Tuesday, November 6, 2012


The Yankees and Russell Martin are trying to figure out a deal to bring him back to the Bronx, read that HEREAccording to Martin's agent, they've "had some initial conversations and they’ve expressed interest in bringing him back, but nothing substantial to date other than that... The organization, he loves it, working with the staff, manager, coaches and players. It was all very positive. We’ll see what happens as we move along here.” Look, that’s a good thing and I have to say, I hope it works out. 

(In Photo: Mario Mendoza, 1980)
Look, Russell Martin had a horrible year offensively, batting just .211.  Mario Mendoza was a career .215 hitter after 9 seasons and his best year was in 1980 when he batting a career high .245. Sure, Martin doesn’t want to be in that sort of company, but let’s be honest, Russell Martin is not Mario Mendoza. Let’s do something here at BYB that no one else is doing, reassuring you of something… Martin just had a bad hitting hitting season.  Let’s call it what it is, a very bad slump, that’s it…and now we turn the page. Even Mario Mendoza would agree with that.

Defensively, I loved Martin behind the plate this year and I have his entire career. I thought he did a terrific job and in that regard, I understand why Brian Cashman once called Martin Munson-like (read HERE).  He’s tough as nails and I’d like to see more of that next season.
Let’s also not forget that Martin has some power too, hitting 21 homers this season, a career high, plus he knocked in 53 runs.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t happen often enough, and you know that looking at his .211 batting average.  But trust me, I’m not worried.  I believe if the Yankees sign Martin to come back, he will regroup, work out the kinks and get that average up again.  
 (In Photo: Eli Whiteside)
Now what's interesting to me is why the Yankees seem to keep stockpiling catchers.  They have a guy like Chris Stewart there, Austin Romine in the minors and they suddenly claimed Eli Whiteside off waivers yesterday, read HERE. Meanwhile, the most passionate catcher in baseball, Francisco Cervelli is chomping at the bit to play, or even be the backup to Martin, OR dare I say, even be that 3rd catching backup / bench player....Cervelli just wants to be included because he believes he can contribute. Yet, the Yankees have done something surprising... they've shunned Cervelli.

Now I know Cervelli loves being on the Yankees, but he also loves playing baseball more, and it's my opinion that if he isn't getting what he needs to grow with the Yankees, 2 things need to happen; Cervelli either needs to demand a trade or walk away on his own.  It's not fair and he needs to take control of the situation himself.  I'm disappointed in what the Yankees have done to this guy and the signing of Whiteside is puzzling to me, but more on that in another post.

I actually find it equally hilarious that people are suggesting Mike Napoli may be the better catcher when comparing he to Russell Martin, and Napoli is a free agent as well.  Sure, Napoli is a gamer, but so is Martin.  Offensively, Napoli’s numbers don’t really impress me more that Martin's (Napoli: 24 HR, .227 AVG.) Plus, when watching catchers call a game, I again choose Martin, plus, the Yankees pitching staff love Russell.
At the end of the day, Martin’s my guy.  Sure, I bitched about him a lot this year, that’s because professional hitters need to hit professionally.  But the reality is, every player hits a slump once in a while too. Martin had his slump in 2012…let’s hope that’s the end of it. I trust that it is, I really do.

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