Baseball Thinking

Monday, May 01, 2006

Dudley Dooright, I Mean Mirabelli,Saves The Day

Dudley Dooright, I Mean Mirabelli,Saves The Day

Over this past off-season, in an effort to shore up the porous Red Sox defense, general manager Theo Epstein traded fan favorite Doug Mirabelli, the primary backstop for knuckle baller Tim Wakefield, to the San Diego Padres for steady second baseman Mark Loretta. Once the deal was announced, this guy was immediately worried. While Loretta is a fine player, the loss was great. As most Sox fans know, catching the fluttering knuckle ball is no steady task. Just ask All-Star catcher Jason Varitek. He has struggled mightily behind the plate when Wake pitched. And as Sox fans have witnessed, Josh Bard went straight to catcher’s hell. He already had 10 passed balls so far, which would have led to a major league record if he continued to catch. Along comes Dudley Dooright. Dougie was traded back to the Red Sox Monday and flew all day in an attempt to make the game against the Yankees, which Wakefield was pitching. Plans were in the works to get him to the game as quickly as possible, including landing a helicopter on local buildings, police escorts, and I think the Concord was even mentioned. Just like a NY script, Mirabelli arrived at Fenway Park around 7PM, minutes before the start of the game. He received a police escort to the players parking entrance, and exited the state owned vehicle already wearing his familiar number 28. As he exited, fans applauded on Yawkey Way. He went into the locker room, spoke to Wake, and put on his spikes. He received a thunderous ovation when he first took the field, and an even louder one as he took his first AB of the game. Here he comes to save the day!!

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