J.D. Martinez has been rock-solid for the Boston Red Sox since he signed in 2018. Many arguments can be made about whether or not he's been worth his huge contract, but he's been available and played well enough (with the exception of the 2020 season, which was bad for basically everyone). More importantly, he helped lead the team to a championship in his first season in Boston, which is all that really matters.
Martinez didn't have a career year in 2021 but, again, played well enough. He led the league with 42 doubles and mashed 28 home runs. He is a reliable source of offense and that's exactly what teams ask of their DH.
Boston as a team had a very up-and-down year and it all came down to Game 162. In order to maximize the lineup, manager Alex Cora slotted Martinez into the outfield for the final series against the Washington Nationals so deadline acquisition and big bat Kyle Schwarber could be used in the DH spot. Martinez is by no means a plus fielder at this point in his career but held down the fort when it matters most and even threw a guy out at third from right, far more than anyone expected.
Unfortunately, playing outfield came with a cost. In the final game of the season, Martinez somehow tripped over the second base bag and had to leave the game with an ankle injury. Now the Red Sox are in a do-or-die situation again, hosting the New York Yankees in the AL Wild Card matchup. And Martinez will be nowhere to be seen.
Come on, man. Injuries are a part of the game and all that, but seriously? Tripping over the freaking bag? Missing a playoff game because of it?
It's just dumb. Of all the possible ways a baseball player can hurt himself, this is easily the dumbest. Martinez has elite hand-eye coordination, better than 99 percent of the world's population. It is a required skillset to be as good as he has been at hitting a small object flying towards him at 90 miles per hour in all sorts of different directions. Yet he stumbled over the bag like a Little Leaguer and hurt himself bad enough that he's missing the most important game of the year.
Baseball is a silly game.