Please tell me you saw that game yesterday between the Twins and Detroit. That game was some kind of fun to watch. Back and forth, mistakes, homeruns, great plays, intensity, pressure, it had it all.
I don’t know about you, but I even enjoyed the announcing combo of Chip Carey and Ron Darling. It was my first time listening to Darling and I liked his style. He didn’t shove any mechanical expertise down my throat and the points he made were accurate for the most part. I like Carey anyway, so for me, that duo was a pleasant surprise.
And how about Joe Mauer? All things considered, he might be the best catcher ever. Mauer’s offense speaks for itself. 3 batting titles in 5 years – AS A CATCHER?! That is flat out astounding. But let’s talk about his defense. This guy is just about the best I’ve ever seen.
I haven’t seen enough of him to comment on all aspects of his defensive game, but here’s what I do know. His stances are impeccable. They are exactly “Art of Catching” style. (As they should be – we share the same catching lineage. Larry Corrigan, one of the people who taught me how to catch also taught him.) He’s also is a great example of a big guy who catches with a perpendicular back (to the ground). He’s a great rebuttal for any arguments that a big guy can’t get low enough using “The Art of Catching” style.
His glove mechanics are dead on. Smooth, clean, and extremely simple. His lower body movement toward a pitched ball is perfect. His throwing mechanics are exactly right. He calls a nice game. He executed a play at the plate well yesterday, and his field awareness is excellent.
Here’s the deal. Gillete should call him and include him in those razor commercials with Roger Federer and Tiger Woods. He’s that good.
And since the Twins won, we get to see him some more. We also get to watch (and as I write this I am watching) the Phillies. You already know that Werth and Ibanez are a couple of my favorites, but for you young catchers, don’t miss their catcher Carlos Ruiz. He too is excellent. Pay special attention to how much energy he brings to the position, how he mixes his stances, and how he blocks. He is one of my favorites and a pleasure to watch. Yorvit Torrealba for Colorado ain’t half bad either.
What other catchers to key in on? Well, pay attention to the Angel’s catchers (Mathis and Napoli) blocking style. It’s excellent.
Watch how Varitek works with the pitching staff.
Watch how Posada gets it done. Sometimes it’ll be ugly, but he does get it done.
I haven’t seen enough of Molina with St Louis to comment yet, but I will in a few days. Happy viewing.