The Team Canada entry for the World Baseball Classic was left scrambling for catchers last week after Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Russell Martin pulled out of the tourney. Martin acted like a spoiled kid on a sandlot who took his bat and ball and went home after Team Canada preferred he caught as opposed to playing shortstop.
Martin has lost the respect of Team Canada teammates and Canadian fans alike after issuing some choice comments following his departure.
Minor leaguer Chris Robinson will now be the backstop for Team Canada, and is unfortunately a huge downgrade from Martin.
The 28-year old was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the third round of the 2005 amateur baseball draft, and has played in 566 career minor league games while spending the last four seasons in Triple-A, hitting .275 with 12 home runs and a .993 fielding percentage in his minor league career.
The one advantage Robinson has is that he is very familiar with many of the Canadian arms due to his participation in International play with Team Canada, so the chemistry should pay dividends in a short tourney for Canada in that regard.
Players are permitted to make their own decision on whether to participate in the Classic. However, the timing and the way Martin went about it was completely classless and uncalled for. Team Canada will overcome the setback, as they are fielding one of the best Canadian teams ever assembled.
Have fun in Pittsburgh this season, Russell.
Clayton Richer covers the Toronto Blue Jays for Rant Sports. Follow and interact with him on Twitter at @MLBHotCorner.