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Russell Martin might play shortstop for Canada in the WBC

Nov 25, 2012, 8:57 AM EDT

russell martin square getty Getty Images

David Waldstein of the New York Times explains:

[Russell] Martin, a Canadian citizen, told Greg Hamilton, the Baseball Canada head coach and director of the national teams, that he wants to play shortstop in the W.B.C. Hamilton was receptive to the idea.

Canada has two major league catchers on its current roster, including Martin and Oakland’s George Kottaras, who is from Scarborough, Ontario. But it does not have a major league shortstop.

Martin played shortstop in high school and college, and has logged 75 1/3 career major league innings at third base. It might not be the prettiest thing to watch, but the 29-year-old can probably pull it off.

“If it’s something that would help the team, I am willing to do it,” Martin told the Times on Saturday in a telephone interview from Montreal, Quebec. “I told Greg I want to do it, and he said he’s open to it.”

Martin is still an MLB free agent but has drawn interest recently from several teams. The Mariners, Rangers and Red Sox have been linked to him, and the Yankees should be ready to make some sort of offer soon.

  1. dondada10 - Nov 25, 2012 at 9:19 AM

    What a gritty son of a bitch.

  2. proudlycanadian - Nov 25, 2012 at 9:25 AM

    Why not? The corner infielders will be Votto and Lawrie with Morneau at DH. Lawrie covers a lot of ground at third and would help Martin. Pete Orr will probably play second base.

    • jerze2387 - Nov 25, 2012 at 12:17 PM

      Why not play lawrie at 2nd (he played there in minors) or SS and play martin at 3rd? and orr (who played there in minors a bit) at SS? instead itll be a Russell Martin and Pete Orr middle infield..yikes.

      But it would help Martins FA value if he does ok there…then hes a C/SS/3B utility man.

    • cur68 - Nov 25, 2012 at 12:51 PM

      So long as he doesn’t do a Miggy and take a ball off the kisser I’m ok with Martin at SS or Third. If he hits well and fields well I could see Anthopolous taking a chance on him. AA likes him a FA catcher and Russel Nathan Jeanson Coltrane Martin, Jr is JUST the sort of catcher AA covets.

      • historiophiliac - Nov 25, 2012 at 1:10 PM

        I’ll take that to mean you don’t think RNJCM, Jr. can take a ball off the kisser like Sr. MVP.

    • wlschneider09 - Nov 25, 2012 at 1:08 PM

      Martin probably covers as much ground as Jeter…

      That ought to earn me about a year’s worth of thumbs down from Yank fans.

      • cur68 - Nov 25, 2012 at 2:09 PM

        You gots you a point there, ’09. After watching Jeets “play” short all these years I bet RNJCM, Jr reckons he could do no worse. This is not in any way a recommendation, either.

      • dirtyharry1971 - Nov 25, 2012 at 5:39 PM

        “Jeets” has more rings then the jays will ever have in franchise history.thats not bragging thats simply telling it the way it is. Also thats not bragging up the bluejays ring totals since its going to be 2 forever and ever.

      • cur68 - Nov 26, 2012 at 1:53 AM

        Go bathe, harry. You smell bad. Again.

  3. dan1111 - Nov 25, 2012 at 9:26 AM

    I foresee lots of passed balls. Still, it’s a fun idea; I hope it happens.

  4. Charles Gates - Nov 25, 2012 at 9:28 AM

    Pasta diving Martin.

    • paperlions - Nov 25, 2012 at 9:39 AM

      Is that with a white sauce or a marinara?

      • proudlycanadian - Nov 25, 2012 at 10:56 AM

        Look at Martin! Marinara for sure.

      • proudlycanadian - Nov 25, 2012 at 11:01 AM

        He also prefers cake over pie. A real team player!

      • dirtyharry1971 - Nov 25, 2012 at 5:41 PM

        and prouldy prefers the window bed at the nursing home!!!

  5. cackalackyank - Nov 25, 2012 at 10:24 AM

    Supposedly his achy back is a problem that keeps his batting average flirting with the Mendoza Line…and now he can play…SHORTSTOP?!?!? Well I am guessing whoever signs him will be paying him to be on the DL part of the year.

  6. indaburg - Nov 25, 2012 at 11:01 AM

    …and hilarity ensues. Good for him, taking one for the team.

  7. Carl Hancock - Nov 25, 2012 at 12:37 PM

    I’m sure whoever he signs with will put the kibosh on this idea pretty quickly. Nobody is going to sign Martin and allow him to risk injury playing out of position.

  8. randygnyc - Nov 25, 2012 at 1:51 PM

    He’s got VERY soft hands for a catcher. His size and speed will obviously be his limiting factor.

  9. crisisjunky - Nov 25, 2012 at 6:07 PM

    The term ‘Shortstop’ was not intended as a height designation, though when it was coined in the 19th century, pretty much everybody was Russell’s height.

  10. atwatercrushesokoye - Nov 25, 2012 at 6:55 PM

    Where’s Stubby Clapp when we need him?

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