Tampa Bay Rays v New York Yankees

Team Canada will be without one previously committed established Major Leaguer as Russell Martin has chosen to withdraw from the tournament. Martin’s decision to remove himself from the World Baseball Classic is reportedly due to the Pittsburgh Pirates resistance to him playing shortstop. Martin, a catcher by trade, agreed to a two-year deal with the Pirates in November.

Martin, via Tom Singer of MLB.com:

“They both were uneasy about that,” Martin said, “and I simply didn’t want to catch. It’s just too much grind. The catcher’s out there the whole game, and it just takes your body so long to recover from catching 20 innings or so.”

“I feel sorry for (Team Canada), but sometimes you just have to look out for what’s best for you. You have to make a personal choice. But I’m really sorry for how all this went down.”

Tough break for Team Canada, but it’s not surprising to learn that the Pirates were not thrilled about their new catcher undertaking shortstop duties. Team Canada’s first World Baseball Classic game is March 5 versus Italia.

Comments (16)

  1. So instead of wearing himself out from the 3+ games he’d catch in the WBC, he’s just going to be catching in ST games all March for Pirates instead?

    Would have been nice to have Kottaras on the roster now.

  2. Wow I’ve disliked Martin for a while now, mostly because any Canadian playing for the Yankees should have their citizenship revoked, but this is worse. I hope he enjoys playing sub .500 ball for the next 2 years. He deserves it.

  3. I want to love this tournament, but by March nobody will be left. What a joke, I loved the first two WBCs, but this should be the last. Votto ain’t playing either, and I would expect another 10+ big names to drop out in the next two weeks.

  4. If it’s just about not wanting to catch, why couldn’t they have found another way around this?

    Play him at third and Lawrie at shortstop, or maybe see if Morneau can move somewhere.

  5. Well on the plus side, our defense just got better.

  6. Until the best of the best are representing their countries this tournament is a joke and not worth the time or attention it gets. Go all in!! Do it right or don’t do it at all!!

  7. ATTN: CANADIAN BORDER PATROL – Cavity search and car teardown special for Russell Martin the next time he tries to re-enter the country… what a douche.

  8. … funny how it’s OK for JP Arencibia to jump at the chance to potentially embarass himself catching an unfamiliar knuckeballer, amongst others, for the U.S., and for the Jays, with a lot more on the line than the perennially sad-sack Pirates, to at least appear to encourage it… but Russell Fricking Martin would be worn out by playing a few games in March???
    I always thought JPA was a bit of a prima donna, but I’d do a citizenship trade straight up any day – JPA to Canada / Martin to US

  9. Why is it such a big deal for him to play the infield? He played 3B when he was with the Dodgers.

  10. It’s not THAT he bailed on team Canada, it’s WHEN he bailed. What an A#$hole!

  11. Selfish little baby. We don’t need this trash-bag. I didn’t want him on the team starting when he began saying he wanted to play SS. This little B**ch is no patriot.

  12. I have said what a sellout he is for a few years now, when he was here with the Yanks he was asked by Y.E.S reporters if it was nice being home in Canada for the series and he said…”I have family here but only Quebec is my home. If I played I wouldn’t say that if I was in Montreal if the Expos still played, I would still be proud to be anywhere in Canada when I would barely see my Country at all. He has never cared about Canada outside of Quebec. A couple of years ago I wrote on his fan page what a sellout he is. Remember he was the first to be a cry baby when the Yanks said the Jays had people in the stands giving pitch selection and shit, which was 100% false. Someone of his personality shouldn’t have ever played in California or New York, he let those “all about me” cities get in his head. Do the Jays play Shitsburgh this year in Interleague play? Usually we don’t play them but that would be cool if he came to town and we could boo the shit out of him.

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