It’s not a terrible surprise to read a story about a former Yankees player who learned some lessons from Derek Jeter while they were teammates. Blue Jays’ catcher Russell Martin certainly did, he tells the New York Times. Specifically, the idea of having a regular routine and the notion that, in the middle of the game, you always have to have the attitude that the pitcher you’re facing can’t get you out.
But he also decided, at some point while playing in Pittsburgh, to emulate Joey Votto:
Early last season, during a game against Cincinnati, Martin watched from his crouch as Reds first baseman Joey Votto exasperated the Pirates by fouling off one good pitch after another.
As annoyed as Martin was, he figured that if Votto could do it, so could he. (You might say that was the Jeter in him.) He went back to the Pirates’ bench and declared, “I’m going to do the Joey Votto.”
What Martin meant by that was fighting off pitches he didn’t want and waiting for his pitch. It’s an approach Martin credits for raising his average and his on-base percentage even if it has cost him some power.
Which is pretty hilarious, actually. Talk to your average Marty Brennaman-listening Reds fan and they’ll tell you that’s an awful, awful thing to do. Funny, then, that major league hitters think it’s a pretty spiffy approach.
But I suppose old Marty and Brian from Deerfield Township know better.