As I was driving to McCoy today, my cell phone rang. I checked the caller I.D. (greatest invention ever!) and it was my old broadcast partner Dave Jageler. I answered it anyway and caught up with the radio voice of the Washington Nationals. Jags was in D.C anticipating his look at Major League history, a bird’s eye view as Randy Johnson was scheduled to go for his 300th career win for San Francisco. “It seems every time something big happens, it comes against us (The Nationals). Barry Bonds’ 755th, Manny Ramirez’ suspension came when we were in L.A. and now this. We’re only 14-36, but we have seen some big things.” Jageler who was with the PawSox in 2005 also called to tell me about the new pitching coach in Washington. Steve McCatty, a former pitcher with Oakland, a former teammate of ex PawSox hitting instructor Mark Budaska, was promoted to hopefully bolster a young, and not very good pitching staff. When McCatty was in the I.L. as a coach, his club won a game at McCoy. The star of the game was outfielder Pedro Swan. At home, I conduct the post-game interview on the field. Unsure if Swan spoke English, I tapped McCatty on the shoulder and politely asked- “Does Swan speak English?” You want to try to avoid a potentially uncomfortable situation with a player who might not speak English that well. McCatty looked at me with disgust and blurted out- “He’s a f******* American!!” When I asked Budaska about McCatty, he laughed it off. “Buda” later relayed to him exactly what I thought of him (Which wasn’t very much) Four or five years later, Jageler approached McCatty to introduce himself. He remarked that the two had met at McCoy years earlier. McCatty looked at Jags and said “Pawtucket, the radio guy there hates me!” He proceeded to tell the story verbatim. At least he’s honest. After I told this story on the air, Dan told me he ran into McCatty at a golf course in Ohio last summer. McCatty told him the same thing.
Sadly, all the mustaches are gone. Billy Traber was the last holdout, he shaved the last day in Indianapolis. Most of the Pawtucket relievers had grown the mustaches as a fun thing. Daniel Bard was apparently the instigator. Traber bemoaned the fact that Bard shaved when he was promoted to Boston. When I asked “Trabes” why he shaved, his reply was short and sweet. “Mustache May” was over.