Every catcher can be a back up catcher, true, but not every catcher can be a knuckleball catcher and therein lies Mirabellis fundamental value. Knuckleballers historically have their own catchers- their effectiveness is tied directly to their catchers. How important is Mirabelli to The Red Sox ? So important the Yankees tried to trade for him this week so as to neautralize Wakefields effectiveness .My feeling is The Red Sox lucked out in getting Mirabelli back as S.D initially obtained Mirabelli so he could be their everyday catcher, - relegating him to back up once they signed Mike Piazza.
Remarking on the intellectual vanity of Christopher Hitchens’ atheist crusade, Ross Douthat once quipped that “If the world were to end tomorrow in the hail of fire, I’m confident that one of the last things to be heard on Earth, before the meteor hits, would be the sound of Hitchens and [evangelical minister] Tim LaHaye both shouting in perfect unison: See, I told you so!”
Very true, but I don't think the Sox thought Bard would be that bad. They figured he'd improve after a few weeks, just like Mirabelli when he first got here, but that never happened and they can't afford to wait it out.