Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Victor Martinez, Bo Diaz, & Catching 101

This morning, Ignacio Serrano of El Nacional newspaper in Venezuela broke the story that Victor Martinez was leaving Boston to sign a 4yr/$50 million deal with the Detroit Tigers.  There is some confusion that V-Mart rejected a 3yr/$60 million or 3yr/$48 million from the White Sox, but I find that so hard to believe that I am throwing it out as a typo or misunderstanding somewhere along the rumor mill.

What got me thinking today was this retweet from the blog's new BFF, Ignacio.  Although it is for a sad reason, it is good to remember Bo Diaz, who passed away 20 years ago today from a tragic accident at his home.

Readers of a certain age probably remember him from his run with the Reds in the late '80s, or prior stops in Philadelphia, Cleveland, and Boston.  Diaz had a memorable 13-year career in the Major Leagues and even more legendary run in the Winter Leagues of Venezuela for los Leones del Caracas from 1972-1990.

Baudilio Jose Diaz is widely thought of as the finest catcher born in Venezuela.

As Steve Stone used to say, "For all you youngsters out there..." here is a short video of Bo Diaz, answering a request to describe how to set up to call and receive a pitch.  Notice how delicately he describes game planning with the pitcher.  Diaz recommends blocking the signs from the opposing team and keeping your free hand closed, as a fist, in case it gets hit by a foul tip.



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