notes on government, sports and popular culture
....Red Sox re-acquire Tim Wakefield's personal catcher
The Times' Jack Curry also provides some insight into what it's like to catch a knuckeball. Let's
put it this way: John Flaherty, a 14-year veteran, so he wouldn't have to catch Wakefield's knuckler:
"It took Flaherty two innings to decide that he could not spend a year chasing those knuckleballs. Two innings in a meaningless spring training game, 20 minutes of feeling vulnerable because he did not know where Wakefield’s next floater would dip or dart.
"Flaherty, who played in 1,047 games, was unnerved by the thought of catching Wakefield with a runner on third at Yankee Stadium."
Though he tries to reassure his catchers, you get the feeling Wakefield is a bit of a sadist:
"If a catcher has difficulty, that is a sign to Wakefield that he has a good knuckleball. If a catcher is not scrambling like a 5-year-old digging for quarters in a sandbox, then Wakefield becomes worried that his knuckleball is ineffective."
I've been watching quite a bit of the Red Sox this season, mainly because ESPN has become Red Sox Network. Is it me, or do the Sox have a more clean-cut look this season? No Mark Bellhorn, no Johnny Damon, no Bronson Arroyo (thank goodness
But still Manny Ramirez. My guess is the Red Sox, basically a conservative ballclub, would still get rid of Ramirez of they could because he's not a good image. But they can't, because his contract is too big. Cut your hair or get cut doesn't work if the team has to pay the bill and get nothing in return. Ramirez' paycheck allows him to wear his hair the way he pleases.
Damon's doesn't, though. He's more handsome than I thought, too.