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Martinez meets with Steinbrenner

November 16, 2004

NEW YORK (AP) - Pedro Martinez visited the enemy Tuesday, meeting with Yankees owner George Steinbrenner at New York's spring training complex in Tampa, Fla.

Taking aim at the World Series champion Boston Red Sox, Steinbrenner talked at Legends Field with the free-agent right-hander.

Martinez was accompanied by agents Fernando Cuza and Pat Rooney. New York vice presidents Mark Newman, Billy Connors and Damon Oppenheimer also attended.

"We had a good meeting," Steinbrenner said in a statement, without elaborating.

Said Cuza: "I think it's the same way. It was good."

Boston general manager Theo Epstein did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment. The Red Sox reportedly made a recent two-year offer to the ace.

Yankees catcher Jorge Posada, who got into a shouting match with Martinez during the 2003 playoffs, said last week he would be happy to see him in pinstripes.

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"I don't have anything against Pedro if he's my teammate. The guy is a winner. He knows how to pitch," Posada said.

In September, Martinez called the Yankees his "daddy" because of their success against him, sparking chants of "Who's your daddy?" when he pitched in New York during this year's AL championship series.

Martinez was acquired by the Red Sox before the 1998 season and has gone 117-37 for Boston, winning the AL Cy Young Award in 1999 and 2000. After beating St. Louis in Game 3 of the World Series, he acknowledged it could have been his final appearance for Boston.

"If it is, I just want the fans and everybody to understand that I did whatever possible to represent the city well, the team and that my heart will always be with them," he said. "It's been a great ride. I hope everybody enjoyed it as much as I did. Even with the struggles that I've had up and down during the season, I really enjoyed it. I enjoyed every moment. I enjoyed my career in Boston."

Switching sides in the rivalry would not be unprecedented. After going 2-0 for the Yankees in the 1977 World Series, Mike Torrez went to the Red Sox - and gave up Bucky Dent's homer in the tiebreaker playoff for the 1978 AL East title.

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