Reading this defense of Molina on Mets Fever, I came back to a sincere question I have that keeps reoccurring.

Who are the catchers that do not call a good game? Who’s terrible at this? If we are to assume that some guys are the cream of the crop (in this instance, Molina), then there must be those at the bottom, right?

This is one instance where I’m not trying to be a jerk at all. I’m honestly curious. Fire away with suggestions.

12 Responses to “Quick Question About Bengie Molina (and catchers in general…)”

  1. They’re all in the minor leagues. You don’t get to the majors without being able to call a decent game. Sure there are guys who are better at it than others, but I honestly don’t think there is /that/ much variation in gamecalling skills among the 60 or so catchers that are signed with major league teams.

  2. They’re all in the minors, at least 90% of them. You don’t last long in the majors if you can’t call a game. Either that or you move to first base.

  3. I know there are some catchers who don’t call their own game (they look in to the dugout for the manager’s sign) but I can’t remember who they are, because they are mostly backups. But it is easy to say catcher X “calls a good game” because calling pitches isn’t very hard. It’s really just the ability to read scouting reports and retain the information. So when a GM or manager says a catcher “calls a good game” he actually means “has reading comprehension skills”. I think us nerds maybe forget that most of these guys have never read a book without pictures.

  4. Well, according to Jerry Manuel and Omar Minaya, I think Santos and Schneider would have to be included — since apparently the poor ERA of the staff had more to do with them than it did with Oliver Perez, Mike Pelfrey, Nelson Figueroa, and others. And that’s why the Mets seem to be out to sign every backup catcher available, and Bengie Molina.

    Also, I think A.J. Burnett would have something to say on the subject about Jorge Posada…

  5. When Michael Barrett was with the Cubs he was pretty notorious for calling a shitty game. So much so that Maddux never let him catch him. You may also recall Zambrano getting in a fistfight with him over a pitch that Barrett called for.

  6. AJ Pierzynski is pretty terrible at holding base runners on. he’s also just a huge dick in general.

  7. It depends on the battery and their relationship. When cliff lee won the cy young, Kelly shoppach caught all of his games, but that’s not because victor martinez didn’t call a good game. Some pitchers like a catcher that will always let them throw what they want but a good veteran catcher isn’t afraid to go out to the mound after being shaken off a few times and hit his pitcher in the mouth ala Tony Pena

  8. To go along with Jorge, I’ve also read that Pudge’s game calling has gotten pretty lazy as he’s reached the twilight of his career…

  9. Sarah Green says:

    And I remember reading about Kenji Johjima’s pitchers having no faith in his game-calling skills.

  10. Sarah, I’m kinda confused about something. You’re a huge Red Sox fan and you have yet to write a post about the sudden change in team philosophy that has Theo focusing almost entirely on run prevention. You planning on posting soon?

  11. Sarah Green says:

    Hi Ben,

    You raise a valid point. 1. I have a day job. 2. At the rate they’re going, it seemed prudent to wait a few days in case Theo made any (more) sudden moves. 3. I do have a Metro column to populate (and I get paid for that).

    I’ll answer your question with a question: what do YOU make of it?


  12. Sarah Green says:

    And holy crap, I just signed my comment with my name. Who am I, my mom?!


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