Martinez's kick worth a laugh for Tribe
Catcher takes out frustrations on unsuspecting seed bucket
CHICAGO -- Victor Martinez said he "almost laughed" when his right foot got stuck in a sunflower seed bucket Wednesday night.Travis Hafner definitely laughed. "If you get your foot caught in a bucket," Hafner said with a big smile, "you deserve to be laughed at." Martinez was not in a laughing mood when he came off the field after lining out to center in the fourth inning of a 7-2 loss to the White Sox. He unleashed his frustration on the unsuspecting bucket, kicking a hole into its side and sending bags of sunflower seeds hurtling in the air. With that kick, Martinez was venting his frustration over his and his teammates' poor performance at the plate. "A lot of frustration," he said. "When you don't see things going well as a group and you're not getting the job done, it gets to the point where you have to let it go." But the bucket wouldn't let go of Martinez's foot, which got stuck inside the hole. Martinez tried to shake it off, to no avail, and eventually had to sit down so head athletic trainer Lonnie Soloff could yank it off. "It was lodged in there pretty good," Soloff said. Hafner, Casey Blake and Grady Sizemore -- all seated nearby -- tried in vain to hide their laughter. "That was the highlight of our road trip so far," joked Hafner, whose team had lost all five games on the trip, heading into Thursday's finale with the Sox. Said Wedge: "That tells you about our road trip." Martinez showed plenty of power in kicking the bucket, but that same power has been absent in his swing this season. The Indians are 46 games into the season, and their cleanup hitter has yet to hit his first home run. He is batting .304 with only eight extra-base hits -- all doubles. And he's currently mired in a 3-for-25 funk. "If I'm not going to hit a home run for the whole year, I'm going to go out and give my best," Martinez said. "I'm going to make sure I put up good at-bats and see what happens. I think it's going to be worse if I try to hit home runs." Wedge agreed. "It's not something you'd expect," he said of Martinez's power drought. "I just hope it doesn't affect him. I hope he doesn't try to create something." With his bucket-kicking blooper Wednesday night, Martinez at least created a light-hearted moment for an Indians team that needed it. "At least somebody laughed," Martinez said. The White Sox were laughing, too. Bench coach Joey Cora put his foot in a bucket and began limping around the top step of the Sox dugout as manager Ozzie Guillen laughed. It was all in good fun. Martinez didn't mind. "[Martinez] was a soccer player in Venezuela," Guillen joked. Everybody seemed to get a good laugh out of the incident except Martinez. For a while, anyway. After the game, Martinez was getting iced-up in the trainer's room. Soloff told him to look to his side, and sitting next to him was the beat-up bucket he had left behind. "That," Soloff said, "was the first time he laughed about it."
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.