Friday, February 15, 2008

Russell Martin Feels Not Only Fresh, But Also Rooty, Tooty, and Fruity

No, I'm not outing Russell Martin, our star catcher. Rather, I thought Tim Kurkjian's spring training blog was funny for multiple reasons. First, what he wrote in yesterday's blog:

[Dodger manager Joe] Torre is getting to know his players, many of whom he has never met. He met star catcher Russell Martin when the two ran into each other at an IHOP in Vero Beach on Tuesday. Martin went up to him and said, "Hi, I'm Russell Martin." The two talked about the team for 10 to 15 minutes. Martin said he spent the winter on a workout program that helped make him more "explosive." "I feel more athletic now," he said. This coming from the one of the most athletic catchers we've ever seen.

First, it concerns me that Russell had to introduce himself to Torre in order to be noticed. If Torre hasn't had time to take note of Martin since being named manager, he's only overlooking, oh, the most important player on the team. Nice. Secondly, I'm glad that Martin's "explosive" workout regimen includes plenty of IHOP pancakes. I must have missed that scene when they showed the training program in Rocky IV.

Other notes from Timmy K. (why not keep the kitchen references going?):

Jason Schmidt, who missed most of last season with a shoulder injury, "is on the back burner" this spring, said manager Joe Torre. Schmidt rehabbed the shoulder all winter, said he threw off a mound for a first time a month ago and "hopes" to be ready Opening Day, but that's not going to happen. He said the Dodgers are being extra cautious with him this spring. Instead of throwing a bullpen session every other day, he might [throw] every fourth day.

With the signing of center fielder Andruw Jones, Juan Pierre said he's expecting to be moved to left field, a position, he said, he hasn't played "since 1999 in A-ball." Pierre said such a move will require a great deal of work because "in center field, the ball comes off the bat naturally, but in left field, it's slicing and dicing. Plus, there's foul territory to deal with in left field." But, Pierre said, he'll do what he's told. "I'm just trying to get another ring," he said.

One can still get a ring sitting on the bench all year. And after watching The Misadventures of Juan Pierre in center field next year, I'm awfully concerned that he's concerned about left field. Yikes.