Ex-Tiger JD Martinez still marvels at Miguel Cabrera

They were once teammates who both wore the Old English D and brought the crowds at Comerica Park to their feet with electrifying hits. However, only one of them remains playing in the Motor City, but that doesn’t mean that the other isn’t watching.

JD Martinez moved on from the Detroit Tigers to the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2017 before signing a massive free-agent deal with the Boston Red Sox, for whom he currently suits up. And he’s back in town with his team to play his former squad – but he’s still keeping an eye on Miguel Cabrera as he chases history.

Martinez watched in the visitor’s dugout as his ex-teammate launched his 498th career home run, leaving him just two away from the elusive 500 mark.

“It’s unbelievable,” Martinez said. “I think he’s earned it.”

Of course, Martinez still looks back fondly on arguably his greatest moment in the majors, when he crushed the 1st pitch he saw off Chicago’s Chris Sale in his return to the lineup from injury just over five years ago.

“I wasn’t expecting to get that ovation that they gave me when I was walking in. That was awesome,” Martinez said afterwards. “If I could thank the fans individually, I’d thank them. That was really cool.

“In my mind, I had my plan (for the showdown with Sale). But I got caught up in the moment and was like, ‘You know what? Forget this. See ball, hit ball.’”

Cabrera is one of only two Tigers players who are still on the team from Martinez’ time in the Motor City, with the other being RHP Michael Fulmer. For Martinez, he wants the fans to appreciate the grind that Cabrera puts himself through in order to be able to continue to play.

“Fans have to understand: This guy grinded out a lot of years in his prime when he probably shouldn’t have been playing, just because the team had to win,” Martinez said. “He can’t move (as well) now because he gave you his all then.

“I feel for him because I understand it. You just hope that the fan base understands it, too.”

– – Quotes via MLive Link – –