For the second straight night, Russell Martin sported a fresh manicure on his right hand, bright orange fingernails with a streak of white down the middle of each. Told that his nails looked as if they were professionally done, the Yankee catcher owned up to the fact that, well, they were.
"On my off day, I went for a manicure,'' he said. "I used to use White-Out, but I was afraid they might blend in with the uniform pants so I decided to go orange. Now, they don;t have an excuse if they miss a sign.''
Like many catchers, Martin had taken to painting his nails white to make the signs more visible to his pitchers, espcially under the dim lights of Steinbrenner Field in Tampa. Now, he says he wil be getting weekly manicures, in bright colors, to make extra sure. The white stripe down the middle, however, is something he adds himself for added visibility.
"Next time I might go with a green maple leaf on each one,'' he said, an homage to his Canadian heritage.