By: Michael Ganci

Viola: Why Catchers Hate Knuckle “Balls”


One of the funnier people I follow on Twitter is Mets Triple-A pitching coach Frank Viola, who’s originally from East Meadow out on Long Island.

I had the pleasure of interviewing him a couple of years back while I was working at Patch and he was the pitching coach for the Cyclones. He was personable, funny and was proud to work for the New York Mets organization.

On Tuesday, Viola sent out a Tweet that featured a Vine of Tim Wakefield throwing to a catcher. Wakefield, as everyone knows, throws a knuckleball, something we all became very familiar with during R.A. Dickey’s time in Queens. Well, in this particular Vine, the catcher’s balls do truly get knuckled.

Every man who watches that winces for a second. As a former catcher myself (one time all-star due to my dad being an assistant little league coach) I can sympathize. Catchers take a beating, and with a pitch as unpredictable as a knuckleball, shots in the nuts are bound to happen. That’s why the cup was invented.

Former CY Young pitcher Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers got a kick out of the tweet by Viola, so he shared a response.

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Put some ice on it kid, that’s going to hurt for a while.

About Michael Ganci

Michael Ganci is the Co-Founder of the Daily Stache, along with Matthew Falkenbury. Since 2008, Ganci has eat, drank and dreamt all things Mets, and he'd have it no other way. Feel free to follow him on Twitter at @DailyStache.

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