I posted some things on Twitter after I heard Russell Martin had been traded to the Dodgers.
I met Russell Sr. at a charity event in 2016.
That is a charming man.
The Blue Jays chasing the Yankees down and taking the AL East was one of the most exciting things in the team’s history. This homer was a nail in the coffin. The Jays did it. It was accomplished. It was pure magic.
Here are some of the other calls on the Sept 23rd homer:
Looking back at that stretch, I really think the Blue Jays were meant to win the World Series that year. And I think somewhere in my heart, they did.
I remember after that weird play, I thought that there was no way Martin was going to finish a season with that kind of play, that error, after he had begun it crying while his dad played the anthem in that stadium they used to go to together, dreaming big dreams.
It would’ve been a shitty end to the movie. No one likes movies with shitty endings.
I seem to recall that I was already crying by the time the bat flip homer happened.
The cold sweat of October baseball. I want it again.
I was in the stadium with my friend Adrienne.
“Oh my God, who has Truffle Butter?” she said.
“That’s the catcher,” I replied.
And then she told me what truffle butter is in slang terms. And I won’t go into it because this is a family blog. The third verse (Lil Wayne’s) is particularly rude.
Adrienne and I laughed and laughed. And hearing the beat just reminds me of the laughing. And the drinking. And the baseball.
I’m not suggesting our boy knew the meaning of the term and picked it because of it. He just liked the beat.
This was really the most insane game. I was at a BBQ and sort of paying attention to the game on my phone. The unveiling of the giant Canadian flag to celebrate Canada Day before the game and Edwin Encarnación getting tossed by Carrapazza were two events that felt like they happened within ten seconds of each other.
By the time the 13th rolled around, it was clearly “go time”.
I always appreciated how the flag on his sleeve was centered in so many of these shots.
Getting rowdy is really the only way to fight ump shows on national holidays.
Cabbie Richards had some classic interviews. I also just want to point out how joyful Josh Donaldson is in that one about Instagram.
Une balle, deux prises
Pour la comprendre, il faut connaître le baseball. En effet, une fois au bâton, le frappeur a trois chances pour frapper la balle, sinon il est retiré. Donc, si le joueur s’est élancé deux fois dans le vide (sans réussir à frapper la balle), il ne lui reste qu’une seule chance. On dit alors qu’«il a deux prises contre lui».
Whenever I think of Quebec baseball, I think of Rodger Brulotte saying, “une balle, deux prises.”
I really didn’t have any idea what I was going to discover when Alex Anthopoulos signed Russell Martin. I followed that first press conference, and I realized, when Quebec media started asking Martin and Anthopoulos questions and they were answering in French, that we had something uniquely Canadian.
It was a unique thing to have a baseball player that can do this:
I made a habit of trying to translate Martin’s interviews. Language is a tricky thing to translate- so much is about context and slang. Quebec French is all about contractions- they collapse phrases together into one word or sound. This video really illustrates it.
Once you realize that is what they are doing, understanding what they are saying becomes easier.
I heard more Joual in the Rogers Centre these past four years than I ever did before. I’ve come to really love Joual, because it’s a perfect example of how language stretches and bends as it lives with people. People shape language to suit them.
I also noticed little things- Martin is a little different in French. For one thing, I found him funnier. I can’t quite put my finger on why I find him funnier in French, but I do. His accent is, without a doubt, a Quebecois accent, but it isn’t as broad as some.
Canada is the only place in the world where baseball is discussed in French and I don’t think any discussion of the state of the game in this country is complete if attention isn’t paid to how it’s discussed in French. Baseball in Montreal is alive. I wanted to open that world up to the Anglo Blue Jay fans.
I’ve decided that Rodger Brulotte should be as famous in Canadian baseball as Jerry Howarth. Here is someone who loves baseball.
Martin also said one of my favourite things about the art of pitch framing. It inspired one of my favourite things I’ve ever written on this blog. I didn’t really agree with the metaphor- I found the roll of catcher in these situations to be more like a producer.
The conductor acts first and directs. A producer - I used hip hop producing in my metaphor, specifically Kanye West. A hip hop producer supports, finesses, builds on whatever aspect- verse, beat, sample.
It's not that Martin makes the pitchers good. He just supports them and brings everything where it needs to be. He makes those pitches sing.
FYI- this was pre-MAGA Kanye. This is “knapsack, pink polo” Kanye.
He better revive this jersey. Become Jussell again.