Posted tagged ‘catcher’

Damn! I was selfishly hoping the Blue Jays wouldn’t trade Russell Martin

January 14, 2019

I know that’s ridiculous; possibly idiotic. But part of me was hoping Russell would be kept for the sole purpose of mentoring Danny Jansen and Reese McGuire; similar to the role Curtis Granderson played in 2018.

Of course, that would be a very expensive mentor. Given that Mark Shapiro and Russ Atkins are scorching the Earth as part of the rebuilding process, it makes sense to get something in return for Martin. After all, the Jays are paying his salary, despite the trade. I’m sure the front office also doesn’t want a repeat of the Josh Donaldson saga. Martin probably wants to actually play as well.

I have no interest in the numbers. That’s for the insiders, pundits and professional bloggers to crunch. When I think of Russell Martin, the first words that come to mind are confidence and professionalism.

Sitting in the left field seats gave me the opportunity to watch him prepare for a match. I was transfixed by him running from the dugout to the outfield in full catching gear. He’d go through his drills before working with that day’s starter. It’s hard to articulate, but I never had to worry about what was happening behind the plate.

I spent the last few days thinking of my favourite Russell Martin memories. That homerun against the Yankees in late 2015 will probably be his defining moment with the team.

It was Yom Kippur that day. My family and I were breaking our fast at a relative’s house. Normally, we’d sit around the living room chatting. Not this time.

The majority of us gathered in front of the TV. The atmosphere was incredibly tense; but when Russell connected, we all exploded in jubilation! Of course, we weren’t the only ones: “RUSSELL! RUSSELL! RUSSELL! RUSSELL!”

Other moments come to mind:

– The errant throw in game five of the 2015 ALDS that almost flushed a magical season down the toilet; followed by his thanking the heavens for Jose Bautista’s iconic bat flip homerun.

– The hot streak he went on in August 2016 when the rest of the team was struggling.

– Game three of the 2016 ALDS; a first inning dinger, followed by the fielder’s choice that ultimately led to the Donaldson Dash.

Now his career has come full circle as he heads back to the Los Angeles Dodgers. He deserves a chance to play for a contender. Hopefully, he’ll help L.A. finally get over that hump. Having a chance to catch Clayton Kershaw is also a nice bonus.

Maybe it was his connection to Ontario and Quebec. Maybe it was because he’s just a few weeks older than me. Maybe it was using “Courage” as one of his walk-up songs. I’m just thrilled Russell Martin spent four seasons with the Jays. Worth every penny; even the ones that will cover his 2019 season.

ER

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Episode 65: The life and times of John Bateman

May 12, 2016

In addition to playing for the Astros and Phillies, the late John Bateman was an original Montreal Expo. Overall, he was behind the plate in over 1000 big league games during the 1960s and early 70s.

Since 2011, Bateman’s life has been celebrated through a fictitious Twitter account. It was created by a Texas-area artist, who as a child, chose the catcher as his favourite player. The account features diary style tweets, as if the social medium existed during Bateman’s playing day.

Episode 65 Direct MP3 Download

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One of the many tweets from @JohnnyBateman7

Quick Thoughts on Russell Martin

November 18, 2014

I like it!

Russell Martin is a big upgrade from Dioner Navarro. The Canadian’s offensive numbers are better than Navarro’s. More importantly – as pointed out by Baseball-Reference.com – Martin’s career CS% is higher than Navarro’s (32% vs. 28%). Doesn’t seem like a big difference, but it certainly helps.

That’s not to say Navarro was a dud. The Blue Jays were very fortunate to get what they got from Navarro. Remember, this was a catcher who hadn’t played 100+ games since 2009.

So what happens to Navarro from this point forward?

He could be used as a trading chip or backup Martin, which wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing.

As for Martin, I look forward to seeing what affect his experience and leadership will have in the clubhouse and on the field.

A part of me fears he will under-perform, becoming a target for angry fans.

But there’s also a part of me that believes he will continue to produce like he has in the past.

So here’s hoping #55 will be nothing like a recent Blue Jay who wore that number.

ER

Yankee Stadium Brawl

September 16, 2014

A giant welt rests
on Jesse Carlson’s forehead.
So began my grudge against Jorge Posada.
Some might say it’s foolish.
Others will ask, “What took so long?”

Eric aka @TheHek

JPA’s First Game

July 22, 2014

Got behind the wheel to clear my mind.
Turned on the radio, so Jerry and Alan could paint the picture.
Buck broke his hand, so you got the call.
What a debut it was.

Eric aka @TheHek


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