Thursday, February 17, 2011


Pitchers and catchers reported this week, and it's time to give some love to the catchers.

“Pitchers and catchers” is an evocative phrase. It has rhythm and meter. It's contrapuntal.

But without the catchers, it's just a word: pitchers.

And where's the poetry in that?

Plus, if the pitchers reported without the catchers, they'd be nowhere. A bunch of prima donnas throwing the ball back and forth, getting all petulant.

“Squat, dammit!”

“No, you squat!”

So I say: All hail the catcher.

Wait, better yet: All hail the backup catcher.

We loved Duffy Dyer when we were kids for that alliterative name, its syllables thumping along like a cartoon rabbit.

We loved him because, yes, we would call him Duffy Diarrhea and then convulse in laughter.

Sure, Duffy was a light hitter, but he was secure in his role backing up Jerry Grote. And like Grote, he was a fine defensive catcher with a strong and accurate arm.

All hail Duffy Dyer!

(Fun fact: In the spring of 1980, the Expos traded Duffy to the Tigers for... Jerry Manuel.)

1 comment:

  1. My favorite player as a kid. Can't tell you why. I can tell you that when they traded him for Gene Clines it was a kick in the pants.

    Always thought this was a pretty nice card, too.