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.
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.