Somebody Explain This To Me
Doug Mirabelli is Tim Wakefield's personal catcher. He only plays when Wake pitches. When Wake gets taken out of the game, he usually gets pinch hit for, He's hitting a whopping .202.
Tim Wakefield is not on the ALDS 25-man roster.
Kevin Cash was brought up from Pawtucket when Mirabelli strained his calf trying to run. Mind you, this is the same Mirabelli who was thrown out trying to tag up from third base on a ball hit 300 feet to the right field warning track. Running really hurts sometimes. Cash hit .111 in his time with the Red Sox.
Jason Varitek is the Red Sox' starting catcher. He played 131 games this season for the Sox. When you factor in the 31 starts by Tim Wakefield, plus his games, yeah...you do the match (yeah...162).
For virtually the entire 162-game season, the Red Sox finished with the best record in baseball carrying two catchers - Varitek and Mirabelli. When Mirabelli went on the DL, it was Cash who replaced him.
Two catchers. 162 games. Best record in baseball. 96 wins.
So why three catchers for the ALDS?
Varitek, Mirabelli and Cash.
Tek's the starter. And someone needs to sit their ass on the bench in case of injury or extra-innings defensive replacement.
Some ONE. Not two.
Not two light-hitting catchers. And since there's no knuckleball-throwing pitcher, one of those should NOT be Mirabelli.
Granted, I'm pissing and moaning over the 25th player on the roster. And, in the efforts of full disclosure, dislike Mirabelli immensely.
But someone needs to explain this to me. (Terry Francona segue)"In the five-game series, I think we're comfortable going with 10 pitchers as long as there was health," Francona said. "So we try to maximize everybody on the roster by having the third catcher. We want [Jacoby] Ellsbury to be able to impact the game, if needed, and that can mean running for a number of different people. "
"Now we have a catcher that we're comfortable with. We actually have two catchers we're comfortable with, but they have a little bit different skill set, so hopefully we can use both and just maximize the strengths of our players."
You want Ellsbury to impact the game? Play him. He's only hitting .360+ since being called up for good on Sept. 1.
To me, this move and the corresponding rationale SCREAMS of overmanaging. You carry three catchers simply to have a late-inning pinch runner? Great. What happens in thr 13th inning with no fast guy on the bench and a guy hitting .111 going up against K-Rod? Never thought about that one, had you?
End of my point: why Doug?
In fact, I asked this question to a loyal TLBR reader, dedicated Sox fan, and good friend. Here is the email exchange.
TLBR: Why Doug Mirabelli?
Friend: In case Tek dies?
Me: Kevin Cash is also on the 25-man. Again, why Doug Mirabelli?
Him: In case Cash dies?
Me again: Alex Cora. Mike Lowell. Dana Lavangie. Again, why Doug Mirabelli?
Him again: Dunno. In case Tina Cervasio dies?
Back to me: Hazel Mae. Kathryn Tappen. Jayme Parker. Again, why Doug?
Over to him: In case the guy from Jordan's Furniture dies?
My turn: Bob's Discount Furniture. Bernie. Phyl. Again, why Doug?