Former Dodger Shares His Coaching Strategy For Team Canada
Former Dodgers catcher is excited to get his first opportunity at coaching in the World Baseball Classics
The World Baseball Classic is set to begin in March, and there will be 20 teams ready to win the gold for their country. One of those teams will be our neighbors up north, Team Canada.
Canada will be managed by Ernie Whitt, who spent 15 seasons in the majors and has managed the Canadian national baseball team since 2004.
Whitt will bring a familiar face to many Dodger fans, another former catcher and Canadian, Russell Martin.
Martin was a member of the Dodgers from 2006-2010 and was drafted by LA in the 2002 MLB draft in the 17th round. Whitt hopes Martin can be a crucial member of the coaching staff and was ultimately brought on to mentor young catcher Bo Naylor.
The Cleveland Indians selected Naylor in 2018 with the 29th overall pick.
Martin says he’s excited to get his first opportunity at coaching on a big stage, he told the Toronto Star.
“It’s like I’m throwing myself into being a rookie again,” said Martin, the 14-year major leaguer who helped guide the Jays to the post-season in 2015 and ’16. “I’ll be doing something that I’ve never really done, but I get to share a little bit of the knowledge that I’ve acquired and help out the future. And I get to put on a uniform; haven’t done that in a while.”
The 39-year-old went on to say that he is ready to mentor the young Canadian catcher.
“Game planning,” said Martin. “(I can) help out with, ‘How do we get this guy out?’ or ‘We’re not going to take on this guy.’ If the catcher has questions on game strategy, or maybe a couple of different techniques receiving-wise, whatever I can help out with, I want to help out with.”
Russell has some experience in mentoring young catchers. In his final season as a Dodger, Martin held Will Smith under his wing, who was 24, and there is no doubt he will be the same with Naylor.
Canada will try and get their first Gold medal in the World Baseball Classics with the help of Martin in March.