From a Dodgers press release:
WHO: Dodger Catcher Russell Martin
WHAT: The two-time All-Star catcher for the Dodgers will announce a major personal charitable initiative that will launch tomorrow along with his official website, www.russellmartin55.com
WHEN: Thursday, June 18, 2009
3:45 p.m. P.T.
WHERE: Dodger Stadium
On the field behind home plate
Let's hope Martin isn't pledging donations on a per-home run basis. Whoa! Cheap shot! Okay, obligatory what's-wrong-with-Russell gag*. Moving on.
Is there any doubt Russell Martin is a good guy? He visits sick children (above) and he honors his mama. This "major personal charitable initiative" will simply make it official.
Nowadays, though, any mention of the words "Dodgers" and "charity" begs the question of whether Frank McCourt is invoking the so-called "Ramirez provision." Martin is making $3.9 million this season, so a portion of his salary would represent a relatively minor contribution. Perhaps having Martin establish a foundation is simply a more efficient way for McCourt to extract his charitable pound of flesh.
Or perhaps that's just the cynical part of me talking. The hopeful part of me notes that setting up a charity is a substantial commitment — maybe one that presages a buyout of Martin's arbitration years. Long-term girlfriend, long-term charity...long-term deal? It could happen.
*My second choice was "HRs: 0, URLs: 1."
AP Photo/Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, Bob Riha, Jr.