The following story has two headlines. I couldn’t decide which to use while writing this blogpost, so I opted to include them in my introductory paragraph.
Russell Martin is actually kind of a cool guy who benches himself in the All-Star game in order to let Matt Wieters play
…yeah, that’s a long one.
2. Ron Washington wasn’t going to play Matt Wieters in the All-Star game
I’ll begin my take with number one.
As it turns out, Yankees catcher Russell Martin isn’t a jerk after all. My mistake, I see pinstripes and I think arrogance. He proved me wrong. Mark Feinsand of the New York Post reported that Martin was scheduled to catch the second half of the All-Star game for the American League. Upon hearing his manager’s plan, Martin encouraged Ron Washington to make him the emergency catcher in favor of Matt Wieters catching the second half in his first All-Star game. “If I got to my first All-Star Game and I didn’t have a chance to play, it would kind of suck a little bit,” Martin said. Wieters had no idea Martin asked for the switch until after the game
On to headline number two.
The American League manager, Ron Washington, originally planned for Martin to relieve Alex Avila at the halfway point on Tuesday. Which means that in his first All-Star game, Washington had planned for Wieters, the best defensive catcher in the game, to sit while Martin, a nice guy as mentioned above but an undeserving New York voted All-Star, to take the field. Seems strange. I know these managers feel the pressure of getting everyone in the game, but I’m shocked that Wieters was supposed to ride the bench while another Yankee took the field
In the end, I’m glad that Martin recognized the situation and let Wieters play. It certainly wasn’t a stellar performance, but it’s better than watching the game from the dugout.