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Russell Martin wants to fight Martin Maldonado for charity following weekend brawl

russell-martin-brawlIf you missed it, the Milwaukee Brewers and Pittsburgh Pirates got into a bit of a brawl on Easter Sunday.

Carlos Gomez, who admired a triple he thought was a home run, was ejected. So was Travis Snider, who now has a black eye after receiving a punch from Brewers catcher Martin Maldonado. We know Maldonado has some strength because he knocked the cover off of a baseball last Friday.

Maldonado’s punch to Snider’s face isn’t sitting well with teammate Russell Martin, as the veteran would apparently like to deliver a blow or two so Maldonado knows how it feels to be on the other end.

Good luck with that, Russell.

We’ve seen Martin’s temper before, so there probably aren’t too many surprised he isn’t quick to let the situation blow over. Martin can throw the idea out there all he wants. Since the fight isn’t happening, it’s just hot air.

The Brewers and Pirates next meet May 13-15. Mark your calendars.

Russell Martin angry with umpire Laz Diaz for not letting him throw new balls back to the mound

Anyone who watches baseball knows that certain umpires have certain tendencies. Some guys are animated about called third strikes whereas others are probably more excited about standing in line at a wake than they are about ringing a hitter up. After foul balls, some umpires like to throw a new ball to the pitcher and others would prefer the catcher to do it. MLB umpire Laz Diaz enjoys making the throws himself, whether Russell Martin likes it or not.

According to MLB.com’s Bombers Beat blog, Martin said Diaz would not allow him to throw new baseballs back to the mound during Wednesday night’s 6-5 win over the Angels. The Yankees catcher likes to throw the ball back as much as possible to keep his arm loose, but Diaz told him he has to “earn the privilege.” Apparently he wasn’t joking.

“At the end of the game, after I got hit in the neck (by a foul tip), I was like, ‘Can I throw the ball back now?'” Martin said. “He was like, still, ‘No.’ I was like, ‘You’re such a (jerk).’ Like, for real, unbelievable.”

Martin said he and Diaz argued about balls and strikes earlier in the game, so he wondered if Diaz was trying to bait him into saying something that could justify an ejection.

“I even told him, when there’s guys on base, I like to keep my arm loose,” Martin explained. “(He said,) ‘I’m not letting you throw a ball back.’ That’s pretty strange to me.”

Assuming Martin is telling the whole story, that seems completely uncalled for. I think an umpire wanting to get involved with the game by throwing balls back to the mound is great, but the player should be given the option if it helps keep his arm loose. Between this and the horrible call he made that cost the A’s a few weeks ago, Diaz is frustrating a number of players in the early part of the season.

Photo credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

2011 MLB All-Star Game Snubs: American League

Compared to the National League All-Star team, the fans did a poor job voting on the American League team. Most of the reasonable complaints regarding snubs are from the AL team. We already gave you the All-Star Game snubs from the National League.

Here are the American League All-Star team snubs:

Jhonny Peralta over Derek Jeter at SS

This is a no-brainer. The fans vomited on themselves with this one, probably because a) Jeter is so popular and b) most of them don’t know who Peralta is. Asdrubal Cabrera made the team as the backup shortstop and he should be starting. Peralta should be the backup.

Paul Konerko over Michael Young as 1B/INF

Paul Konerko being left off the team is the biggest snub of MLB. He has a .954 OPS which is fourth-best in the entire AL. It’s a joke that he’s not on the team and it’s criminal that Ron Washington stuck him in the fan vote. Instead of carrying three catchers, Washington should have put Konerko on the team over either Martin or Wieters. At the least, he should be there over Young who is good but can’t mash the way Konerko can.

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Russell Martin Paints His Nails Yellow (Picture)

For some reason I woke up today thinking someone’s man card was getting revoked. The weather sucks out here on the East Coast and I’ve been in a bad mood that needs to be taken out on someone, so it just seemed right.  Luckily we had SI Hot Clicks to point us in the direction of our punching bag: Russell Martin.

We all know catchers paint their nails sometimes so the pitchers can see their fingers more clearly during night games.  That’s fine, but do they really have to celebrate it?  Apparently Martin does.  Not only that, but does it have to be yellow?  What’s wrong with white?  Since we sharted on Ray Allen when his toes were painted green, we have to give Muscles Martin our due diligence. Check out the Russell Martin painted nails picture, which he proudly posted on his Twitter account Monday afternoon.

The only thing that would make that manicure better is if Pau Gasol’s man purse was accompanying it.  May I ask what’s wrong with putting white tape rings around your fingers instead of painting your nails?  Nothing, Steve — that’s what your answer should be.

Russell Martin: Dropoff in Training Led to Dropoff in Performance

Russell Martin signed with the Yankees in the off-season after being let go by the Dodgers heading into his sixth major league season. Martin started off his career in LA looking like he was the next Paul Lo Duca, showing off plenty of pop behind the plate. Unfortunately for Dodgers fans, he continued to follow the Lo Duca career path by falling off in production not only as the season went on, but also as his career went on.

Martin was an All-Star in ’07 and ’08, hitting for power, drawing walks, and stealing bases as a catcher. He caught in 151 and then 155 games those years, burning himself out. On top of injuries and burn outs, Martin now tells the National Post in Canada that his work ethic weakened the last two seasons.

“I had some distractions that maybe led me not to have that same drive that I’ve had in the past,” he said. “Really, that’s all it is, honestly. I didn’t train quite as–I trained hard, but before, nobody trained as hard as I did.”

It’s not the first time we’ve heard from Martin that personal issues began to interfere with his preparation, and Yankee fans certainly won’t like hearing that. LA is a night out with grandma compared to the media scrutiny in New York. Martin says he selected the Yanks because they were going to give him the chance to catch more than Toronto would have.

Let me say that I don’t believe preparation is the only reason Martin dropped off the last two years. Let me also say that if distractions were bothering him in LA, he’ll be sucked in even worse in NYC. The Yanks better hope Jesus Montero is the goods because Martin isn’t the answer at catcher.

Free Agent Additions Russell Martin and Mark Prior Will Save the Yankees

In an off-season arms race to load up with the best possible talent, you can’t help but get the feeling the New York Yankees are getting lapped worse than the fat kid in P.E. class. We said they had to respond to the Red Sox’s brilliant moves by signing Cliff Lee but the Phillies stepped in and pulled off the shocker. While the Phils have loaded up with Lee and the Red Sox are stocked with Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford, the Yankees reportedly have packaged the likes of Russell Martin and Mark Prior under the Christmas trees of Yankees fans. Yay, I guess?

Russell Martin is a 27-year-old catcher who can also serve as a utility man in the infield. He’s a two-time All-Star who was a dynamo his first three years with the Dodgers making fans forget about Paul Lo something or other, but he dropped off significantly after that. Demanding to catch more games than is typical for a catcher, Martin burnt himself out in the second half of every single season. It finally caught up to him the past two years as he posted a pedestrian .680 OPS.

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Russell Martin’s Kama Sutra a Hazard to His Health

Russell Martin always struck me as such a serious guy. Simply said, the dude’s a gamer. So much so that he’s played over 150 games each of the past two seasons even though he’s a catcher — a position that typically requires more rest. He always has his game face on and really doesn’t mess around. That’s why his response to questions from reporters at spring training was so funny. Check it:

When reporters asked him at one point what caused some slight discomfort he is feeling in his left foot – he underwent an MRI on Friday that came back negative – Martin joked that he might have hurt himself in the bedroom, which would have made for an interesting addition to the LBS list of weird injuries.

“Kama Sutra Position 68,” he said.

In fact, the injury is believed to have resulted from nothing more than an awkward step Martin took while walking.

Martin may have totally been joking about how the injury occurred and he may have been messing around with the writers, but you know he’s doing some of that funky stuff if he brought it up. I mean nobody brings up kama sutra out of the blue unless a good reasons prompts it. Either he’s been having some fun lately (hello Alyssa Milano!) or he and the pitchers have been enjoying some interesting reading materials in the clubhouse. Oh, and I would show a picture of position 68, but it’s only one digit away from 69, so I’m sure you get the idea.