"There was one time I remember when I was a free agent, there was talk that I might meet with (George) Steinbrenner. One of your colleagues had me in the papers with horns and a tail, red horns and a tail. That's a sign of the devil. I'm a Christian man. I don't like those things. I take those things very serious. Those are the kind of things that the fans actually get used to seeing, and actually sometimes influence those people to believe that you are a bad person, that you are like an ogre."
Martinez spent four injury-plagued seasons with the Mets from 2005-08. Signed by the Phillies in mid-July after sitting out the first half of the season, he lacks the overpowering fastball he used to have. But he still knows how to win.
Martinez threw two-hit ball for seven shutout innings in Game 2 of the NL championship series at Dodger Stadium.
"As you know, I'm older and wiser. I believe my experience played a big role in that," Martinez said.
Thursday will be his second World Series start -- he pitched seven scoreless innings of three-hit ball for the Red Sox against St. Louis in 2004.
It will be the first World Series outing for the hard-throwing Burnett, who did not receive a decision in three AL playoff starts this year.
"I'm excited," he said. "I'm going to prepare, yeah, maybe, as another game, but deep down I know what it's about. I know how real it is, and I don't want to change it."
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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