Know-It-All Catchers Primed to Manage Ballclubs

Know-It-All Catchers Primed to Manage Ballclubs

Catchers have a different perspective. Of course they do. They play a position different from all others, not only because they face that-a-way. Their position is about-face ... and stretching the strike zone, strategizing with the pitcher and striking a relationship with the other masked man on the field. It's about blocking the plate and pitches in the dirt, about catching popups and would-be basestealers, communicating with the dugout, directing fellow defenders, backing up first base, fielding bunts and squibs, and in the case of Mr. Berra, distracting hitters.

 

In their limited spare time, catchers nurse assortments of bruises, scrapes and mangled fingers, deal with profound fatigue and erosion of the components in their knees and develop hitches in their get-a-longs. Three or four times a day, they try to hit big league pitching with hands compromised by foul tips, and at least three times each season, they make it their business to run doubles into singles.

 

No wonder catchers are ready for any challenge the game presents once they shun their shin guards and retire their aches.

 

Almost inadvertently, they evolve into baseball know-it-alls because their defensive assignment entails so much. If they don't, they're not catchers for long.

 

Catchers routinely become apprentice managers, candidates to run a team and a game even if they have no designs on appointments to permanent dugout duty. Baseball acumen comes with the territory behind the plate. And an enhanced grasp of multiple facets of the game is what moves a seemingly inordinate number of masked men from behind the plate to the front of the dugout. 

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