Some call it May day. Others call it Doug Mirabelli Day. I call it Doug Mirabelli Day.
Tom, this is so random. What does Doug Mirabelli have to do with anything today? Well, today is May 1 and on May 1, 2006, Mirabelli was traded back to the Boston Red Sox from the San Diego Padres — if you can recall. Tim Healey of Hardball Times wrote a really nice piece on it recently that I want you to check out sometime.
Remember now: Josh Bard started off 2006 as Tim Wakefield’s personal catcher. The Sox had dealt Mirabelli to the Padres for All-Star second baseman Mark Loretta. Are you kidding? A backup catcher for an All-Star second baseman? That’s a steal! Not so fast.
Watching Bard try to catch Wakefield was like watching a Kidz Bop concert — brutal. And yes, Kidz Bop concerts exist.
May 1 though, that was the day the Sox decided they could not take Bard anymore so they packaged him up and sent him to San Diego to bring Wake’s buddy to Boston again.
It was the day Mirabelli took a private jet to Boston, changed into his uniform in a police escorted car to Fenway Park. It was the day he caught without warming up and caught without a cup in the first inning. It was also Johnny Damon’s much anticipated return to Fenway — anticipated so fans could give him a cold welcome back.
The Red Sox won the game 7-3. Wakefield threw seven innings, Mike Timlin was credited with the win and Jonathan Papelbon with the save. Mirabelli went 0-for-4 and was subbed out for Jason Varitek when Wakefield’s day was over. David Ortiz took Mike Myers deep, helping secure the win.
(I actually wrote this entire article just so I could use that video.)
No, not the Mike Myers who played Austin Powers and voiced Shrek, the 2004 World Series champ. The left-handed reliever who joined the Mark Bellhorn/Doug Mientkiewicz club.
And fittingly, Damon went 0-for-4 in that one.
However you celebrate it, Happy Doug Mirabelli Day.
The Sox and Yanks are playing tonight at 8:05 p.m. EST on ESPN, so maybe that’s a way to celebrate.
On a side note, Mirabelli is a volunteer assistant softball coach for the Florida Gators. He also may or may not still be a realtor. He was a realtor in Traverse City, Michigan. Now you can sleep at night.
And for those who care, Bard is the Los Angeles Dodgers bullpen coach. Hopefully catching knuckleballs isn’t a job requirement.