|Sanguillen tries to give Pirates' Paulino a catching lesson|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 22 February 2008 11:30|
Manny Sanguillen, who played for the Pirates' World Series champions in 1971 and 1979, was watching Ronny Paulino struggle to block and scoop low pitches during a drill.
Sanguillen watched quietly, as he has for most of camp, then walked out in front of the plate. He asked for a glove and mask and, despite being 63 and only months removed from major surgery on his right knee, asked to catch a pitch.
When it came low, he could barely bend, even though he tried. The ball skipped away, and he tried again - still in vain - to reach it.
When he asked for another pitch, the Pirates' staff stepped in to stop it.
``I wish I brought my regular gear,'' Sanguillen said later. ``I just wanted to show everybody that you have to get the ball like an infielder. You have to go down and get it. Read the rotation. I used to practice third base, and I learned how to move my feet quickly and watch the ball into my glove.''
Paulino and Pittsburgh's other catcher, Ryan Doumit, have been receiving extra defensive instruction throughout camp, but it is likely nothing got their attention quite like this.
``How about Manny?'' Paulino said.
Doumit said: ``He played back in the era when men were men. ... He would have gone out there without a mask unless we'd given it to him.''
The Pirates declared early in the offseason that Paulino was their No. 1 catcher.
Doumit's status is less certain. He could be the backup catcher, he and Paulino could platoon, or Doumit could go to the outfield to keep his bat in the lineup while another backup catcher is found.
Sanguillen said he believes in both players.
``I think they can do the job,'' he said. ``But you have to work for it.''
Sanguillen is one of four former Pirates in camp as instructors. The others are Bill Mazeroski, Kent Tekulve and Bill Virdon. Also, Chuck Tanner, the manager of the 1979 championship team, was hired this offseason as a special assistant and is in camp.
Notes: Reliever Byung-Hyun Kim, who agreed to terms with the Pirates Wednesday on a one-year contract, had his signing delayed another day. Now it is expected Saturday.... Reliever Damaso Marte threw a 29-pitch bullpen session, his first pitching of the spring after a bout with the flu.... Owner Bob Nutting attended the workout for a second consecutive day.