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Saturday, April 30, 2016

Hardball Times: The Doug Mirabelli Trade, an Oral History

10 years ago this weekend, marked backup catcher and knuckleball whisperer Doug Mirabelli’s return to the Red Sox.

The December prior, the Red Sox sent the 35-year-old Mirabelli — long Tim Wakefield’s personal catcher — to the Padres for second baseman Mark Loretta. They acquired Josh Bard from the Indians (in the Coco Crisp deal) a month later to replace Mirabelli.

April 2006 was a period of adjustment — Mirabelli adjusting to San Diego, Bard to Boston, Wakefield to Bard. It wasn’t going well. Bard had 10 passed balls in five Wakefield starts, including two in their first inning together and four in Bard’s final start on April 26 in Cleveland, the middle stop of a three-city road trip for the Red Sox.

Then-Sox general manager Theo Epstein was on that road trip. The game against the Indians motivated him to move on perhaps the most famous trade for a backup catcher in the history of baseball — a trade he now considers the worst he’s ever made.

Shoulda had them throw in plenty of chicken parm.


 

 

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