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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

THE NOT-SO-GREAT CATCHER THAT BECAME A CATCHER

Jesus Montero caught his first no-hitter with the Seattle Mariners this year, but why is no one talking about that? I mean, why isn't it a bigger story in the East like it was in the West?   Now, clearly people spoke of the Mariners no hitter last Friday, read HERE, but that’s not the story I’m talking about.  I’m talking about the story where everyone in Yankeeland chalked Jesus Montero up as an OK catcher but a better Designated Hitter.  Yeah…remember that? What happened there?
Look at this picture above.  Jesus Montero is happily staring into the camera.  No, he didn’t just crank out a home run. He caught a no hit game with 6 of the Mariners pitchers.  No, not 1 pitcher which is hard enough, 6 of them.  That’s different personalities, different pitches, different research to remember and study for every single at bat. Montero caught a full game and called a good one too.  People in the Bronx wouldn’t have ever let that happen, yet, but it happened in Seattle. 

I miss Jesus Montero.  No, catching one no-hitter does not make Montero an all-star catcher, but it doesn't boost this kids confidence and sends a very big message to Yankeeland..."never say it can't happen, because it can," meaning, Montero could have been the Yankees backup catcher in 2012 if they really wanted him too, but they had other plans all along, at least that's my opinion on the whole thing.  

And let's go further, Montero was was never going to be the starting catcher in New York with Russell Martin there, but he deserved a shot.  Sure, if we’re comparing catchers, defensively Austin Romine is better behind the plate, but think about this for a second;  Jesus Montero was the kid that the Yankees had raved about for a while in the minor leagues...untouchable if you will... and then, just when we thought Montero would get his big break in the Bronx, after Brian Cashman blabbed to the press that he wanted Montero to get at least 500 at bats, read HERE, he’s shipped off to Seattle for Michael Pineda, a kid who’s rehabbing until 2013.  It’s crazy how things work.
 (In Photo: Former Yankee Jose Tabata)
 The Yankees do that. They rave about their prospects and the media buys into it too. There's this feeling around Yankeeland like the Yanks just struck gold, then, these kids linger in the minors, and suddenly they’re gone.  Don’t believe me? Ask Jose Tabata about that. Ask Andrew Brackman about that…and by the way, don’t be fooled, either Manny Banuelos or  Dellin Betances are next, I really believe that. Don't believe me? Read YOUNG GUNS III: STRUGGLE OF THE KILLER B'S.

Look, this piece isn’t me bitching and moaning about wanting Jesus Montero back, what’s done is done, I get that, but you have to wonder what could have been, especially looking at Jesus Montero looking like he just won the World Series in that great photograph above.  Hell, I’m thrilled for him but he’s not happy like “ha ha” in that picture. No, he’s happy like “You guys didn’t believe in me, but I believed in me and I will continue to and be the biggest thing coming out of Seattle since Ichiro, Ken Griffey Jr  and Alex Rodriguez. Don’t believe me? Game on bitches…game on.”  

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