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Boston Red Sox slugger J.D. Martinez is hoping to put a poor 2020 season in the rearview with Opening Day right around the corner.
Martinez batted .213 with a .680 OPS and only seven home runs in 54 games for Boston last season. On Tuesday, Martinez took issue with the criticism he’s received for the subpar season.
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“I just want it to be a normal season. I’m kind of tired of being judged on two months,” he said during an appearance on WEEI Radio.
“I feel like it’s everything. It’s constantly being asked by the media, ‘J.D., you had a terrible 2020 …’ It’s nonstop. Dude, let me grind, let me work. Stop putting the negativity around me. I just want to go out there and hit and do what I know what to do, grind, and get back in the swing of things. Just getting back out there, putting numbers up there again and everyone will say, ‘Oh, OK. This is what happened.’”
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Martinez was coming off an All-Star season in 2019, but the coronavirus pandemic put a hold on everything. He admitted he created “some really bad habits” and is locked in on breaking out of it in 2021.
Boston finished 24-36 and missed out on the playoffs in 2020.
The 2021 team will look a bit different, as the team traded Andrew Benintendi to the Kansas City Royals in the offseason and lost Jackie Bradley Jr. to the Milwaukee Brewers.
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Martinez will be relied on more often to come up with the big hits in clutch situations as the league gets back to some semblance of normalcy.
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