Home > Boston Red Sox > A Battery In The Making Since 1883

A Battery In The Making Since 1883

Timeliness? Obviously not a premier issue on this blog. That’s why I have no shame in writing about something that happened Saturday afternoon on a Wednesday night. Something like this:

Red Sox relief pitcher Craig Breslow came in during the eighth inning of Saturday’s game versus the Yankees. The catcher was Ryan Lavarnway.

Why is this significant? Because both players attended Yale University (Breslow graduated with a B.A. in molecular biophysics and biochemistry and was once named the smartest active athlete).

It was the first time that a Yale battery played in an MLB game since 1883, 16 years prior to the creation the American League.

Well, this just made FOX’s broadcasting team of Kenny Albert and Tim McCarver go giddy. Albert had been actively calling for the Red Sox to make this move just so he could empty his notebook. And there’s no doubt that it is pretty cool. I mean, 129 years is a long time. Only 19 Bulldogs have reached the majors since 1893. Ron Darling is the only other Yale alum to make it to that level in the last 45 years. Now you have two of them playing on the same team, in the same game, as pitcher and catcher?


I would have paid more attention to things said about the Bresl0w-Lavarnway connection, but my mind was still numbed by some things McCarver said earlier in the game. I know I shouldn’t let such nonsense get to me because, yeah, it’s McCarver; what do I expect?

While ranting about the Stephen Strasburg’s innings limit, McCarver said there should a new list created to place players who are healthy enough to play but don’t. Think of it as a disabled list for the not-disabled.

“Call it the able list,” McCarver said. I’m pretty sure players who are healthy but can’t/don’t play are placed another list; it’s called “Bench.” But no, it’s not good enough for McCarver if Strasburg is pushed back a few times or has his outings shortened. The pitcher needs to have an official designation, apparently.

All of this thinking completely burned out McCarver’s brain a few minutes later. He said Washington had to keep using Strasburg normally throughout the season because the Nationals hadn’t made the playoffs since 1933. They haven’t made the playoffs since FDR, he said. Since the Great Depression, he said. He was irate, really committed to his point.

What he said would be true if it wasn’t false.

What we call the Washington Nationals used to be the Montreal Expos, and that franchise hasn’t made the playoffs since 1981. The real Washington team that hasn’t made the playoffs since 1933 is the Washington Senators. But there’s a good reason for their postseason drought: They moved to Minnesota in 1961 and are known as the Twins.

So really, if you want to get technical with it — and I’ve already gone this far, so why not? — McCarver was saying that the Washington Nationals should not limit Stephen Strasburg’s innings because the Minnesota Twins haven’t made the playoffs since 1933.

Lastly, McCarver said a little later that Nick Swisher looks to the center-field scoreboard before each pitch, and then had to be told by the guys in the truck that Swisher actually looks to the sky in memory of his grandparents. Guessing that McCarver has called at least 50 games in his career that involved Swisher and watched dozens more, I am still having trouble understanding how he could have not known that. I can recall that being brought up on FOX broadcasts that involved McCarver numerous times. That is troubling.

Ford C. Frick, rolling over in his grave.

Anyway, hooray, all you smart guys. Keep breaking down those barriers.

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