Pedro Martinez, Jimmy Rollins and Curtis Granderson bring a combined 51 years of major league experience to the table as analysts for TBS’s coverage of this year’s National League playoffs.
Even though they’ve all retired as active players, Martinez, Rollins and Granderson still see glimpses of themselves on the field this postseason.
On a conference call Tuesday, they were each asked which player from the 2021 playoff teams most reminded them of the way they approached the game.
MLB PLAYOFF SCHEDULE: The postseason march to World Series
Pedro Martinez = Gerrit Cole
Martinez, the Hall of Fame pitcher most remembered for the seven seasons he spent with the Boston Red Sox, picked the New York Yankees right-hander, who will start the AL wild-card game Tuesday night against Martinez’s former team.
“I was in Boston. I was that guy. I wanted to pitch THAT game. I got paid for it,” Martinez said. “I wanted the challenge. I wanted to have the attitude. I wanted to have Yankee Stadium rocking — (chanting) ‘Who’s your daddy?’ — giving me middle fingers and wanting to fight with me and all I wanted was to beat the Yankees.
“But that role, facing that game against a good team … is the ecstasy for some of us as competitors, as athletes. I love being in that moment.”
Jimmy Rollins = Trea Turner
Rollins won the 2007 National League MVP award and one year later helped lead the Philadelphia Phillies to a World Series title. As a shortstop and leadoff hitter, he sees plenty of similarities to the Dodgers’ trade-deadline acquisition.
“I knew what I meant. I had to get on base early. I had to make it happen. That’s what Trea does,” Rollins said. “He has game-changing speed. He hits a single, it’s a for-sure double if you’re not paying attention. Probably even a triple.”
Though Rollins concedes he wasn’t as fast as Turner is, their roles are comparable.
“He gets on, he scores early, he feeds that lineup, he brings that energy. That was something that was required of me as a leadoff hitter in that situation for that team. I knew when I got on base, the way they pitched Shane (Victorino), the way they pitched Chase (Utley) and the way they pitched Ryan (Howard) was completely different than when I wasn’t on base.
“Also, Trea also has that sneaky pop. That’s the top dynamic that I enjoyed trying to bring as a leadoff hitter.”
Curtis Granderson = Lorenzo Cain
Granderson, a three-time All-Star with the Detroit Tigers and New York Yankees, appeared in the postseason eight times in his 16-year career. He has an affinity for the Milwaukee Brewers center fielder, who already has some big moments on his playoff resume — being named the MVP of the 2014 ALCS and then winning a World Series ring the following season with the Kansas City Royals.
“He’s not that guy that everyone is talking about. But he’s done it all,” Granderson said.
“He’s won championships, he’s won Gold Gloves, he can lead off. He can do so many different things.
“He doesn’t look like the fastest guy on the field. He doesn’t look the flashiest. He’s not going to surprise you with his power, but he can hit it out of the ballpark. He can steal a base if you need him to. He’s gonna catch it in any one of those gaps.”
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Pedro Martinez, Jimmy Rollins, Curtis Granderson make their own comps
Source: Yahoo Sports