Hoping to Cash in

The first sign that the Doug Mirabelli era was officially over? When I walked into the clubhouse around 8 this morning, Manny Ramirez had moved into Dougie’s old digs. Give Manny credit for this. He knows about prime real estate. Because Mirabelli is a catcher, his locker was significantly wider than most of the other lockers. It looks like Manny has also maintained residence in his own locker. Just another case of Manny being Manny.

But Curt Schilling made it clear on his blog how much Mirabelli ment to the team while he was here.

"In the 20 years since I was first called up to the big leagues I’ve
played with exactly 2 players who’s presence in the clubhouse carried
onto the field. Darren Daulton in Philadelphia, and Doug Mirabelli here
in Boston.

"Very few players have that ability, and when they have it you know
it. 4am landing in Toronto after a sweep, quiet plane, get on the bus
for the 40 minute ride to the hotel, dead silence and everyone is
wiped. By the time you got to the hotel the entire bus was laughing and
the day was behind you. It’s a gift and Doug had it in spades."

That’s powerful stuff from Schilling and provides more insight than Mirabelli’s reputation as "the guy who could catch the knuckleball."

New backup Kevin Cash held court this morning and is excited about the opportunity.

“I was very happy but at the same time, but yesterday was
a rough day for everybody just because of the relationship Doug has with a lot
of these players on this team. He’s very well liked, very well respected. That
goes from my standpoint too. at the same time, it is a business and it’s a
career opportunity for me," said Cash.

More later, with Dice-K taking the ball against perhaps baseball’s worst team going into the season, the Baltimore Orioles.



I was deeply touched by what Schilling said. What everyone forgets is this: If this is how you treat a great guy like Doug — what happens to you when your time is up?

Doug gave a lot to the team and that’s his thanks? Business or not, you have psychology and the message you’re sending to the team is this: we love you but will dump you in a heartbeat. So much for player loyalty. This will backfire on the Sox management. I think they will have a tougher time signing players and keeping players in the future if these are the rules.

Doug got treated badly.

I’m not convinced Dougie is gone for good. We’ll see.

As far as being cut before the game is concerned, I don’t see that as a big thing. It’s spring training and those things happen. The Sox will pay him $575,000 to “be available” if someone else doesn’t sign him.

Personally, I think a player like Mirabelli is worth his weight in gold. He’s a very capable catcher and has been with the Sox a long time. Except Tek, nobody knows the Sox pitching staff better. I think Sox pitchers have the same kind of confidence in him as they have in Tek. Having him and Tek together was a nice situation.

Add the types of things Curt Schilling talked about and the presence in the community he and his wife have, and the Sox have lost more than a backup catcher. I’m sorry to see him go.

I suppose you can talk about his offensive production, but he had some big hits and what he was asked to do was not easy. Playing every fifth or sixth day isn’t exactly conducive to staying sharp at the plate, not to mention his primary objective was to keep Wakefield’s knuckler in front of him.

Somebody posted on the other thread, and I agree. I hope he gets back to Fenway with another team so Sox fans can express their appreciation. If not, then maybe the Sox could ask him to throw out the first ball on opening day or something.

Good luck Dougie!

If I could just weigh in for a second on the timing of the mirabelli release: there are a lot of meetings in spring training between theo, tito and the staff. There is so much going on that it’s hard for them to control exactly when final decisions are going to be made. Once they had made the decision on Cash, Francona was very uncomfortable with having Mirabelli play the game and then telling him he was gone. What if Doug had gotten hurt or something? They were basically trying to do Doug a favor. Once they had made their decision, they didn’t want to drag it on any longer. Make sense?

That makes perfect sense Ian. Once a decision like that is made, the player concerned should be told immediately. Anything else would be unfair. I hadn’t thought about the injury perspective, but that’s an excellent point.

Ian – I know what you mean with this, but my question would be as follows. He had, I believe, only 11 AB’s this Spring Training (correct me if I am wrong), where he got 3 hits. This could hardly have been the influence on him getting cut. Unless he was very out of shape or his catching skills declined from what management expected, couldn’t they have made this decision before Spring Training? I feel like the stage at which they cut him makes it difficult for him to join another team.

Well, I am sad to see Dougie to leave like most redsox fans, but lets get this:
1.The sox have 4 catchers on their 40 man roster, including Cash on Non-roster invitee

2.Two of the catchers are hitting over .400

3.Doug is 37, MIGHTY old for a catcher.

Maybe it was just time for him to leave.

We’re talking about a backup catcher, nothing more and nothing less. Theo had a press conference discussing it. With the Red Sox, just like the Yankees, everything is big news, magnified to another level. Good luck Mirabelli and if he comes back to Boston, as someone already said the fans can give him a standing ovation.
The Red Sox would have won 2 titles without him, so in my eyes, no loss at all.

Ian, I get the issue about being injured – I hadn’t thought about that. I guess my problem with this is that Kojak is not an unknown or even a vaguely known quantity (and that also goes for his possible replacements). So why go through the business of giving him a contract only to throw him out five minutes later?

I can see a number of thought processes at work: for example both catchers are getting on a bit (in baseball terms) so the chances of them both being on the DL at some point this season is quite high and so there is a real and finite probability of needing to call up two catchers from AAA at the same time – not a good position to be in. I am not too unhappy about the decision for the team but I am unhappy as a fan. Still as someone said, this is baseball. Some decisions are tough to make.

Ian – could you have a word with your oppo when Dougie lands somewhere, to point out his emergent knickname since Arnie (I think it was Arnie) said about his resemblance to Telly Savales (just ignore the hair thing). It’s the least RSN can do for the guy🙂

I just read Schillings blog regarding Dougie. I’ve always been a Dougie backer, and though I see the business side of it, when I read Schills take on things, I balled my eyes out. Oh emotional almost blonde!! I will truly miss him behind the plate; up, down, all around. Mystically keeping up with that “flutter ball”. I think that catching Wake’s knuckler is truly an art in itself and Doug Mirabelli painted masterpieces in catching Wake the way he did.
From those of us who were fans, may I please say from all of us:


IAN: could you please pass on our thoughts to Doug?? I’m sure that right about now, it might feel a little more than just good to know how much we LOVE and will miss him.

and to the guys sighting the Telly thing, I never thought that Kojak was a hottie(that is who you’re refering to, right??)
I for one have always found Mirabelli VERY handsome especially so when he was on “***** Eye..”. No apologies, but no disrepect to his wife and family!!

I wrote the word that you can phonetically spell (kweer)I can’t believe that it is a show on national tv but it was censored on MLB.COM. Oh wait, then again we did (do) have people like Fagan who use the term in a deragatory manner. My aplogies, there was no disrespect intended to anyone in anyway…

I spelled apologies wrong sorry…

Ellen, remember the movie The Dirty Dozen? Telly was in that and for some reason Doug reminds me of him. A lot.
BSB, to you Doug was a backup and nothing else, but I doubt the rest of the team looks at things that way. For us as fans it’s normal to rank the players in terms of stats and heroics. But I’m sure the guys, when they are on the bus or the plane or in the clubhouse have a completely different outlook. To the players, stats are great for posterity and a fat paycheck, but the relationships go far deeper than that. The fans also sometimes love a player who really ***. That’s baseball for you. One of my favorite memories from last year was when Lugo was 0 for forever and when he came up to hit, the fans were chanting his name. And he got a hit! Everyone was cheering and the look on his face was awesome. You could tell Julio was touched by the support of the fans. People are always more than just their job description.

I forgot the censors. Rhymes with “ducks”.

Ellen, just saw this on Schill’s blog. If you haven’t seen it, thought you might. http://cache.boston.com/images/bostondirtdogs//Headline_Archives/BDD_TW_DM_5.1_ap.jpg

Just wait for the day Tek gets his pink slip. Wow. Good luck Doug! There’s a spot for you somewhere! Hey, maybe a coaching position will open in Boston!


First thanks for stepping in. I guess I’m still a bit sensitive how Jim Rice was let go and it brings back terrible memories for me. I also think that Theo perhaps made a bad call. His first was the Gagne deal. His second was this. Doug’s departure was not handled well. I think it came from everyone getting caught off guard by Cash. He looked great out there and juxtaposed with last August, I’m sure the ideas churned.

If you were going to let Doug go then trade him, give him a minor league contract as a manager, a coach, but just to dump him like that feels cold to me.

A player is more than stats. Theo makes a lot of great decisions but letting Doug go like that — especially considering how the team felt about him may leave a lot of sore feelings around the clubhouse.

I think if Theo holds a conference or perhaps does something to help out Doug it will mean a great deal of difference.

apd: Thanks for that picture, I can tell you that it is one from the TV show I was speaking of in my earlier post. Kweer Eye. that was filmed on the west coast of Florida after a little league teams field and buildings were destroyed by one of many hurricanes that year. They replaced the field, lights, buildings etc, and had a “scrimmage” game with the kids and the guys from the show. Doug and the rest of the guys sure made some dreams come true for those little leaguers!!

I’ll have to find a way to keep that picture, maybe make it my Wallpaper or Screen saver. Thank you, my friend!!

Congratulations to Dice-K, a baby boy born today and Dice-K will be able to go to Japan to see his Japanese fans.And I am proud to be the one who says this.
P.S. Ian, I am surprsed you didn’t say this before me with your book!

What I meant was your blog, since you have an article on the subject

Ellen, You are more than welcome. Alistair.

Oh boy, that picture of Mirabelli and Wakefield brings back bad memories from the 2005 season that ensued. It seemed like the Sox were being shoved down all of America’s throats after they broke “the curse”. I’m glad to see it handled differently after ’07 and expect much different results.

Also, great news on Dice-K’s baby being born: not only for the Matsuzaka’s but for us as fans and the Japanese who will undoubtedly go crazy when Dice takes the ball in the season opener in Japan on the 25th. It’s a win/win situation.

Hi, All:

Just checking in to say hello. I’m glad that spring training is inching to a close. I’m ready for the regular season. Apparently, I offended some sabermetrics enthusiasts in a post I wrote yesterday, so I have found myself immersed in debating the viability of Bill James. Those stats enthusiasts are one tight-knit group! Anyway, glad to hear that Dice-K’s child was born healthy, and that he will be in Japan to start one of the games. I believe he and Jon Lester will have breakout seasons. I hope that Bryan Corey makes the team. It would be a shame to see him let go and the Sox keep Tavarez or Snyder (and, yes, I know that Tavarez and Snyder can make spot starts, while Corey is strictly a reliever). I think that Devern Hansack is equal to or even better than Snyder and Tavarez. One or the other needs to be cut loose.




I am with you about spring training. Living in Florida like you, it’s great when the teams report and after about a week of games that mean nothing I get a little ansty.

I am not a fan of the Bill James thought process. Most people aren’t. If you went with his projections, the Sox would miss the playoffs. He has Beckett for only 14 wins, Lester and Dice-K having so so seasons.

One thing I think James and myself will agree on is Schilling’s win total this year, ZERO. I think most would agree with that as well.


In basketball news, wouldn’t it be great if the Celtics stopped Houston’s winning streak. Without Gasol, I don’t see the Lakers going into Houston and winning. Next game for Houston is home against the Celtics, looking forward to that one and I am sure you are as well. I would love too see the Celtics go into Houston and stop the streak. A great streak for sure but good things come to an end eventually.

Okay, I’ll bite: Who is Bill James??
On another topic: the games that Our Sox are playing in Japan, they will be shown on MLB.COM, correct??? What time in the eastern time zone will they be played?? I am not sure what the time difference is. Help anybody??

ps, on the Mirabelli front, Ian, I know managers/gms don’t usually give press conferences regarding the release of a player unless it is a “franchise” player. In this case though, don’t you think that it would be a good idea to do this??


Bill James is a stat rat basically. He has been with the Red Sox since 2003. John Henry is a big numbers guy and that is why James is with the Red Sox. James was the reason why the Red Sox started the 2003 without a closer, goes to show you how much he knows. He is a bullpen by commitee guy. James carries alot of weight in the Red Sox organazation. Theo definetly uses his knowledge quite a bit.

The 2 regular season games that are being played in Japan will be televised by E.S.P.N.2 and they start at 6:00 a.m., east coast time.

Never mind, I just went to ask.com and looked up the time difference. when it’s 8:05pm here (Saturday) it’s 9:05 am there (Sunday). and then wonder of wonders, (stupid me) I just looked at our schedule on RS home page and found out that the game is at 6:05am OUCH!!!! Now I know how our Service men and women feel about the time change and watching games….
another (what might be stupid) question: Why are we playing the Dodgers the following week??

Why wouldn’t the Sox play the Dodgers? It makes alot of sense. When they come back from Japan you want them to play a few games before you start the season on U.S. soil. You don’t want them to go stale. One of the games will be played at L.A. Coliseum, that will be awesome too see, even though it will not be televised.

I guess then, that I wouldn’t be a BIG fan of this guy James?, huh?? That “bullpen by committee” c^rap was just that, c^rap, and look what it got us.. NOTHING. So I hope that they don’t listen too much to him.

I was just reading where James wasn’t the gut to suggest bullpen by committee.

He does think that having a closer is over-rated, lol. I would strongly disagree with that. Espcially where everything today is so specialized.

He does have some valid points on some stuff but overall I am not a fan of it. a stat rat/geek, certainly not me. Of course at times the numbers prove to be true but you can slant numbers anyway you want.

This year he has Beckett projected for 14 wins, only way Beckett wins 14 is if he gets hurt and misses some starts. You can’t predict injuries, then again this stat rat you never know.

As someone mentioned- according to the schedule, the games in Japan are 605amET (305am in AZ and CA)and they are supposed to be telecast on ESPN as well.

Oh it really is getting close to the real thing… Phil is back!! Hey Phil, how’ve you been??? Thanks for th eESPN tip. I didn’t notice that when I looked at our schedule. I can stay in bed and watch/listen rather than sitting in front of ol’ faithful here!! Glad to see you’re back for another season of Brownie Points Blogging. Oh I love this place!!

I’ll be in front of this thing for the rest, except the few that are on ESPN and that “other network”, you know the one that chose to broadcast THAT A-Rod story during OUR SERIES!! Talk about irresponsible broadcast timing!!, scene stealing pinstripe )(*&^%^!!

lol. Brian, if you don’t think the Bill James system is viable, feel free to express your opinion on Sox and Pinstripes. I wrote a post saying that I don’t think the James system is anything more than speculation, and you would have thought that I disparaged some beloved figure like Princess Diana (when she was alive) or Elvis. Those stat geeks are testy!

I would like to see the Celtics beat Houston. I’m a little concerned about this road trip. I’m hoping they don’t lose all three in Texas, and the road trip finale in New Orleans. It will be a huge test. I like the pickups of P.J. Brown and Sam Cassell. I’m excited about the playoffs. Hopefully, there will be June basketball in Boston to accompany Red Sox baseball.



Hi Ellen. It’s good to be getting ready for the new season. I hope the trip to Japan during the spring training period doesn’t adversely affect the Sox. I’m worried that we could have made better use of the time.I’m looking forward to seeing how things eventually pan out in CF. It’s too bad Coco is hurt as it would have been nice to see the competition. Your right, it’s better to lay back and watch the games (particularly at 3am) than having to sit up and watch it on the computer.I hope I’ll be able to stay awake. I’ll probbaly tape it as a backkup- just in case.Good to be chatting with you. Take care.

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