"Obviously it was an assassination directly at my character for unprovoked reasons. I've been gone for five months. I mean, to just randomly come after Doug Mirabelli? For what reason? Because you don't like me? I mean, you don't have to like me. Obviously he doesn't like me," - A former Padre speaking about his former GM
The Friarhood posted a question on Facebook about who was the best Padres catcher. That got me thinking about all the great catchers in Padres history: Burrito Soggy Taco, Big Ben Davis, Terry "Orville Moody" Kennedy, Mayor Bruce Bochy, Josh "I make bald and high socks look good" Bard, Ramon "The Prick but was cool when he hit that game winning homerun into the PETCO Park Porch in 2005" Hernandez, and so on. But no one matches the man, the myth, the legend (sorry John Baker, your time will come)...
December 7, 2005: Traded by the Boston Red Sox to the San Diego Padres for Mark Loretta.
May 1, 2006: Traded by the San Diego Padres to the Boston Red Sox for Josh Bard, Cla Meredith and cash.
DOUG "I'm going deep tonight!" MIRABELLI
He cost us Mark Loretta, and that sucked! However, Dougie will always have a place in my heart as a Padres fan. The year was 2006, and I was celebrating with my friends in Las Vegas for, let's call it my "First Bachelor's Party". Friday night was a doozy. All I remember is a Vodka shot and waking up Saturday morning to my all-time, worst hangover and nursing it all day until we headed to Cashman Field to watch a Spring Training game between the Padres and Cubs. My brother was sporting his "Bartman '08" Cubs Jersey, Cubs fans loved that, and I had finally cured my hangover with a bucket of beer. Then, all of a sudden, a quietness came to the crowd as Doug Mirabelli stepped up to the plate. He then proceeded to hit a home run so high and so far past the high left field wall, it would put Barry's shot off the scoreboard at the Q off Dennis Tankersley circa 2002, to shame. I couldn't help but wonder if we were about to witness Padres history in 2006...I was wrong. We won the division that year, but that Spring Training homerun will be what I remember the most from 2006. Doug Mirabelli went on to hit a staggering .182 over 14 games before we shipped him back to Boston for rookie phenom Cla "Claw" Meredith and Bard. I hated dealing Mark Loretta, but in the end it turned out to be a wash for me because of that exhibition homerun that had no bearing on the standings or official stats whasoever.
Thanks to the Mighty Quinn Media Machine we got a look into a day in the life of Doug Mirabelli. This sums it up for his Padres tenure:
5:30 PM Dougie takes batting practice again, refuses to bunt.
5:33 PM Dougie hit 22 pitches over the wall: 11 fair, 11 foul, all pulled, he missed 15 pitches.
p.s. One more thing, toward the end of the game, with my second bucket of beer in hand, as we were walking through the concourse, we ran into Padres Top Prospect Josh Barfield and wished him luck on the upcoming season. That was one memorable night in Las Vegas!