Doug Mirabelli had a brief, difficult tenure in San Diego, and Padres GM Kevin Towers — who may or may not be in the middle of a pennant race, hard to tell — is all too happy to be rid of the backup backstop. From the San Diego Union Tribune’s Tim Sullivan.
œHe called (Dave) Roberts (when Mirabelli was traded) and said, ‘I guess I’m getting called back to the big leagues,’ Towers said before Monday’s game with the Dodgers. œI’m glad I didn’t hear that. . . . I don’t miss him. These guys don’t miss him.
Acquired as a stop-gap starting catcher after the Padres lost Ramon Hernandez to free agency, Mirabelli was quickly relegated to a reserve role upon the signing of Mike Piazza.
Mirabelli did not handle this as well as he does Tim Wakefield’s knuckleball. Towers says he received more calls from Mirabelli than from any other player during his tenure, and that the complaints were ceaseless.
œHe was (upset) when we got Piazza, Towers said. œ . . . He was (upset) because Rob Bowen was hitting in a group with Piazza and it should have been him. . . .
œThe Sunday before the trade, Mirabelli was calling my phone like 5-6 in the morning. I finally get to (Petco) Park . . . I get into the clubhouse and he says, ‘KT, can we have some private time?’
When they were alone, Towers said, Mirabelli told him the Padres might want to start Bowen behind the plate against the Dodgers that day, œbecause I’m not focused on the game.
œI said, ‘What?’ Towers recalled. œHe said, ‘My boys, the (Red) Sox have been calling me. I got to tell you, it’s all I watch on TV; all I think about is the Red Sox. Do me a favor and you guys a favor (and make a deal).
Bard was then leading the major leagues with 10 passed balls, unable to come to grips with Wakefield’s knuckleball. The Red Sox were desperate to bring Mirabelli back to Boston. But the last thing Towers wanted to do was accommodate a player whom he considered a pain.
œI said, ‘You’re (expletive) catching today,’ Towers said. œ ‘Theo (Epstein) ain’t paying you. I’m paying you.’ . . . Then in the worst way, I wanted to trade him to the Yankees. In the worst way.
After Boston’s loss to Minnesota tonight, Mirabelli was on NESN’s postgame show and was asked which part of Towers’ comments surprised him the most.
“Other than everything that was quoted? It’s an assasination of my character for unprovoked reasons. I’ve been gone for 5 months. To just randomly come after Doug Mirabelli…for what reason? It’s as unprofessional as you can get, especially coming from someone at the helm of a huge organization. I had a hard time concentrating on the game…it’s something I truly believe was undeserved.”