the reason behind this? Well, Martinez believes that since this was not the Sox’ first rodeo in terms of dealing with discipline from MLB, Manfred felt inclined “to do something” even though “they really didn’t find anything.”
There is a distinct possibility that Watkins was used as a scapegoat in this case to prevent the league from looking worse than it has in the months since the 2019 season came to a close last October. However, it seems unlikely that we will ever know the full story if there is another version to be told, at least not for a while, anyway.