Really, now. Were you voters joking? Ha, ha, very funny.
Russell Martin had as much business ranking third among NL catchers in All-Star voting last week as the state of Florida has conducting the voting. Was there a problem with hanging chads? Understanding the instructions?
|L.A.'s Russell Martin is making a big-time impact in his second big-league season. (AP)|
"Tremendous young player," San Diego Padres manager Bud Black says. "He's a force. He's a force behind the plate. He's got a rocket. Offensively, he's hitting for power, average, he can steal a base.
"You don't see that combination in a catcher very often. Ivan Rodriguez, as a younger player, had that ability."
Was there something you were missing? Were you penalizing the guy because he only ranks second among all NL catchers in home runs (seven)? Second in batting average (.307)?
The guy is more well-rounded than anything Goodyear produces, yet there he was, left to pick up the pieces after the early All-Star votes were counted and run through the shredder.
Then, just when we were heading for crisis management, Monday arrived and ... Martin zoomed right past the New York Mets' Paul Lo Duca and Atlanta's Brian McCann and into the lead.
Oh, and he's also not only thrown out 33 percent of baserunners attempting to steal when he's behind the plate, but the 3.59 ERA Dodgers pitchers have posted when he's active ranks third among NL catchers.
Surely you know the guy?
"To tell you the truth, West Coast baseball is pretty much hidden," says Dodgers starter Randy Wolf, who spent the past seven seasons pitching in Philadelphia and who, when asked what he had heard about Martin before signing with the Dodgers this winter, spends about two minutes stammering and drawing a blank.
"On the East Coast, nobody talks about it," Wolf continues. "Russell, I didn't hear much about him. Watching him play speaks louder than anything I would have heard. He listens. He asks questions.