Categorized | Mark Timmons

Goodbye To Russ Martin

Goodbye To Russ Martin

It was seven years ago that I predicted greatness for one Russell Martin.  He had just been converted from Third-Base to Catcher, and when I watched the Jacksonville Suns games, it was evident that he was “cat quick” and a

Russ Martin After Batting Practice

real “baller.”  I watched him closely next Spring Training and said he was the next great Dodger catcher.  See, I don’t just watch the at-bats and batting practice – I watch the little things.  I watch how a guy carries himself, I watch and see how early he arrives (Russ was usually first on the field – so was Juan Pierre), I watch his work ethic and when I talk to him face-to-face, I see if he looks me in the eye.    He passed all those tests!

When he came up to the big leagues and replaced  Dioner Navarro,  he made quite a splash and the next season he was even better.  He won the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger Awards and the sky was the the limit for Russell.

I was a genius!

The only problem was that it was all downhill from there. Each year was progressively worse, and he was a shell of what I envisioned him to  be.  Then last year, he injured his hip and the Dodgers decided to non-tender him.  They offered him a salary that was much more than fair for a gimp-legged, declining catcher.  He should have taken the money and been extremely happy.  But, he didn’t!

Russ Martin is a Yankee.  He doesn’t deserve to be a Dodger.

After three crappy seasons, he could have felt he owed it to the Dodgers to come back.

I doubt he made much more money with the Yankees.

Russ Martin is a fraud.

I was wrong!

He wasn’t the next great thing!

You used to be my favorite Dodger, Russ.

Today, I burned your picture.

I hope they run you out of New York on a rail!

Good Riddance to Bad Rubbish!

What happend to the real Russell Martin?

About Mark Timmons

When you see the invisible, you can do the impossible!

45 Responses to “Goodbye To Russ Martin”

  1. Roger Dodger says:

    Love, hate, destroy, no evidence . . . call CSI — but which one: Miami, Las Vegas, or New York. Is it Horatio Caine, Dr. Raymond Langston, or Mac Taylor???

    I still like Russell. I hope he wins some games for the Yankees, and makes a nice comeback. Maybe some new coaches, teammates, etc. will help him.

    It is just a 1 year contract I believe. So he could be back. Not sure the Dodgers have any catching depth in the minors.

  2. Badger says:

    I wish him well. I think what happened to him was overuse. He caught over 150 games twice, then 143. More innings than anyone.

    If he checks out physically, I think he will do well in that lineup. And the Yankees won’t let him catch so many innings. They know better. Torre didn’t.

    You burned his picture? I don’t believe you. That would be really childish.

  3. Ken says:

    Martin obviously never learned how to run the bases and as a result he blew out his hip. Of course it did not help that Ellis, his potential replacement, was not even in the line of sight when Martin was tring to score on that fateful day. And of course he has that same ultraundisciplined approach to thinking where he just had to turn around and look at the umpire after crossing home plate and before he slowed down to a jog. Hopefully Lopes will be able to teach these Dodgers the fundamentals of baserunning including where, when, who, and why to look. “Too Poor to Pay Attention?”

    Maybe these Dodgers are just not very smart. You would thnk that they would learn a lesson after doing something stupid just once. Like the time I stepped on home plate in metal cleats and looked to the outfield and then rolled my ankle all of the way to the ball of my ankle and before I know it the fans were gasping. Fortunately for me my ankles were extremely flexible and strong from playing volleyball and my ankle did not sprain. (It was a littele sore the next day) Back to the mound after that base running blunder and never again did I look where I was not supposed to. Yeah maybe these Dodgers are just really stupid, expecially Kemp whose “Look at the Coach” percentage is lower than his batting average. Lopes should be given the authority to bench a player every time that player does not look at the coach for baserunning instructions.

    Torre abused Martin and Martin abused himself. Now he needs a year off and will probably find a new way to abuse himself during 2011.

  4. Mark Timmons says:

    Of course I didn’t burn his picture. The opposite of love is not hate.

  5. Badger says:

    Since signing with the Dodgers, Martin was an All Star at every stop on his way to the bigs, and was an All Star Gold Glove Silver Slugger Award winner at age 24. What the heck happened? You don’t just lose it at that age.

    The Dodgers have been questionable at fundamentals for some time now. I don’t know if it’s coaching, or being uncoachable, but these guys make mistakes that high schoolers get jumped on for. This is the pros, there are no excuses at this level.

    As for the injury, this is how I remember it:

    “The injury doesn’t appear serious, as Martin stayed in the game, caught five more innings and batted two more times before being replaced by Brad Ausmus in the eighth.

    Martin had just doubled to drive in the Dodgers’ only two runs of the game and moved to third on a wild pitch when he tagged up and tried to score on a shallow fly ball by Jamey Carroll. Despite the fact it was a close play, Martin opted to go in standing up, and Padres catcher Nick Hundley tagged Martin as he ran by.

    Then, after crossing the plate, Martin turned to look back. As he hit the seam where the dirt circle around the home-plate area meets the grass, Martin’s hyperextended his right leg and hit the turf in obvious pain.”

    Stayed in the game?

    Freak accident on play he should have been sliding. So, who was it again in the on-deck circle?

    He still needs to pass his physical, and if he does, I will be pulling for him to get back to his All Star status.

  6. Michael says:

    It’s your party but if I want to get infuriated by total F-ng BS all I have to do is change my channel to FOX NEWS.
    Since the “attacks” on you are relentless, I’m not going to act like a little baby and wish misfortune on you because we don’t think alike, but really man, to dog Russell was totally uncalled for.

    Good luck with your universe.

    OUT!

  7. Dodger Dude says:

    Wow Dude, you got some major misfits and crybabies here. I haven’t read every column you have wrote, but I know that Russ was your boy. I also know “tongue-in-cheek” when I see it. I know how you really feel.

  8. Mark Timmons says:

    DD,

    See – I don’t really care what people think. Simers writes something as you say “tongue in cheek” and he’s a genius. I write it and everyone takes it literally.

    Look, I know I’m not always right – I wasn’t right about Russ, but I still like him, but I’m right as much as most, more than many!

    Michael is right though – if you don’t like it, leave!

    I have no problem with that, even though his reasons are misguided…

  9. Mark Timmons says:

    By the way, this year our readership is up 28%, probably thanks to Jared!

  10. Roger Dodger says:

    Mark, send the images, fast. My time is limited after Jan 6th.

  11. Monstertroll says:

    Man Mark stop being such a stupid, stupid jerk! In all honesty, I’m a little bummed that the Sox didn’t sign Martin.

  12. Monstertroll says:

    But I do hope your Dodgers get Beltre.

  13. Mark Timmons says:

    Roger,

    Just got my new computer and am in the process of consolidating them (three into one) and a remote… never mind. I’ll be done soon.

  14. Mark Timmons says:

    Thanks Monsta,

    That’s a nice thing for a son-in-law to say. If we get Beltre, it will be like the Phils got Lee…

    P.S. You only talk crazy because you are 3/4 the way across the country…

    ;)

  15. Bobby says:

    Sad to see russ go. More sad to know he’ll be a fan fav in ny. Oh well, at least we got eugenio velez

  16. Badger says:

    I just hope Martin is ok. He worked his ass off for this team.

    Now how we supposed to know that piece was tongue in cheek? Didn’t sound like it to me.

    Sounds to me like you are just a bitter old man that knows his Dodgers are sinking fast and is too proud to admit it.

    See, that is what tongue in cheek sounds like.

    Beltre should look for another hitters park. Like Coors Field in Colorado. Wouldn’t he look good in that lineup Mark?

  17. Roger Dodger says:

    Beltre would do great with the Cubs. But they have a third baseman, yet he seems to get injured a lot.

  18. GoNzO says:

    Although I hate to admit it I believe that Russ was probably on the juice his first few years in the bigs. How can a person just fall from the face of the eatrth like he did? He did all the things that a pro should do:

    1. Arrive on time

    2. Listened to coaches

    3. Trained in the offseason

    4. Changed his diet

    5. Left the night life

    Maybe he was just a product of PEDs and lets leave it at that. Also, if he thinks that he has the starting gig in NYC he better check himself because Cervelli or whatever his name is, is a better catcher and can hit a little bit. In a nutshell, he knows his role in NYC. Martin is delusional thinking he will be the player he once was.

  19. Badger says:

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/how-many-innings-is-too-many-for-a-catcher/

    If you look at Martin’s stats from ’06-’09 you will see that his pre All Star numbers are much better than his post All Star numbers. It was also true in ’10 but the numbers were skewed cuz he went down in August. I think it’s safe to say that, having caught as many innings has he has, and as hard as he works when he is behind the plate, he just wore down. I don’t know this for a fact, but, maybe he is the kind of guy that needs some time off, and he sure as hell didn’t get it with Torre managing.

  20. Ken says:

    The arrogance that prevented Martin from accepting Ned’s offer is the same arrogance that prevented him from changing his approach at the plate from a HR hitting wannabe to at least the player that Jamie Carroll is. I for one want all arrogant players to leave the Dodgers. Arrogance and insecurity are the flip sides of the same coin and are not beneficial to any player or team. If Lopes is allowed free reign then maybe Kemp will not be next?

  21. Bill Russell says:

    We just got our big fish, Matt Guerrier. Who is he? I guess he’s a decent relief pitcher. Anyone got anything on this guy? Any relation to Pedro Guerrier?

  22. Badger says:

    If all arrogant players leave the team you will have 162 forfeits.

    How do you know Martin is arrogant? Could it simply be he wanted out of this mess?

    I still say in that Yankee lineup he can relax a bit, see a lot of strikes and have an opportunity to get his career back on track.

  23. Mark Timmons says:

    Badger,

    The Dodgers currently have a payroll of around $110 million. They have an organization that from top-to-bottom, is one of the top ones in baseball. TOPPS just named then the Organization of the Year, which naysers say is a joke, because it doesn’t get them to the conclusion they desire.

    Bottom line: Your reality is that it’s a joke! The players, coaches and other personnell don’t think that. It’s your reality, not theirs.

    Russ Martin would have signed for $5 mil with the Dodgers. He over-estimated what he was worth. Maybe it’s arrogance, or not, but he wasn’t worth that and he got less than what the Dodgers offered. I’m betting right about now, he wishes he would have accecpted the Dodgers generous offer.

    Even with McCourts problems and the divorce fiasco, the Dodgers are still one of the top organizations in all of baseball. The media and some fans think it’s a mess. If that’s your reality, so be it.

  24. Bill Russell says:

    Am I reading to much into the signing of Matt Guerrier? Does this mean there is a deal in place for Broxton? Is Prince Fielder part of this? Stay Tuned……

    • Ray says:

      one could only hope…I think Guerrier is a middle reliever…but if plans are to make Jansen the closer, then Broxton could be traded.

  25. Bobby says:

    i think most of us love to have fun and lump all of our acquisitions in one of 2 piles: Superstar, or NOT Superstar.

    haha if we’d step back, we’d see that the velez castro guys, who i love to make fun of, are one thing. but other pickups like lilly kuroda garland padilla uribe, and now guerrier, are actually quality guys u need on ur team.

    if we just added a superstar to the team, to go with these new guys, we can win this nl west.

    i wont worry about beating philly until oct.

  26. Badger says:

    “I’m betting right about now, he wishes he would have accecpted the Dodgers generous offer.”

    I would take that bet. The Yankees or the Dodgers? In a different year, yeah, sure, that choice is a toss up. Not this year.

    I wonder if a guy like Fielder is what is needed to push the cocky young punks on this Dodger squad? Well, maybe I should narrow that down to the guy we all know I am talking about – Matt Kemp. But it did seem that having Manny in the lineup made everybody better. As soon as he was out of the lineup the team lacked that swagger. Fielder and Uribe may be just what this team needs. Dump Broxton and Loney, and Fielder is maybe affordable.

    You’re still buying that Organization of the Year B.S. hey Mark? A bottom heavy formula gives them a bubble gum award and you flow right along with it. It wasn’t Russell Martin’s Topps card you burned was it.

  27. Roger Dodger says:

    I bet folks will keep wearing Russ Martin’s jersey around Dodger Stadium for years and years. Not the new Yankee one, but the Dodger one.

  28. chucky says:

    Two assumption to the Dodger signing of Guerrier

    1) they are spending more than $110mm (excl defferals) on players (who said they are cheap)

    2) We are going with the roster we have; Broxton closer and two setups Kuo and Guerrier with Jansen ready.

    we just need a thumper for left field and we are ready.

    We are not done, one more step.

    Depending on the LF we have a pretty solid team. Good (but not great) starters, bullpen with options and an offense that MAY need some help(where are you LF?) but with lots of potential (the kiss of death).

  29. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    I am anything but a Torre supporter, but he was not solely to blame for Martin’s overuse. That was begun with Grady Little. In 2006, Martin was in 121 games with the Dodgers after appearing in 23 games at LV. He appeared in 151 games in 2007. If the managers are to be blamed for anything, it would be allowing Martin to talk them out of giving him a breather once in a while. There are times that you don’t listen to the player, and do what’s best for him, whether he knows it (or likes it) or not.

    Guerrier from his stats would appear to be middle innings guy with good control, who can eat up innings.

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/g/guerrma02.shtml

    Again, I’m not on the bandwagon to trade either Broxton or Loney unless they bring back something substantial in return. As things stand now, it would appear that there are 8 or nine candidates for the bullpen, unless I’m forgetting anyone. They are:

    Broxton
    Kuo
    Jansen
    Monasterios
    Hawksworth
    Belisario
    Padilla
    Troncoso
    Elbert

    If the Dodgers carry 12 pitchers, that will mean room for only 7 guys in the pen. Elbert is included as a potential second lefty. Monasterios could be sent out, Troncoso is anything but a lock, and the same could be said for Belisario. And I guess Broxton could be traded. And so could any of the other names I mentioned. Things will have to sort themselves out between now and opening day.

  30. chucky says:

    Brooklyn
    you have a point; 7 open spots EXCLUDING A TRADE;

    For Sure:
    Broxton – RHP closer
    Kuo -LHP setup/closer
    Jansen – RHP setup/closer
    Guerrier -RHP setup
    Padilla – RHP long relief

    Fight for last two positions:
    Monasterios R
    Hawksworth R
    Belisario R
    Troncoso R
    Elbert L

    We have five good relievers and we need only 2-3. We also have an extra outfielder XMAN. Do I smell a trade? Hawkwsorth, Paul and Belisario for a LEFT HANDED RELIEVER?

    but who?

    • Ken says:

      Belisario and Hawksworth are out of options.

      It does appear that excess players are being added at certain positions and therefore a trade will be attempted.

      Guerrier is #41 so goodbye Lindsey?

      LOL – Martin got less from the Yankees than the Dodgers offered, but of course he is now closer to Mommy and Daddy.

  31. Bluenose Dodger says:

    I’m betting Ruussell is wishing he had signed a long term contract when offred one a couple of years ago.

  32. Ken says:

    Maybe this is the year that the Dodgers actually have teh bullpen to allow them to try and turn Troncoso into a starter.

  33. Ken says:

    Actually with the incentives that can easily be reached the Dodger 2011 Payroll is now $117.5 mil. If the Dodgers sign Hall than it would be at least $120 mil.

    Me thinks a multi-player trade will occur before opening day.

  34. Bill Russell says:

    Politics, Politics, Politics
    The Lakers are currently schooling Mark’s Pacers. But beware, the Lakers can melt faster than a snowball in hell.

  35. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    No Bill Hall, PLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEZ.

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/h/hallbi03.shtml

    Bill Hall has built a career around one good year (2006). He’s not what we need in our outfield. There has to be something better out there.

  36. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Left this out of previous post.

    Bill Hall’s lifetime MLB Average = .250

    Lifetime Minor League Average = .264

  37. lawdog says:

    I think Gibbons could hit .280 with 15-20 hrs and 85 rbis or so. He has the talent to do so and was a pretty good hitter before he got black balled for the roids thing. I’m hardly an optimist, but I think he might just hold his own if given a chance to start. And he’s not quite geezing too loud yet!

    I’m more worried about the abyss at third base… :shock:

  38. Bill Russell says:

    Worry not, the beard will be back Lawdog. If the Dodgers stay patient for their LF’er, they will pick up a cheap FA or trade off some spare parts for someone looking for some excess pitching. Who knows, maybe the much rumored trade will happen that brings in Fielder.

    Blake plays a solid defense, will hit 15-20 bombs and have an average of .265 + next year. Hardly an abyss. Not ARod material but not something to worry about. Tip back a few and enjoy 2011 cause law just don’t go around here. Peace

  39. lawdog says:

    I know, I heard you the first tie…. :mrgreen:

    Have to admit as the season draws near it’s hard not to think about at least watching the dogs on MLB Extra Innings. I don’t think that would enrich McGoo more than a few shekels.

  40. lawdog says:

    That’s supposed to be “I heard you the first time”. Not tie. These old eyes and fingers just aren’t what they used to be. Old age is a terrible thing. Don’t let it happen to you. :roll:

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