Tuesday, May 02, 2006

All Is Right in Mudville!

I strongly identify with Tim Wakefield. Tim Wakefield is a pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, the longest-standing, active member of a fraternity known for shaky loyalties from the front office all the way down to the benchwarming utility players. He is humble, steady, reliable, not flashy, and, most importantly, gets the job done. He's the type of guy you want on your club. He throws a bizarre pitch called a knuckleball, a kind of pitch that, when it leaves the hand, no one — not the pitcher, nor the catcher, nor the batter, nor the umpire — knows where it will end up. He’s had very good success with this unpredictable pitch and the Red Sox have, since 1995, used him in a variety of roles: starter, middle relief, closer, you name it. Just hand him the ball and — while he won’t dazzle you — he’ll do his best . . . just like yours truly, good old Mr. Schprock.

Over the past few years, Doug Mirabelli has been his personal catcher, as catching a knuckleball is incredibly hard to do and Doug Mirabelli is the best human being on the planet catching it. Hell, Mirabelli can even do something most catchers these days can’t: throw out would-be base stealers. However, during the off-season, the Red Sox did a very silly thing: they traded Doug Mirabelli away for an infielder. Of course, they thoughtfully provided steady, reliable Tim Wakefield with a new personal catcher — only, as it turns out, this new guy couldn’t catch a bear in a telephone booth as we like to say. The last time out, he committed four passed balls that lead to three unearned runs.

Okay, here’s what I love about living in Boston and being a Red Sox fan: yesterday, the Sox got Mirabelli back from the San Diego Padres. They put him on a private plane and flew him back to Boston. Mirabelli landed at Logan Airport at 6:48pm, where he was picked by a car with his uniform waiting for him inside. As the car sped toward Fenway Park behind a police escort, Mirabelli changed into his uniform, sprinted into the ballpark when the car arrived, and just barely got to home plate before Wakefield’s first pitch against the hated Yankees (whom we beat)! Ah, yes, all is right with the world!

15 Comments:

Blogger LL said...

I saw that last night on espn. I guess it just goes to show how valuable one guy really can be in a team sport. (Just like our own Mr. Schprock)

Well... that and how much Boston hates the Yankees. No one even whined about the police escort and the land speed record set last night.

Word ver: boopmi

7:06 AM  
Blogger mr. schprock said...

Yes, Boston is pretty passionate about our rivalry with the Yankees. Didn't the game seem to have a playoff atmosphere last night? And how about the added drama of Johnny Damon returning to Fenway as part of the Evil Empire?

BTW, our office is directly across the street from the Ritz Carlton, where the Yankees stay when they're in town. We saw Derek Jeter signing autographs yesterday.

7:22 AM  
Blogger Scott said...

Hey, what is this? A second post in one week? I can't depend on anything any more.

Have you ever tried to hit a knuckle ball? It's like watching an alien invasion--it's so fascinating.

7:40 AM  
Blogger trinamick said...

I don't watch much baseball anymore, but I always root for Boston. Even if they're not the ones playing. :P

7:45 AM  
Blogger mr. schprock said...

"Hey, what is this? A second post in one week? I can't depend on anything any more."

Ah, this is a new age for The Schprock Report: I'm doing "3 and outs" (3 paragraphs and I'm through). Instead of concentrating a million words into a single post, I'm spreading 'em out like cow manure. It's good for me and it's good for the country.

BTW, I've never tried to hit a knuckleball, but your comparison sounds dead-on to me, Scott.


"I don't watch much baseball anymore, but I always root for Boston. Even if they're not the ones playing. :P"

Trina, I couldn't ask for any more than that. Keep up the good work.

8:52 AM  
Blogger Wordnerd said...

Well I've been looking for a new favorite team since my last one has been crashing and burning over the past few years.

So in honor of you, I tip my beer mug to the Sox.

9:11 AM  
Blogger mr. schprock said...

Wordnerd, I must say that your beer mug has been well-tipped. They're a fun team to watch, even if you do have to reach for an anti-depressant every once in a while.

9:25 AM  
Blogger Kathleen said...

Saw bits on ESPN between commercials of that debacle of a hockey game. At least Boston won, in fact, every other game about which I cared even a little bit went the right way last night. It was just the biggie that sucked canal water.

And what on earth is up with Johnny Damon being a Yankee????

9:33 AM  
Blogger mr. schprock said...

Darth Damon went over to the Dark Side. He's now in the thrall of Emperor Steinbrenner. And yet I sense there is still some good in him…

10:17 AM  
Blogger magnetbabe said...

Hmmm. Buying back a player to be the personal catcher for a specific starting/middle relief/closing pitcher because they goofed by giving him up in the first place. That sounds like something the Evil Empire might do...
Just kdding. Just feeling bitter about my Twins sticking up the central division.
Jeter signing is pretty cool. Maybe he's not a total jackass. Just a partial one.

10:20 AM  
Blogger Scott said...

Jeter what? Who?!! Is Jeter not a Yankee anymore? Where is he? Never mind. This is a job for super Google.

10:26 AM  
Blogger mr. schprock said...

"That sounds like something the Evil Empire might do..."

I just knocked my bowl of New England clam chowder all over my keyboard when I read that! Thank God you were just kidding. Perish the thought!

I've always admired the Twins, you know. For a small market team, they always seem to do well. It really is unfair how things are structured economically in baseball. It should be more like the NFL.


"Jeter what? Who?!! Is Jeter not a Yankee anymore? Where is he? Never mind. This is a job for super Google."

Jeter signed with the Georgia Peaches. He thinks he looks better in a skirt.

10:35 AM  
Blogger Claire said...

3 and out....like Wakefield, eh?

An Amazing story though, what some teams will do for their fans. Meanwhile, I'm watching a hockey team grind away in front of only the few and dedicated faithful every other night. Better increase the beer money budget if we make it to the next round.

7:40 PM  
Blogger Farrago said...

You said, "Mirabelli changed into his uniform, sprinted into the ballpark when the car arrived, and just barely got to home plate before Wakefield’s first pitch against the hated Yankees "

It's a good think Mirabelli got there in time. If he hadn't, that first pitch would have hit the umpire in the dingleberries! Hmm. Maybe it wasn't such a good thing, after all. Nothing like seeing an ump take one in the wedding tackle!

8:41 PM  
Blogger mr. schprock said...

"Better increase the beer money budget if we make it to the next round."

If it improves the fortunes of your team, I hope you guys ndrink yourselves silly.


"Nothing like seeing an ump take one in the wedding tackle!"

Oh Gawd, Farrago, I'm still laughing!

Do you think they wear cups?

5:27 AM  

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