Among the challenges Russell Martin faces this Spring Training, is getting to know all of his pitchers. The fact that the Yankees don't really know who all of those pitchers are doesn't help, but even getting to know the three certain members of the rotation in such a short time may prove difficult.
"It's important to get off on the right foot," explained Martin. "Like the first day I got to camp, there's this kid sitting in the clubhouse. He was just sitting there, looking at me. So I signed a baseball and gave it to him. Turns out that was Phil Hughes. He's still not talking to me. So that's not a good example."
Besides trying to get Phil Hughes to acknowledge him in public, Martin is also trying to build a good rapport with the Yankees' most enigmatic pitcher, AJ Burnett.
"Everyone knows he's got great stuff, it's just getting him to harness it," says Martin about his job as AJ's catcher. "He's got tattoos too. Funny story, the first day I walked into the clubhouse, there's this guy with spiked hair and a bunch of tattoos, kind of looking like a high school drop out who had made a series of increasingly poor life decisions. I'm all, 'Hey dude, not to be a d@#k, but you've gotta do a better job cleaning this place up. There's $#!% all over the place!' Turns out that was Burnett. People should wear name tags the first day of camp. Really."