Martin impressed by All-Star ceremony
Catcher believes pitching strength can carry team
Dodgers catcher Russell Martin chatted with fans in a live Web chat Tuesday. Martin spoke about memorable moments during his first trip to the All-Star Game, his favorite players, music and food as well as a few tips for young catchers.
dodgrfan805: If you weren't a baseball star, what other career would you like to have?
Martin: I've never really thought about that. I'd probably be an athletic trainer or something like that. Something that's involved with sports somehow.
GOTETHIER: What do you like to do in your free time?
Martin: Pretty much just hang out, play video games, watch movies. Chill. I like fishing every once in a while or going to the beach. That sort of stuff.
mackdawg90: Hey, Russ, is there anything behind the #55, besides the date of your arrival to the big leagues?
Martin: No, that was just a coincidence, I guess. There's no real cool story behind that. It was just the number that was given to me in Spring Training and then I realized it used to be [Orel] Hershiser's number. If I had known that at the time, I probably would have picked a different number out of respect. Then I started doing well with the number and I kept it.
RussforMVP: What was the most memorable moment for you at the All-Star Game?
Martin: Probably before the game at the ceremony for Willie Mays. Just seeing him out on the field. At the time, I was in the bullpen warming up [Jake] Peavy, but they had all the guys from both teams walk out with him. It kind of gave me chills, so that was pretty cool.
qwefsdbsd: Hey Russell. Thanks for taking my question. First I'd like to know who you think the Dodgers need out there to improve, and if we don't need anything do you really think we stand a chance against the Mets or even the Brewers? Thanks and good luck.
Martin: I like our team right now. Pitching has held us together for the whole year and now our bats are starting to come together. If we can do both at the same time, we have a chance against anybody out there.
bluethrewnthrew: Who do you think is the best baseball player today?
Martin: Wow. There are so many out there. If I had to pick one, I'd have to say A-Rod right now.
jd18cb10: Hello, Russell! Who was (or still is) your favorite player growing up and why?
Martin: My favorite player growing up was Ken Griffey and he's still playing. It was because he just made the game look so easy. He just had that swagger -- not arrogance, but confidence. You could tell he was always having fun because he was always smiling playing the game.
Beltran7: Who has helped you the most on the team?
Martin: I think it's a combination of people. Guys help me and they don't know it. I'll watch Juan Pierre and [Rafael] Furcal run the bases. Or I'll ask Nomar [Garciaparra] and Jeff [Kent], right-handed hitters, their approach. It's a collective thing. Guys like [Luis] Gonzo [Gonzalez], when I'm not doing well, will be there for morale support or encouragement. I just take a little bit from everybody and try to use it to my advantage.
ocguy4eva: Hey Russell, what's in your iPod right now? Do you guys pick your "walk to the plate" music?
Martin: I lost my iPod, so I don't have one right now but if I did, it would be DJ Khaled and Kanye West or Lil' Wayne. I like to mix it up. I get a lot of the music I don't know the names of, like 80s music, but I like that stuff too.
thnkblue55: In L.A. there are many different types of food, what are your favorites?
Martin: I like all kinds of food. I just like to eat, period. I like sushi or Fogo de Chao, a Brazilian restaurant or steak places like Morton's. I like to mix it up.
CoryHughes: Who is your favorite Dodger of all time, and why?
Martin: Jackie Robinson. The way he played the game. He was all-out, every time he played. That's the way you're supposed to play the game of baseball and he took a lot of pride in that. That's just on the field. What he did for all of humanity speaks for itself.
Dodger1313: Hey, Russ. Great to have you join us today. Vin Scully has often noted your full name consisting of Coltrane, your father naming you after John Coltrane the great jazz saxophonist. Are you a fan of that genre? If so, do you have any favorite jazz artists?
Martin: I don't listen to a whole lot of jazz but growing up, that's all my dad listened to. My favorite artist is probably Miles Davis or Thelonious Monk. There's more. And Coltrane, obviously. He's awesome. Duke Ellington is good stuff, too.
mondesi43: Russell, I'm sure you're most concerned about the team first, but how does it feel to have a chance to be the first catcher in MLB history to be a 20/20 player?
Martin: I'm not a 20-20 player yet. It would be cool, but I'm still a long way away from that. Stats, to me, are not the reason why I play. As long as we're winning and doing well, that's all I really care about.
ladodgerbluefan: Hello Russell, It seems that Takashi Saito is always very excited after saving a game and I've noticed he always says something to you as you are coming up to greet him, what does he say to you?
Martin: He just smiles and says nice job. It's more his expression that means more than what he says. You can just tell he's happy when he goes out there and gets the job done.
1baddesire: Who is your all-time favorite catcher?
Martin: Johnny Bench.
RMartinGrl: How do you like living in Los Angeles? Is it how you imagined?
Martin: Yeah. The West Coast in general is a bit more laid back than the East Coast. The difference is, you're driving down the street and no one honks at you. You hear horns all the time on the East Coast. But it's just fun out here. The weather is nice, the people are nice. It's a nice place to live.
Mrs_Martin: What is your routine for games? Does it start the night before or the morning of? Does it depend on the game time?
Martin: A lot of it depends on the game time. Normally I just wake up, go to the field and sometimes get a massage from Ichiro, the muscle therapist. I stretch, get loose, take batting practice. There's nothing too crazy about my routine. I have to get my body ready and do whatever it takes to get it ready for the game.
thnkblue55: Keep up the great work, and thank you for taking pictures with me on Photo Day! Has your dad been to any games this season at Dodger Stadium?
Martin: He hasn't been to Dodger Stadium this season, but he was in San Francisco for the All-Star Game. I'm trying to get him out here for August and September.
ssantos27: Which Dodger player do you hang out the with most when you are not playing baseball?
Martin: I'd say Matt Kemp because he stays in the same loft that I do downtown so I hang out with him the most.
dodgrfan805: What was your experience like meeting Vin Scully for the very first time?
Martin: It was pretty cool. Whenever I got called up, my dad told me that he used to listen to Vin Scully on the radio and it was amazing how long he's been doing it. He's a one-man show and he makes it seems so easy. He's always got something to say on the air. He's got to be doing something right.
RussforMVP: Who are some of the jokers on the Dodgers?
Martin: Luis Gonzalez is probably the main guy this year. Greg Maddux last year.
Matthew_M_: Russell, first off, great season. My question is, why do you think the offense has responded so well since the hiring of Bill Mueller? Has his approach helped you at the plate?
Martin: That's a good question. Hitting at this level is not really mechanical. You can't get here if you don't know what you're doing at the plate. It's more of the mental approach that a hitting coach helps you with. He can adjust to what type of hitter you are and he always has good insight for you.
bluethrewnthrew: Who's the toughest pitcher to face?
Martin: I think it's probably [Jake] Peavy. But now I've caught him, so I have a better idea of what he throws.
dodgrfan805: Being on a team with so many veterans, future Hall of Famers, and rookies, who would you say impresses you the most during a game?
Martin: I'd have to say this year, it's [James] Loney. I played with him for a couple of years. Last year I didn't play with him that much but this year he's hitting .360. Even his outs are hard. He probably has one of the best approaches I've seen as a hitter.
ghfgdgdsg: Do you miss Eric Gagne?
Martin: Definitely. He's a good buddy but I talk to him every once in a while and text him. He was always a fun guy to have in the locker room because of his mentality. Even when he wasn't playing, he was always there to support us and encourage us.
jhoffm31: In your first full Major League season, do you believe you will be able to play as many games as you have in the first half or should we expect Mike Lieberthal to get a few more starts this half?
Martin: I have no control over that. I just go out and play when my name is in the lineup and when I'm not, I do whatever I have to do to get my body feeling better for the next game.
agapecomp: Russell, can you give young catchers a tip for how to best manage pitchers throughout a game?
Martin: I'd just say that whenever it seems like they lose focus, go out there and give them positive reinforcement. Pitchers feed off the catchers and it's important to be on the same page with the pitcher. You have to go out there, talk to them and make sure they're feeling good. And if they don't, trick them into feeling good.
Stellar55: Do the other players have any nicknames for you?
Martin: Nope. No nicknames that I know of.
ilovela55: What has been your favorite game you've played in this season?
Martin: I'd have to say probably the one where I hit the walk-off grand slam against the Pirates. Anytime that you have the bat in your hands and the game's on the line, you always want to produce but when you actually succeed doing that, it seems like you're walking on air.
RMartinGrl: Have you seen your bobble head yet?
Martin: No, I haven't seen it yet.
dodgers18: What was it like living in France when you were younger?
Martin: I was really young. I don't really remember much. The only things that I really remember was going to school, hanging out with the kids and playing tag. The thing that sticks with me the most is that I was playing tag one day and I was trying to miss a tag and I fell and broke my tooth. Now I have to get it fixed every five years because it falls out. Thank you all for taking part in this and for supporting me for the All-Star Game (and the bobble head doll). I really appreciate it and hope to see you soon at Dodger Stadium.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.