There comes a time in every 33-year-old catcher’s life when he must consider how his chosen career is affecting his health. Are his knees ruined? Does he scream in pain every time he gets out of a chair? Are there “amateur experimental bionics” sites bookmarked in his browser?
And this has been the oddity of Chooch’s 33rd year: He seems to be getting better.
As manager of some of the game’s best hurlers, all clustered together, Chooch has hardly had to perform as an offensive entity to become beloved. With the admiration of Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, and countless others, no one was waiting for him to catch fire at the plate; just from him to keep doing what he’s doing.
However, you can’t tell a man with a .407/.585/.992 slash line to stop doing what he’s doing to concentrate on the pitching staff. And when that man is as charming and adorable as Chooch, all you care about with what frequency they will request him to give post game interviews.
But the rest of the National League seems to be ignorant of Chooch’s success, or possibly blind with envy, or maybe illiterate. Because they seem to think that perpetual All-Stars like Yadier Molina and Brian McCann are better suited for the honor, as well as fellow guy people have heard of Buster Posey, putting Chooch at a distant fourth–like the Phillies, he’s 538,027 spots out of first place. With two and a half weeks left to vote, it is going to take some seriously deluded people working around the clock to get Chooch a slot in the starting NL battery.
It’s all rather shameful, as if people don’t realize this is based on whose performance is the best, and not who is the most exposed. Do people unfamiliar with our corner of MLB really gloss right over the stats? Do they think this is some kind of popularity contest?
It is downright awful that somebody putting in the work and carrying a team’s offense, while maintaining the affections of some of the world’s best pitchers, like Chooch will be overlooked because people have heard of Brian McCann. And yes, it may seem that we care way more about this than usual, but that’s only because the Phillies are fucking terrible right now and my heart is dying on a nightly basis. I’m not sure what is so entertaining to all of you about grabbing my last thread of hope and using it to strangle me to death in front of my family.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to vote for Joe Mauer as starting AL catcher because he’s on the cover of a video game I own.