Catching up with catchers provides a sports-blog first

I think you might be reading a first… an entire blog entry devoted to baseball catchers.

Somehow I think it is appropriate because of all the recent catcher-talk… MLB plans to change the rules on home plate collisions… Salty signs with the Marlins… A.J. Pierzynski (does the J really stand for jerk?) the temporary Sox fix… who is Vazquez and Swihart?… is Bob Montgomery making a broadcast booth comeback?…

And David Ross, who is coming to Bangor  on Jan. 15, courtesy my station Sports Radio 92.9 The Ticket.

Here’s a Ross question…do you think the Sox win in October if Ross had not taken over the catching reins?

And here are some Ross answers…

— He’s one of just a handful of guys to play in the College World Series for two different schools. (Auburn in 1997 and Florida  in 1998). It was two games and done in Omaha for both teams.

— Ross was drafted out of high school in the 19th round by the LA Dodgers back in 1995. He did not sign….Earlier in that same draft the Red Sox picked Bangor HS pitcher Matt Kinney in the sixth round (No. 158).

— Three years later, in June of 1998, the LA Dodgers drafted Ross again. This time in the 7th round….Picking 11 spots ahead of the Dodgers, the Red Sox selected high school second baseman Keto Anderson. Wonder what happened to him? The Sox also drafted a high school first baseman named Mark Teixeira in the 9th round that year. Wonder what happened to him?

— Ross hit his first major league home run off a first baseman – Mark Grace of the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2002. The Dodgers were up 18-0 and Grace volunteered to pitch to rest the bullpen.

— In his 12 seasons as a major leaguer, Ross has a .237 batting average. In 14 career postseason games he is a .281 hitter.

— Ross has had 4,265 fielding chances in his 12-year career.  He has made only 37 errors. That is a .991 fielding percentage.

— The player share for winning the World Series for each Red Sox this year was $307,323. In his first full major league season (2004) Ross had a salary of $310,000.

Now  for those other catcher storylines here are few tidbits…

— Seems pretty simple but I think MLB should do what Little League uses for a collision rule…The catcher must have possession of the ball before you can block the plate and the runner must slide (no head first slide) and avoid contact to touch the plate. Isn’t that what we’re talking about?

— Pierzynski will do everything Salty did at the plate.… AJ’s average stats over a 162-game, 16-year career (.283, 16 HR, 74 RBI, 71 K, .750/OPS) Salty’s stats over a 162-game, 7-year career (.246  21 HR  75 RBI  176 K  .738/OPS).

— Don’t be surprised if Blake Swihart ends up being the next everyday catcher for the Sox, not Christian Vazquez.

— Bob Montgomery? No comeback I know of…

— David Ross?…he’s going to be a great storyteller on Jan. 15.