Martin withdraws from Team Canada over SS issue
Russell Martin has withdrawn from the World Baseball Classic.
Martin made the late decision to skip competing with Team Canada over both that team’s and the Pirates’ resistance to allowing him to play shortstop in The Classic.
“They both were uneasy about that,” Martin said, “and I simply didn’t want to catch. It’s just too much grind. The catcher’s out there the whole game, and it just takes your body so long to recover from catching 20 innings or so.”
Martin, signed to a two-year, $17 million as a free agent to be the Bucs’ new receiver, had looked forward to an opportunity to play short in the international tournament. When that became unlikely, he chose to withdraw from Team Canada and concentrate on getting ready for the season.
“I feel sorry for (Team Canada), but sometimes you just have to look out for what’s best for you. You have to make a personal choice. But I’m really sorry for how all this went down.”