Apparently Russell Martin is a Man of Many Excuses

To sum up the biggest things Russell Martin has said to the press since signing with the Yankees, he plans on being in the best shape of his life this season and his two down years in Los Angeles were due to unnamed off the field distractions that he has put behind him.

Apparently these types of statements have become somewhat of an annual thing for Martin.

Via Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times:

It wasn’t that Russell Martin was too thin, or too heavy; it wasn’t that he was trying too hard to pull the ball or go to the opposite field…

…Yep, our favorite ex-Dodgers catcher has his excuse 2011: He was lacking subconscious motivation because of his personal life…

…Whatever, it seems a tad too convenient that Martin has an annual excuse for why he went from having an OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) of .843 in 2007 to .680 the last two seasons…

…Should he struggle in the Big Apple, though, why do I suspect he’ll have an excuse?

This is troubling. Mostly because, as FanGraphs recently pointed out, a player being in the best shape of his life is more of a cliche then anything to get excited about. Rarely does it mean anything (by the way, Russell Martin was supposedly in the best shape of his life a year ago).

It’s probably more troubling because this guy hasn’t even played a single game for the Yankees yet and has already tossed out two excuses as to why things went wrong in Los Angeles. Now we find out that excuses are just part of his MO. That doesn’t exactly inspire a vote of confidence in him.

We will have to wait and see though because at this point he is a Yankee. Maybe he’s not BS’ing us and we should realistically expect a turn around. Maybe not. I’m not overly confident in him at this point.

Put it this way, Curtis Granderson came here as a player with lots of potential coming off a down year and he didn’t come with a ton of excuses. He didn’t start rattling off vague reasons for his problems last winter. He simply worked his butt off and when that wasn’t good enough, he worked his butt off some more with Kevin Long in a batting cage before eventually fixing the problem.

But like I said, with Martin, we’ll just have to wait and see. He’s already thrown a few excuses our way and we as Yankees fans will most definitely hold him to those excuses. If he doesn’t perform well in 2011, he’d better well have a damn good excuse or we’ll be clamoring for his head.

About Rob Abruzzese

Rob Abruzzese created Bronx Baseball Daily in 2008 just before graduating from Brooklyn College. He currently serves BBD as its editor and works as a reporter at the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Follow Rob on Twitter @RobAbruzzese.
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25 Responses to Apparently Russell Martin is a Man of Many Excuses

  1. 85 and 89 OPS+ over the past two seasons. He was DFA'd in his prime. I'm just trying to be realistic. It's not always going to be rosy stuff I'm afraid.

  2. Rob Abreezy says:

    Why do you look at these players only as a bunch of numbers ??

    If Martin had off the field issues, then accept that as his word…He's just a human being.

    Put the calculator down for one seond, and respect the man, Russell Martn.

    • robert chavez says:

      Yes I agree, he is human, if he had problems thats his business and i can understand how personal problems can affect a person. just leave him be

  3. The man, Russell Martin, seems to have a reputation for making excuses. This will be the second year in a row that he'll be in the "best shape of his life". I'll give him a chance, but at this point I'm already extremely skeptical.

  4. robert chavez says:

    give him a chance he'll surprise everyone, you watch, he'll come back stonger than ever

    • Rob Abreezy says:

      Yes, I agree…give Martin a chance…He'll be a good glove, and offer better offense than Cervelli….He's a perfect pickup to give Posada some rest in his last year, and allow Montero to continue to learn his position….Overall, you have to be impressed by the catchers the Yankees have throughout the system.

  5. Joe says:

    Is this a Yankee website or New England one ???? I’m willing to bet a couple writers hail from the New England area.

    Way to much negativity, first Soria now Martin. How about giving these guys a chance by writing some positive stuff and making their arrival as smooth as possible instead of just adding pressure ???

  6. John says:

    This has to be a anti-yankee site. It seems everyone has jealousy towards the Yankees. Especially the Leftist New Englanders.

  7. You haven't read nearly enough of this site if you think that.

    • Joe says:

      Rob where are you from ???

        • Joe says:

          I assume Bensonhurst and not Bedstuy

          Alright Rob I believe your a Yankee fan now, but let's just try to be a little more positive.

          • There are more than two neighborhoods in Brooklyn, but yes I am from Bensonhurst. You probably guessed cuz of the name. Look, I'm going to try to be realistic. I don't feel like the overall tone of this blog is negative. If anything I'm too positive for my own good. Maybe I'm wrong about that, but I think you can go back and read the archives and you'll see what I mean. Overall, I strive to be realistic and pragmatic more than anything though.

          • Joe says:

            "There are more than two neighborhoods in Brooklyn"

            No sit, sorry guess you missed the joke

  8. Ryan says:

    Baseball is a game of stats and numbers. Yes, the dude is a human being, but all Rob is pointing out is that he has to perform and quit making excuses. If he had off field issues, then keep them off the field, just like you and I keep our out of work issues "out of work". If we start under-performing, we cant throw out an excuse and our bosses think, "oh, leave him be, dont add any pressure on him, he is a human being" they would cut ties with you if you are hurting there business. As a Yankee fan I am hopeful he will turn it back around, but if he doesnt I sure as hell dont want to hear an excuse.

  9. Hardcore Yankee Fan says:

    I might be inclined to jump on your sentiments except who else is there to play Catcher for the Yanks. He is by far better defensively than Posada and Cervelli, and much better than Cerv on offense. If Martin can play good D, and put up a 90 OPS+, he's more than earned his keep IMO. If he can get back to his 100 OPS+ days, that would just be icing on the cake.

    You should be writing about why we haven't dumped Cervelli yet. I'm at the point of willing to give him up for a decent batboy.

  10. They're not going to get much for Cervelli, he barely gets paid anything, and there is not a 40-man roster crunch. So there is no reason to do anything with him.

    As for who else could catch, the Yankees have a guy who played a full season at Triple-A last year who tore the cover off the ball for the second half of the year. He might be ready for the big leagues.

    • Franco Kotos says:

      agreed, Cervelli's defense hurts him…Martin could be a real gem…Montero's defense scares the Yankees and they do not want him to catch a team that includes the likes of Nova (rookie I believe), Hughes (2nd year starter), AJ (coming off a mental breakdown), Mitre (has he ever had many starts in 1 season) and CC (their workhorse)…that's why they went out and got a veteran catcher who could put in at least 125 games…if they give Montero the remaining games, where do the put him during the other 125…Posada is the DH, no?

    • Joe says:

      I agree, get him up asap

      his bat was actually deemed ML ready during last ST

  11. I get the feeling that Montero will start the season in the minors. Then depending on how Martin does they'll either call him up at the end of May or the middle of July. At that point Montero will probably play at least half of the games he is in the majors for. That's just a guess though.

    • Hardcore Yankee Fan says:

      I'm all for bringing Montero up. Heck, I'm not sure what they're doing telling the world that it's his job to lose and then signing someone a few weeks later for the starting role. Way to shake the kid's confidence. The Yanks front office has been a circus show this offseason.

      I'd MUCH rather see Montero backing up Martin with 30-50 games behind the plate, and pinch hitting and the occasional DHing, than have Cervelli doing anything for the Yanks major league team. I can't fathom a realistic scenario under which the Yanks are not better off with Montero than with Cerv.

      Not to mention, it's very important acclimating young players, especially on a team with so many veterans and such a focused goal. This would be good for Montero and would hopefully force him to step up and commit as I have heard a few stories about his immaturity, though it isn't that unnatural for a kid who literally isn't old enough to even buy alcohol.

  12. Juke Early says:

    The real problem with all this stuff is that with so much media now, people need to fill spaces. I think a player should be left alone until his on field performance, or lack thereof, makes it newsworthy. While there is certainly fan interest, most players have the PR instincts of a four year old. And the media-worker by necessity is a rabid dog looking to steal a kid's candy – even pre-chewed. I don't care why Russell Martin feels compelled to give a vague reason for sub-standard stats. Or why Derek Jeter isn't marrying Minka Kelly. Or if Posada will pout if he doesn't catch enough games. All I want is for the Yankees to beat every team they play, senseless. I don't care who has the bat in his hands. Or why.

  13. CJ says:

    My only problem about the " excuse" angle is that the guy suited up and went to war everyday. The only time he didn't play is after the hip injury. B4 that he had caught more games over a 3 year period that anyone else.
    He was catching an inexperience staff with Billingsley, Kershaw , Saito and Broxton.
    I always viewed catching as a defense 1st position

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