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Russell Martin blames ‘distractions’ for his poor play

Jan 18, 2011, 12:54 AM EDT

Russell Martin mask

Russell Martin has a good explanation for why he isn’t any good anymore, and it’s not going to be very comforting to Dodgers fans.

Martin, a two-time All-Star catcher who signed a one-year, $4 million deal with New York Yankees this offseason, told Canada’s National Post that, more or less, he just hasn’t been trying very hard, and that’s why he managed just a .680 OPS over the last two seasons.

Why would a guy who makes millions of dollars just to play a game dog it? Because he was distracted, of course.

“I had some distractions that maybe led me not to have that same drive that I’ve had in the past,” he said. “Really, that’s all it is, honestly. I didn’t train quite as–I trained hard, but before, nobody trained as hard as I did.”

Martin wouldn’t explain what those distractions were, though Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times notes that there was concern “in some quarters that Martin was too much the Hollywood party guy.” Also, there was the matter of his distracting girlfriend.

Martin, who turns 28 next month, insists that his problems/distractions/slack attitude are behind him and he is looking forward to joining the Yankees. He said he chose New York over his hometown Toronto Blue Jays because the Yankees have a better chance to win the World Series, but I think it’s because the Yankees have stars who can party, date starlets and play hard, all at the same time. Jeter, A-Rod and the gang can teach him much.

“I think I’ve got a lot to prove,” he said, “especially with the last couple years that I’ve had.” He’s right about that.

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  1. cup0pizza - Jan 18, 2011 at 1:28 AM

    I blame Martin’s poor play on the fact that he flat-out sucks. Simple as that. Good riddance, loser.

  2. brownsdog - Jan 18, 2011 at 4:51 AM

    And yet another spoiled prima donna who’s just taking up a roster spot that another player could occupy – one who loves the game, trains and plays hard, produces for his team, and is grateful for the God-given talent. This guy isn’t even in the Top 30 at his position – the easiest spot for a marginal player to qualify for a major league roster. I bet LA is too glad to see him go, and am more than pleased that the Yankees wasted a spot on him. Why else would a piece of work as he not sign for his home town team (Toronto) other than his interest in hanging out and running with the studs and movers in the league (Jeter, A-Rod, et al)? I’d take Thames over this guy straight up! Oh, yeah – he’s a complete fantasy bust, too!

    • proudlycanadian - Jan 18, 2011 at 8:05 AM

      I have a minor quibble with the assumption that Toronto is his home town. He was born here, but his family moved to Montreal when he was very young. He grew up in Montreal and that city should be described as his home town.

  3. Adam - Jan 18, 2011 at 7:49 AM

    I’ll take “Things Not to Say at a Job Interview” for 4 million please.

  4. clusterpuck - Jan 18, 2011 at 8:04 AM

    Or maybe you just stopped juicing up the roids….

  5. dodger88 - Jan 18, 2011 at 8:53 AM

    Very disappointing; I wanted very much to be a fan of his regardless of where he played but comments like this will make that difficult.

  6. Jonny 5 - Jan 18, 2011 at 9:21 AM

    I would say that Cashman has his head completely up his rearend for signing this dude. He’s got poor plate discipline, he argues calls alot, which is strange for a catcher imo. Oh yeah, and he stinks too. I used to think my opinion of him was jaded, or i was too hard on him, but his statements say it all, and they tell me I’ve been spot on thinking he’s an a-wipe. Thanks Russ for removing all doubt.

    • Andrew - Jan 18, 2011 at 6:15 PM

      How exactly does a guy have poor plate discipline when he walks in nearly 12% of his plate appearances and strikes out in under 16% (both above MLB average, by the way)?

  7. Jonny 5 - Jan 18, 2011 at 9:25 AM

    Oh and how does he ever get any sleep with Marikym next to him at night??

    • sillymybad - Jan 19, 2011 at 4:58 AM

      He is no longer with Marikym, broke up months ago

  8. BC - Jan 18, 2011 at 9:34 AM

    Hey, he’s only 28, not ancient. Had three good years then got hurt and cratered last year, but the whole LAD team did. Worth a shot. He’s not going to catch 145 games anyway. Have him catch against teams that can run, and DH him a little. Not a bad signing. It’s 1 year, anyway.

    • Jonny 5 - Jan 18, 2011 at 10:26 AM

      It’s 4 million dollars BC. It’s a bad signing. He has declined in every single season since his second season. Unless you buy that whole Yankee mentality where everyone deserves to be overpaid to be a Yankee?

  9. spcecwby - Jan 18, 2011 at 11:39 AM

    I loved this kid when he came up as the anti-douche LoDuca replacement, and he was such a welcome change from watching Navarro sail pick off throws into center field on a regular basis. Like every other Dodger fan I kept thinking he’d break out of his funk at the plate, that he was “due” to start hitting and playing like the Silver Slugger/Gold Glover we knew he was, that he had too much heart not to break out of it. I was even a little disappointed when he was non-tendered because somewhere inside my illogical fan heart I thought he might still come back to form next year. Now that I read these comments, I’m glad he’s gone. Thanks for the closure Russ. Have fun sucking next year with the rest of the Yankees ahole brigade.

  10. Glenn - Jan 18, 2011 at 12:26 PM

    Luckily there are no distractions in NYC!

    • sillymybad - Jan 19, 2011 at 5:00 AM

      yeah cause she is gone,lol

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