Victor Martinez: I Wanted to Stay in Cleveland

Victor Martinez: I Wanted to Stay in Cleveland It is July 31, and you are given two options:

1. Stay with the team you've spent over six years with, even though that team is headed nowhere but home come October.

2. Jump ship for the second-best team in the American League, where you'll be almost assured of a postseason berth.

Had it been up to Victor Martinez, he would've chosen option No.1.

According to Ohio.com, the Red Sox catcher, acquired at the July 31 trade deadline, wanted to stay in Cleveland in 2009.

"I thought I was going to stay in Cleveland," Martinez told the Web site on Friday. "I made it clear I would stay, but the owner [Larry and Paul Dolan] was thinking something different. It wasn't my fault. It wasn't Mark Shapiro's fault or Eric Wedge's fault. But the owner wanted to take a different route."

Martinez's sentiments aside, the Red Sox are certainly glad they acquired him. Since joining Boston, he has hit .338 and slugged .498 with seven homers and 37 RBIs (through Oct. 2). Considering the performances of an ailing Jason Varitek and an injured George Kottaras, Martinez could not have arrived at a better time.

Still, it was difficult to leave the only team he ever played for and join one of the most scrutinized, pressure-cooking franchises in baseball. What made it easy? The acceptance and encouragement of his new teammates.

"Coming into a new clubhouse, I didn't know what to expect," Martinez said. "I never thought I would feel so comfortable that quick. But everybody made me feel like I've been playing here for a couple of years."

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