Victor Martinez Traded: The Farwell I Wish Would Have Never HappenedI think I've twittered enough.
I've got my trade recap article up and now I'm ready to discuss Victor Martinez.
I was following all the news all day at work and really knew something was coming, eventually.
The roller coaster of finding out that Buchholz wouldn't be in the deal to finding out we got the number three prospect in the Boston organization, Justin Masterson, AND another pitcher with potential?
What a haul.
We just traded the Captain. Or as fellow Tribe-blogger Paul Cousineau of The DiaTribe called him El Capitan. Too bad he's gone and we can't call him that.
And that reaction that we just traded our emotional and team leader.
Kicked... In.. The Junk.
I'm really hurt by the fact that this guy was willing to bleed for this team.
For the past few years, Vic was the heart and soul for this team.
And now he's going to Boston, the team that ripped his heart out two years ago.
Are you serious?
Why is this feeling so hard to put into words?
Maybe because it's just hard to fathom.
And it is.
I've made all of these trade topics about the players we get and have neglected to really talk about the players we've lost at long lengths initially.
So I'm using this for Victor and Victor only.
Nick Hagadone, Justin Masterson, and Bryan Price get their time and I'm going to go over every single prospect we get a little later tonight.
I look back to the time when the Indians had just blown things up. When things started to progress and some of the names we know and love that brought this team back to contention were starting to come up, I remember one guy's specific debut.
Want to know why?
I was there.
I was there when Victor Martinez made his major league debut.
It was against Toronto, in September as a call-up, he was making his first start behind the plate and there was certainly a buzz.
The Indians weren't any good, but there was a good crowd on hand to witness the start of someone special's Tribe career.
No surprise, Martinez knocked in two runs in his MLB debut and the hype surrounding him, for me at least, was rather large. Being from Youngstown, and having known that he played for the Scrappers, it was sort of a big deal.
At that point, I wasn't big into the Indians as I am now as far as knowledge. I know we've got players and the ones in the majors are the good ones, or at least the ones who are good enough to play there until we get the good ones up here, but when I saw Victor Martinez, and heard that he was this hot-shot catcher of the future, I knew I was seeing someone special start his career.
And what a Tribe career it has been.
I don't remember the result. I just looked it up and saw that the game was a loss, but that didn't matter. Our catcher of the future had arrived.
Through the years, the hits, many of them clutch, the moments and passion. Everything that Victor has provided us.
What I will remember most from Victor are three things.
1) The overall passion he's shown for this club. Which includes the most specific moment I can remember back in 2007 when he was literally in tears following the loss. That right there... That shows you, this guy cares.
2) I remember a few clutch hits. The most recent one was this year when he was in the middle of that bad slump, well his first of his bad slumps and he was having a bad game and then he comes up and tops off that magical comeback against the Rays with the walk-off hit.
The other was last year when Travis Hafner hit a bloop shot against the Tigers. Then Victor Martinez comes up and ties the game up. David Dellucci ended up hitting the walk off hit, but it was Victor's AB that tied the game up.
3) Finally, I remember the pure emotion that this man shows while he plays the game that he loves.
The pure emotion is also guided with the pure love, respect, and ability to know when to do what is best for the team.
Victor didn't want to move to catcher, but he did it because it was going to help the team and it gave him his best chance. He didn't want to play a lot of first base, but he realized it might help the team. So he did it.
The emotion he shows, when he hits a double, ends up a second base and does that little blowing into his hand. The emotion he showed when Cliff Lee threw at Sammy Sosa's head and he took charge and said, no that's not how it's done.
The emotion goes hand in hand with the passion.
That is a player that you want on your team every day of the week and you can say that about a lot of players, but for Victor, it goes double and anyone will mean it when they say it.
I'm really running out of steam here because it's getting hard to think straight. Seeing him in his final talk with the Cleveland media left me heartbroken. This is a guy who's given us everything he's had and more. Seeing him struggle last year and get dissed for his performance, when all that was really wrong was injuries.
He puts it all on the line for the team, for the city, and for the fans.
And we're never going to have someone quite like him come through this organization. There might be better players, there might be better hitters and defenders and catchers.
But there will never be anyone as special as Victor Martinez.
Until we meet again Victor. I hope there really is a day when it's possible to get you back here and if it just so happens to help us bring a title to the city, I would love nothing more than to see you celebrate the joy of that moment on the field, with us fans.