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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Bonehead Moves: Backup Catcher Brouhaha

All right, here's the deal. Tattooed tough guy Hank White wasn't offered a deal and signed with San Diego for only 25 grand more than the Cubs paid for retread Paul Bako. That sucks. Firstly, Hank White rocks. Granted, the backup catcher is hardly the most glamorous of positions, but Henry Blanco had a solid season behind the dish for the Cubs and managed to bat a respectable .291. I wouldn't bet he could do that two seasons in a row, but I would be willing to bet that Blanco outhits Paul Bako this year. Or any other year.

Secondly, the reason Bako was signed was because he bats lefty. I know we're looking for balance and everything, but just because the guy stands in the left handed batters box, doesn't mean he's going to hit the ball. This is a ridiculous reason to sign a backup catcher, unless he's really good. The words "Paul Bako" and "really good" are mutually exclusive. You're telling me that Lou would really consider pulling Rookie of the Year Geo Soto for this goober to play pitching matchups? Highly doubtful.

With Soto firmly entrenched as our primary catcher, the only reason for the backup catcher to play is to give Geo a breather. The nature of the schedule isn't always going to allow Lou to play the matchups. Geo's workload and stamina are going to play a bigger role in what days he gets to rest. Thus I submit to you that the Cubs wasted $725K on Gabor Bako, when they already have the answer on the roster.

Koyie Hill is the best option at backup catcher because not only is he good behind the plate, but he can hit from both sides of it. He's useful in all matchups, so you don't have to worry about giving Soto an offday when there's a crappy matchup for your backup. There are two more reasons why Koyie Hill must suceed Blanco as the BC.

Only Hill has a sufficient legend of his own to match that of Hank White. Hill severed the fingers of his hand in a tablesaw accident and had them surgically reattached. After grueling therapy, he returned to the game and kicked ass last year for the Iowa Cubs, posting solid numbers. That's pretty damn cool, making him well worthy of assuming Henry's mantle.

The second reason is that Hill named his daughter Phoenix Ray. Giving your daughter a built in porn star name elevates you to legendary status in my mind. Here's hoping he beats out Bako for the job that should rightfully be his.

BallHype: hype it up!

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