Playoffs, Mauer, Ruiz, etc.

October 7, 2009

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.

The great Joe Mauer.

The great Joe Mauer.

Carlos Ruiz, my favorite catcher to watch.

Carlos Ruiz, my favorite catcher to watch.

Yorvit Torrealba - solid.

Yorvit Torrealba - solid.

Jason Varitek takes control.

Jason Varitek takes control.

Jorge Posada, not always pretty, but effective.

Jorge Posada, not always pretty, but effective.

Yadi Molina, solid and one of many Molina catchers.

Yadi Molina, solid and one of many Molina catchers.

Russell Martin, a battler.

Russell Martin, a battler.

Mathis and Napoli, excellent blocking mechanics.

Mathis and Napoli, excellent blocking mechanics.

7 Responses to “Playoffs, Mauer, Ruiz, etc.”

  1. Gerry says:

    Hi Brent,

    So Jerry Laird (the Tiger’s catcher) is not even worth an honorable mention? Yeah, he can’t bat worth a lick, but he’s got Pudge Rodriguiz-like numbers for gunning stealers out at 2nd. And he got his guy out at home – Mauer didn’t. Both played great.

    Agreed that was a fantastic game.

    Gerry

  2. Bill Buckner says:

    What is it with First Base and the name Buckner in a big game???

  3. The Cupster says:

    There was a dry spell on catchers for awhile, ( after Mayne and Sphere retired) it’s nice to see some guys who can really play the position again.

  4. Brent Mayne says:

    Can I get an Amen?

  5. Brent Mayne says:

    Gerry, the Tigers didn’t make it to the playoffs! Thats why I didn’t include Gerald. Trust me, I’d loved to have included him…he is one of my students! I taught him everything he knows and I take all credit for anything good he dones! Kidding.

    As far as the play at the plate goes, it was all in the timing. Gerald had more time to make the play, the runner was past Mauer by the time he caught the ball. Mauer’s play was actually more difficult because he had to initiate contact with the runner (try to slow him down) while at the same time catch the ball and tag.

    Don’t get me wrong, they were both great plays.

    Thanks for writing in.

  6. Brent Mayne says:

    The difference was Bill Buckner was good. He just made an error. CB is just flat out a bad umpire.

  7. [...] – Joe Mauer. You’ve gotta know how I feel about this guy already…in short, fantastic, technically sound, but entertainment wise [...]

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