Without a lot of fanfare, the Red Sox announced they were bringing back knuckleball catching extraordinaire Doug Mirabelli for another season. Watching other guys try to corral that thing brings back memories of Mr. Myiagi teaching Daniel-San how to catch flies with a pair of chopsticks, so for that reason alone I'm excited. But there is something else about Dougie that appeals to the members of Red Sox Nation.
What it is? I have no idea. He's out of shape, can't run worth a lick, and is lucky if he hits over .200. That said, every time he comes to bat the chant "Dougies going deep" reverberates all over the country; he's like a Muppet come to life.
Awhile back, I found a funny post called "A Day In The Life Of Doug Mirabelli" over at The Mighty Quinn Media Machine that made me laugh out loud multiple times; best line?" Dougie tells Trot if he played 162 Games his numbers would look like this: .375 average, 72 HRs, 52 Doubles, 9 Singles, 6 Walks, 220 K'S".
It takes 25 guys to win a championship; for every David Ortiz there is a Doug Mirabelli catching the guy who should have played in the '70's every 5 days. A guy who'll fill in for Tek when they play a doubleheader, who sits in the bullpen and flips sunflower seeds with the rest of the Pirates, and who more than likely is the guy who gave Johnny Pesky that hotfoot. He's your prototypical no-hit, good field back up catcher that usually play 15 years and nobody has ever heard of him.
Not Dougie; after he signed with the Padres as a free agent after the '05 season, the Red Sox came to the following realization; they had a pitcher nobody on the team could, you know, CATCH. They completed a trade to get him back, and the guy got a POLICE ESCORT BACK TO FENWAY that was covered live on NESN. You'd think he was Tom Cruise visiting Norway. ('Cause we all know Tom is HUGE in Norway)
I'm glad he's coming back to catch Timmy. It's good to know I won't have to shotgun a bottle of Pepto-Bismal while wondering how many passed balls Kevin Cash is gonna have trying to catch the knuckler.
Mostly though, I'm looking forward to yelling "Dougie just went deep" a few more times.