Feb 23, 2021
Red Sox star Martinez focuses on routine to recapture swing
This news has been received from: wtop.com
All trademarks, copyrights, videos, photos and logos are owned by respective news sources. News stories, videos and live streams are from trusted sources.
Attention to detail has always been J.D. Martinez’s best weapon at the plate during his 10-year major league career.
He’s been meticulous about his swing since his minor league days, constantly watching and breaking down film of his swing before, after and even during games in order to make the smallest of tweaks between at-bats.
But when Major League Baseball — in reaction to the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal — put in protocols last spring that restricted players’ access to in-game video, it stunted the regimen of the Red Sox slugger and others around the league.
“I think it definitely hurt me a bit,” Martinez said Tuesday from Boston’s spring training facility in Fort Myers, Florida. “I think, obviously, I had to change my routine. Something I wasn’t used to.”
The effect was stark.
After signing a five-year, $110 million contract with Boston in 2018, Martinez hit a career-high .330 with 43 home runs and 130 RBIs during an All-Star first season in helping the Red Sox win the World Series. He followed that up with another All-Star season 2019.
While the 33-year-old Martinez said he thinks the uncertainty of whether there would even be season in 2020 factored into what he said was a lack of preparation. But he said it was no excuse for his lack of production.
“It was my fault. I take accountability for that,” he said. “I didn’t stay ready. I think this year I said to myself, ‘They’re not getting me again. They’re not catching me off-guard.’ So I stayed ready the whole time.”
The chorus of complaints by Martinez and others about the lack of video available to players was so loud that the MLB has backtracked on its 2020 restrictions and inserted a new provision into its updated protocols that will give player access to tablets, which can be loaded with content before and after games.
Players will also be able to use in-game video in a format that “cannot use used to steal signs,” according to the league’s new operations manual, which was obtained by The Associated Press.
“I’m excited that this year we’re going to have it back in a sense,” Martinez said. “I’m looking forward to getting back to somewhat normal baseball during these crazy times.”
For him that’s meant attacking a some bad habits he believes picked up without even noticing last season.
He’s been focusing on rooting out the causes, while also trying to innovate in the batting cage. It included a weeklong stretch of eight-hour cage sessions to work through some of the hiccups in his swing. One of the biggest things has been adjusting his hip movement, which he believes kept him from catching up to fastballs at times last season.
“That first week we kind of grinded out some things that we thought were the problems, just to realize most of them weren’t it and the problems were coming from something else,” he said. “It was like a logjam — once you remove one log, everything started flowing again.”
Red Sox manager Alex Cora said Martinez showed up in great physical shape and with the work ethic he saw out of him during his first two seasons in Boston.
“I still believe this guys is capable of doing damage,” Cora said. “He’s a proud individual. Over the course of his career he’s proved people wrong. … It’s not going to be a surprise to me when he goes out there and produces the way he’s capable of.”
While Martinez thinks he’s making progress, following the setbacks of last season he’s not taking anything for granted at his point. He’s wants to show that 2020 was just an aberration.
“I’ve always played with that chip of having to prove people wrong my whole career. I think it might have went away a little bit. But I think I got it back now,” he said.
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.
News Source: wtop.com
Ex-Red Bulls goalie coach Des McAleenan dies at 53
More On: new york red bulls Looking back on a crazy MLS season for Red Bulls and NYCFC Red Bulls’ brief playoff run is over New York actually getting two playoff games in one day Give Ronny Deila some credit in bizarro MLS season
Renowned goalkeeping coach Des McAleenan — who mentored four U.S. National Team keepers for the MetroStars and Red Bulls in a nine-year run — died at the age of 53.
The cause of death has not been determined. McAleenan’s body was found in his native Dublin, Ireland, according to Colombian outlet deportes.canalrcn.com.
From the time McAleenan joined the MetroStars in 2002 to the time he left nine years later, he worked with Tim Howard, Tony Meola, Jonny Walker and Zach Wells, all of whom played for the U.S. National Team.
McAleenan also was an assistant to Tab Ramos on the U.S. Under-20 National Team. Two years ago began working under former MetroStars boss Carlos Queiroz on the Colombian National Team.
“Thank you, Desi. You knew how much you meant to so many and to me. Your selflessness and dedication to your work will continue to help all lucky enough to have worked with you,” tweeted Ramos, also a former MetroStar. “I will continue to hear your stories in my head. Your friendship cannot ever be replaced. Rest in Peace.”Filed under new york red bulls , soccer , 2/28/21