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Martinez Wins Third Cy Young Award

NEW YORK (AP) — Pedro Martinez spent the end of October at his mother's place in the Dominican Republic, a little wooden farm house near a river where he played with chickens and didn't have to worry about things like the Subway Series that didn't stop in Boston.

``I would trade this for a chance to play in the World Series,'' he said Monday after claiming his third Cy Young Award in four years, winning unanimously for the second consecutive season.

Asked if he can make it three years in a row, he said: ``I wouldn't guarantee it, but I will give it a try. How about that?

``We'll talk about it in November — or October, after the World Series,'' he said. ``If I stay healthy, I think it's possible. Why not? If you guarantee me health, I'll guarantee you a big try. And a big try could bring another season like this.''

Martinez received all 28 first-place votes from the Baseball Writers' Association of America, with Oakland's Tim Hudson (54 points) finishing second with 16 seconds and six thirds. David Wells (46) of Toronto was third, followed by Andy Pettitte of the Yankees (7) and Detroit's Todd Jones (3).

This was just the fourth time a pitcher won outright back-to-back Cy Young Awards in the AL.

Roger Clemens, the pitcher Martinez replaced in Boston, did it in 1986-87 with the Red Sox and 1997-98 for Toronto. Jim Palmer won in 1975-76 for Baltimore. Detroit's Denny McLain won the Cy Young in 1968 and shared the award the next year with Baltimore's Mike Cuellar.

Martinez, 29, is one of seven pitchers to win the award at least three times.

Clemens has five Cy Young awards, followed by Steve Carlton and Greg Maddux with four each. Tom Seaver, Sandy Koufax and Palmer also have three.

``He just moved in with Palmer and Seaver and Koufax, and he's got an opportunity to continue pitching,'' Boston general manager Dan Duquette said. ``He's reached an extremely high level at a young age.''

Duquette noted that Martinez also tied Babe Ruth as the only Red Sox pitchers to win five games in April.

``I'm really proud and excited to join Babe Ruth and all those other big names,'' Martinez said.

Martinez went 18-6 with a league-leading 284 strikeouts and a 1.74 ERA — nearly two runs better than Clemens' second-best AL mark of 3.70. It was the lowest ERA by an AL starter since Luis Tiant's 1.60 ERA in 1968.

Martinez, who also won in 1997 with Montreal, is one of three pitchers with Gaylord Perry and Randy Johnson to win the honor in each league. He joined Clemens as the only pitchers to win the award unanimously twice; Clemens did his 12 years apart, in 1986 for Boston and 1998 for Toronto.

Last year, Martinez went 23-4 with a 2.07 ERA to become only the fourth pitcher to win the AL Cy Young award unanimously. His wins were down due in part to poor run support, but everything else was the same for baseball's best pitcher as he allowed only 128 hits and 32 walks in 217 innings.

``I think he had a better year this year,'' Red Sox manager Jimy Williams said. ``You can't just look at his wins and losses.''

But one aspect of the season was a disappointment compared to last year.

After playing in the AL Championship Series in 1999, the Red Sox finished 2 1/2 games behind the New York Yankees in the AL East this year despite having the best team ERA in the league.

``As a team, we did pretty good. We didn't do that bad to be disappointed,'' Martinez said. ``We were in contention until the end.''

Martinez earned a $500,000 bonus on top of his $11 million salary for winning the award. Wells got $50,000 for his third-place finish.
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