Friday, August 17, 2007

The Legend of Russell Martin Grows this why Grady Little won't rest him more?

From "No pain, no game for these hard-nosed players" by Jerry Crasnick at

Russell Martin, Dodgers catcher

As one National League catcher recently observed, "Mike Lieberthal has the best job in baseball." Considering that Lieberthal makes $1.25 million and has started 11 games behind the plate as Martin's backup, it sure seems like a good gig.

Martin leads all major league catchers in games played and ranks second to Cleveland's Victor Martinez in plate appearances. He blocks balls, shakes off foul tips, breaks up double plays with abandon and doesn't know the meaning of the words, "I can't go, Skip."

We became acquainted with Martin's toughness last September, watching him walk into the Dodgers' clubhouse with a stiffer gait than the Tin Woodsman in the "Wizard of Oz." At this point in the season, Martin needs a daily massage just to climb the dugout stairs and make it onto the field for pregame stretching.

"I'm becoming a big fan of Russell Martin," said Arizona's Tony Clark, a 13-year veteran.

photo by the Big Blue Car Crew