Welcome to the Pinstripes, Russell Martin!

Today Martin was officially introduced to the New York media. Therefore, it’s only fitting that I give him a rousing She-Fan welcome.
As someone who lives in SoCal, I have to say I’m excited about his signing, having several Dodger fan friends who’ve raved to me about him. While it’s true that he had a miserable couple of years, he was an All-Star – a guy the fans loved for both his hitting and his catching abilities. So I have to think he’ll have a bounce back season with the Yanks. To celebrate his signing, here are the many faces of Russell Martin, New Yankee.
#1) The Feisty, I-Don’t-Mind-Starting-A-Fight Russell Martin
#2) The French-speaking, I-love-talking-to-fans Russell Martin
#3) The laughing, I-joke-around-in-the-dugout-unlike-Posada Russell Martin
#4) The power-hitting, walk-offs-are-my-specialty Russell Martin
I think I could really get to like this guy.
On the other hand, I do not want us to sign either Freddy Garcia or Brian Fuentes. So please, Cashman. Just stop it. Now. I’m serious.


  1. fhschw@comcast.net

    Hi Jane,
    I want to comment on the matter of whether or not the best team is the one that wins the World Series. I think the answer is not necessarily and too often the best team isn’t the winner. I’ve always said that anything can happen in a short series and during a season it is not uncommon for a really good team to hit a slump and be swept by a second rate team. Baseball is a long haul sport and teams are usually geared for that, not for a 5 or 7 game series. Unlike football which is a once a week sport for 16 games baseball has to grind it out day after day and, unlike every other sport, in baseball the star of the team plays every 4th or 5th game. The Yankees have been built for the long haul and over a season usually are the best team in the league. They are not, unfortunately, built for a short series where 2 or 3 ace pitchers mean everything. There is no way that the 1960 Pirates were the better team and many a World Series winner was not the better team for the long haul but did win out in the 7 game format. I seriously doubt that, were those Pirates in the American League that year, they would have finished ahead of the Yankees who outscored them by a huge margin in the 7 games. Harold

  2. Jane Heller

    Hi, Harold. Thanks for thinking about the question I posed in the last post. While I agree that anything can happen in a short series (as opposed to the long haul of the entire season), a championship team needs to have the pitching to prevail in a short series and the luck not to fall into an offensive slump, in addition to playing clean, error-free baseball. What constitutes a “better team?” In my opinion, it’s the one that wins the championship. I’m sure the Yankees were absolutely dominating in 1960 and the interviews with the Pirates on the show the other night confirmed that. But the Yanks were vulnerable when it counted and lost in Game 7. They came up short.

    The walk-off got me excited too, Melissa. I’ve pretty much stayed away from watching actual baseball since the season ended, and it was great to hear the crack of the bat after all this time.

    I hope he doesn’t get to wear Cervelli’s big helmet, Jeff. That would mean he’d had a concussion and I hardly want that to happen.

    So you agree with me about Garcia, Paul. LOL. I remember a few outings where the Yankees couldn’t hit him at all (they have trouble with junk throwers), but I don’t want him – no how, no way.

  3. Jane Heller

    I really think he can catch, Dave – if he’s healthy. And he explained in yesterday’s press conference how his offense got “out of whack.” So I’m pretty happy with the signing. And yes, he’s French Canadian! Tres bien! The 1960 Yanks were certainly a powerhouse, judging by the scores of the three games they won. Talk about a disparity. And I’d cry too if I were Mickey. But the better team is the one that wins, even if it’s just perseverance that gets it done.

  4. dschaub@gpo.gov

    As per usual, Jane, you’ve provided a couple of tasty morsels of subject matter, for munching at lunch…
    As for Russell Martin…can’t say I know the man, not like you SoCal folks…but as long as he can actually CATCH, and by that I mean handle a pitching staff that ain’t what it was, and on occasion actually THROW OUT a baserunner, he can hit near the Mendoza Line and that’s good enuf for me…plus he speaks Fraanch…my sister would LOVE that…maybe I’ll get her to check our your blog, so she can translate!!
    Ah, the short series…it drives us all bonkers, and that’s the beauty of beisbol…but having to win THREE of them nowadays to be a champion…OMG, it’s hard…I wonder when, or if, we’ll ever see a truly dynastic team again with the difficulty inherent in winning three series…makes what our Bombers did in the ’90s all the more remarkable. BTW, a taste of related trivia for the ’60 Series…the Pirates won four games by scores of 6-4, 3-2, 5-2, and 10-9. The Yanks won their three games by scores of 16-3, 10-0, and 12-0. And I didn’t even look these up; they’re seared into my mind. Never in the 50 years since then have I EVER seen such amazing disparity in the scores of Series winners & losers…so, no wonder Mick was crying at the end…I’d cry, too…!

  5. Jane Heller

    You’re allowed to snerk, Kristen. I snerked too. I remember Fuentes was good early on in his stint with the Angels but not so much later and not against the Yankees. Didn’t realize the Angels were looking at Damon. Hm. You’ve had Abreu and Matsui, so why not another ex-Yankee?

  6. raysrenegade

    Russell Martin is ojne of those guys who just seemed to be destined for greatness then somehow the maturation process seemed to be stuck in neutral.
    But as we all know, sometimes a different locale can re-vitialize and re-energize a player to finally take that last step in potential.
    And the move makes the pocess of pushing Jorge Posada to the DH role a smoother transition. Even with someone like Martin coming in, I still personally see FRancisco Cervelli as the top dog until Martin pushes him out of the every day role.
    Should be a fun battle this Spring in Tampa. Wonder who rises to the occasion?

    Rays Renegade


  7. Jane Heller

    I hope the new location will revitalize Martin, Renegade, the way it did for Swisher. I’m not sure about Cervelli though. The organization seems to have lost faith in him. He’ll be in the mix this spring (unless there’s a trade), but I think the Martin signing was all about giving the two prospects, Montero and Romine, time to mature.

  8. blithescribe

    Brian Fuentes? *snerk* Really? I know why you don’t want the Yankees looking there. To be fair though, although hardly a dynamic closer, he did get the job done for us for a couple of years. But he wasn’t fantastic as a reliever and with Mo back for a while yet, the last thing you all need is a (really slow) closer.
    Of course, now the reporters are talking about the Angels maybe signing Johnny Damon, so I think it’s official. The reporters OD’d on Clif…oh, you know who…stories and now they are getting downright silly in the midst of their withdrawal. We need Spring Training to start. STAT.

  9. abby1306

    He seems to be a very nice guy and very talented (when he’s not injured). But as he said: talent doesn’t go away. Let’s just hope his minor knee surgery won’t be a problem and he’ll be ready for spring training. I think I could like him too, Jane.
    I’m with you Melissa! That was exactly the first thought I had when I watched the walk-off HR video. I miss Baseball so much!
    – Nadine

  10. Jane Heller

    He does seem to be a good guy, Nadine. From what I read, his father is a musician and gave him the middle name Coltrane after the jazz legend, which is cool. We just want him to be healthy. No Nick Johnson-itis!

  11. blithescribe

    Oh, what a difference a misplaced period makes, ooops. I meant I think it’s official that the reporters have gotten silly. I know there is Damon talk but have no idea how serious it is because, of course, the Angels are very close lipped about such things. It’s just that, like Fuentes, Damon had some great years but some not so good years recently and I think we have enough of those on the Angels already. Let someone else have him. Although, as you say, we are trying to collect an awful lot of ex Yankees, so who knows…it’s like the pecking order of siblings in terms of hand me down clothes. Ex Yankees go to the Angels. Ex Angels go to the Rangers and so on.

  12. crzblue2

    I guess those are videos that I are there in the blank spaces I see. Hate this security thing at work.
    I wish Russell the best. His dad is also nice. I told his dad that the “Russ Before the Bigs” made me cry. I’ll never forget Russell’s debut on Cinco de Mayo and his first HR a few days later and him being part of the Dodgers Back to back to back to back homeruns against the Padres.
    Good Luck Russ!

  13. Jane Heller

    I didn’t realize there was a pattern going on, Kristen. Funny how Yankees go to the Angels and Angels go to the Rangers! I wonder where Vlad, for example, will end up next.

    I remember how much you liked Martin when he was a Dodger, Emma. I hope he’s as big a fan favorite in the Bronx.

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