Hail to the Victors: Martinez, father and son

March, 15, 2011
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Greetings from the Fort, where the bus left over three hours ago for Lakeland, for a game with the Detroit Tigers and a reunion with the Victors, former Sox catcher Victor Martinez and his charming son, Victor Jose.

“I’m happy he’s going to be there,’’ Red Sox manager Terry Francona said, referring not to Victor but Victor Jose.

“If you see a little kid walking around naked with shower shoes, that would be Victor Jose.’’

ESPN’s Buster Olney, who was here Monday as part of the TV crew, related how he’d been in Tiger camp earlier this spring when Victor Jose was standing with a group of Tigers players about to begin a base-running drill supervised by manager Jim Leyland. His father gently told him he had to leave the group and watch.

“The kid looked like he’d been pulled for a pinch-hitter,’’ Olney said.

“Crushed?’’ Francona asked.

“He just goes over and sits in the dirt, throws himself in the dirt with his lid down,’’ Olney said. “He was ticked. He couldn’t believe he wasn’t part of the base-running drill.’’

Francona laughed. “He called me,’’ he said. “He might have been ticked at Leyland.’’

Francona’s fondness for the 6-year-old, who had the run of the Sox clubhouse with David Ortiz’s son, D’Angelo, is genuine.

“We had one rule with him,’’ he said, “that he had to stick his head in my door every day. He didn’t miss the rule.

“He’s the cutest, most polite kid ever,’’ Francona said.

To be sure, Francona also holds Victor Jose’s father in high regard, too.

“All the things people in Cleveland said about him came true in a hurry,’’ Francona said. “He’s a great kid. A solid professional, a really good hitter. That won’t change because he’s with another team.’’

The Sox took their regular outfield with them, with the infielders scheduled to make their own long bus excursion Wednesday to play the Atlanta Braves in Lake Buena Vista.

Here’s the lineup:

1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
2. Carl Crawford, LF
3. J.D. Drew, RF
4. Jason Varitek, C
5. Jed Lowrie, SS
6. Darnell McDonald, DH
7. Lars Anderson, 1B
8. Yamaico Navarro, 3B
9. Nate Spears, 2B
SP -- Daisuke Matsuzaka, RHP

Also scheduled to pitch today: RHP Brandon Duckworth, RHP Michael Bowden, RHP Matt Albers, LHP Tommy Hottovy, RHP T.J. Large, LHP Kyle Fernandes

How you know this is spring training: As Glenn Miller, the veteran chronicler of all things spring for the Fort Myers News-Press noted to me last night, the Sox player with the most innings logged in camp is minor-leaguer Spears, who is a local kid (Charlotte, Fla.). Actually, he’s tied with Drew Sutton, the veteran who will be in Pawtucket. Both have played 76 innings.

Gordon Edes

ESPN Staff Writer



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