Joe Girardi was asked earlier today if he ever just “clicked” with a pitcher and he mentioned two very different guys in terms of how they pitched: David Cone, who threw all types of different pitches; and Jon Lieber, who basically threw two. To Girardi, that just showed how important the personality aspect of the pitcher-catcher relationship is.
“Some guys are hard to talk to during a game, and you may not be able to get their attention for a two- or three-minute conversation,” Girardi said. “Maybe there are two words you can say that makes it click for them. You have to learn all that as a catcher. That rapport is extremely important. It’s a trust.”
Russell Martin is trying to build that trust this spring. In my column for tomorrow’s paper, I wrote about that extra challenge for Martin (in addition to getting himself healthy and getting ready for a full season) and likened the process to speed-dating. Time is short for Martin, who isn’t yet 100 percent healthy, but he has to find ways to connect with his pitchers and learn about what makes them tick.
“Every day I learn something,” Martin said, and he added that having Jorge Posada available to help has been valuable. “He knows all the guys better than anybody here,” Martin said, “so (I) pick his brain for sure.”
If you’re interested, take a listen to the audio from the interview with Martin below.
* I know that might be a little too “artsy” of a photo of Martin and CC Sabathia but I just kind of liked it. I think the shadows are cool.