Martin blames past struggles on “distractions”

The RAB Radio Show: January 17, 2011
Luis Vizcaino out 3-4 months with broken ankle

Via Shi Davidi, new Yankee catcher Russell Martin blamed his subpar performances over the last two years on a lack of preparation brought about by off-the-field “distractions” that were “personal.” The 27-year-old backstop had a puny .307 wOBA over the last two seasons, but in the two seasons prior to that he had a much gooder .359 wOBA. Yes, much gooder.

I don’t know what personal issues Martin was dealing with and I don’t really care, I just hope everything’s cool now and it’s all in the past. He’s already a gigantic defensive upgrade behind the plate, but if he could chip in a wOBA in the .350’s or even the .340’s, holy cow would that be huge.

The RAB Radio Show: January 17, 2011
Luis Vizcaino out 3-4 months with broken ankle
  • Jerome S.

    You know who I bet could chip in a wOBA in the .350’s?

    • Bruno (The Manchine)

      unfortunately, not with the same stellar D Martin provides.

      • Hughesus Christo



        • Ross in Jersey

          Well, it might seem that way after watching Cervelli and Posada last year.

    • Gonzo

      As a rookie?

  • TopChuckie

    If Russell is going to bring up these distractions it sure would have been nice if he had added that they are gone now.

  • Jake LaMotta’s Left Hook

    You know who else was a Dodger for the last 2 years? Manny Ramirez. I blame him, and his ‘cancerous’ personality in the clubhouse, for Martin’s struggles.

    • Jerkface

      We should sign Manny to be the 4th OFer and DH backup

      • Ross in Jersey

        I’d rather see you in the OF over Manny.

        • king of fruitless hypotheticals

          My arm is a little weaker than Manny’s, but I’m the same speed, and my concentration is amazingly better. Plus I’ll work for peanuts. Literally. I’m from Alabama.

          Do the teams have psychologists, general physicians and counselors on hand for these guys? It almost seems like they should be required to see a sports psychologist twice a week and chat with the doc once a week just to make sure everything is fine.

          With the millions that get dumped on these guys, another million or so in payroll may go a long way to helping them deal with ‘distractions.’

          • Mike Axisa

            Well, that is a tad extreme. Mandatory psychiatric evaluations twice a week is a little over the top.

            • king of fruitless hypotheticals

              I’m not saying evaluations…but a 15 minute chat with a guy that has a good idea if you’re lying which would also provide a no-fear/no-shame place to talk if you needed.

  • MikeD

    Russell’s has shown an ability to draw walks, although his recent OBP stats when he’s not batting eighth in front of the pitcher (when he’d be pitched around) are pretty low. Don’t have them right in front of me, but it might be around .315-.320.

    If he’s going to get his share of ABs in the early part of the season, let’s hope he leaves the off-field distractions behind, and his defense is stellar.

    • Jerkface
      • MikeD

        Thanks, but those are career stats and the data point was referring to recent stats when not batting in front of the pitcher.

        • Jerkface

          Great 1 injury plagued season where he still had impressive isoD’s.

          .1 or close to it in all situations

          Which matches his career rates.

          So let me say again: No.

          • MikeD

            I’m glad you’re confident in Martin’s ability. The trend lines are not good at all, and the last two years of stats have more relevance than the overall numbers you originally posted.

            I remain open to a rebound, but not enough to emphatically say NO.

    • dalelama

      Bat him in front of Brett Gardner so they still pitch around him.

      • Dave the Ox

        Pitch around all his names. My Mo, were those three middle names I counted? Is that a Canadian thing?

        • Engelbert

          I’ve got two, but I have south american acquaintances with 7

  • Rams Bladder Cup

    Illiterate feak. It’s more gooder and most goodest.

    Letting you post on this blog is as bad as giving a 34 year old with an impeccable driving record, the keys to my 2002 Honda civic.

    • first name only male (formerly Mike R. – Retire 21)

      It’s much badder than that.

  • JGS

    Unfocused? So he’s the A.J. Burnett of backstops.

    //seriously, no joke

    I guess he has a low catching IQ

  • Sean C

    As far as I’m concerned, if Martin can split the difference between Cervelli and Posada (which would be around a .336 wOBA) I would be thrilled. Anything higher than that is gravy.

  • Jeff in LA

    This is an annual song and dance with Martin, every spring it’s a different excuse. Two years ago he blamed a poor diet and excessive night life and pointed to a calmer life with his girlfriend as the cure and came into camp 15lbs lighter and ‘in the best shape of his career’. Last year he blamed to diet for sapping his strength. This year it’s personal issues. Whatever, the guy is an excuse making machine.

    And he rattles easy. Remember when the Phillies threw at him in the ’08 NLCS and he slammed his helmet and threw a tantrum? 2 HBP and .118/.318/.118. Then after starting 3-5 against the Phillies in 2009 they plunked him again and he went 1-11 from then on. Think Beckett might buzz him?

    Luckily the bar with the Yankees is set at being better than Cervelli so he should help the team, but anyone expecting him to be even an average catcher in the AL will be disappointed.

  • rbizzler

    If only for his plus name tool and his ability to throw out the more than occasional runner, I will be rooting for Martin this year. I hope his personal problems are in the past and he can return to 3+ WAR player.

    • ledavidisrael

      but id like to point out that he logged 2 wins in 93 games which puts him over 3 War Rate last season.

  • icebird753

    he probably got into a fight with AJ Burnett on September 17th of last year, caught AJ sleeping with his girl and decked him.

  • awy

    seems like he was hell bent on getting out of la. might be soemthing to that change of scenery thing

  • Hmmm

    Distractions the past two years? When did ARod admit to using steroids? Exactly. It’s ARods fault, obviously.

  • Monteroisdinero

    No distractions with Jesus. Solid family-I met his parents at Scranton. Oldest child=responsibility. Love the upsides.

    Martin will be John Flaherty redux. A short stay in pinstripes.

    • Msheezy

      Flahrety was a Yank for 3 years, I’d sign up for 3 years of 07 Russell Martin.

  • Mike HC

    This actually sounds great to me and makes me far more confident in Martin’s ability to have a bounce back year at the plate. Who knows what he really means by off the field distractions, but if he is willing to unequivocally claim there was a reason for his suckiness that is no longer an issue, I like it.

  • Johnnybaseball

    Banging Rianna that’s what distracted him last season…