In the 20 years since I was first called up to the big leagues I’ve played with exactly 2 players who’s presence in the clubhouse carried onto the field. Darren Daulton in Philadelphia, and Doug Mirabelli here in Boston.
Very few players have that ability, and when they have it you know it. 4am landing in Toronto after a sweep, quiet plane, get on the bus for the 40 minute ride to the hotel, dead silence and everyone is wiped. By the time you got to the hotel the entire bus was laughing and the day was behind you. It’s a gift and Doug had it in spades.
He’ll be the first to admit he wasn’t a challenger for the batting title, or a gold glover, but he had a specific job and he was pretty damn good at it.
The hard part of talking about a friend and teammate in this situation is that he is replaced by someone that is now a friend and teammate. Who ever that is, he’ll fit in fine, but the personal side of this is always the worst
He was one of the better friends in all of baseball and I’ll miss him immensely. I know I am not speaking for myself either.
In this market with all that goes on off the field guys like Doug have so much value beyond the 100 or so ABs they get each year, but people can’t quantify that, and many dismiss it.
Your race, religion, background, none of that mattered to Doug, he could and did relate to everyone and was a HUGE piece of the puzzle here over the past 5 years I’ve been here.
To say it was a shock to us would be grossly understating the impact. Guys were still shellshocked today.
By the way Douggie, Youk had a yummy yummy hand in cribbage today, just wanted to pass that along.