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A bunch of ex quarterbacks to compete for a job as a knuckleball pitcher with the Diamondbacks

Feb 6, 2013, 11:00 AM EDT

Doug Flutie

This is fun and rather random: MLB Network is debuting a new series next week called “The Next Knuckler.” The concept: several former college (and pro) quarterbacks are going to learn to throw a knuckleball under the instruction of Tim Wakefield. The best knuckleballer at the end of the series will get an invite to Arizona Diamondbacks’ spring training. The quarterbacks: John David Booty, Josh Booty, Doug Flutie, David Greene and Ryan Perrilloux.

Don’t count out the old man in this one. I met Flutie last summer and learned that he plays in a pretty hardcore over-30 baseball league. And it turns out that he’s actually really good. It would not shock me at all if he made it.

As for what “making it” means. I assume it’s a Garth Brooks-taking-BP-with-the-Padres-level invitation. Meaning a cameo at Dbacks camp and nothing more.

It’d be far more interesting if they did it at Astros camp. Dudes may actually have a shot at making the team.

The show debuts on Wednesday, February 13th at 9PM.

  1. chill1184 - Feb 6, 2013 at 11:03 AM

    Looks promising

  2. historiophiliac - Feb 6, 2013 at 11:20 AM

    Booty, Booty & Flutie? What?

    • cur68 - Feb 6, 2013 at 11:32 AM

      Yeah, I saw that. How did Lex Luthor miss the chance for a Booty Call joke? That HBT Girlfriend of his must rule the blog with an iron fist.

      • historiophiliac - Feb 6, 2013 at 11:49 AM

        Oh, no. You’re not getting me in trouble again for having a dirty mind. I have NO idea what you’re talking about.

      • cur68 - Feb 6, 2013 at 11:52 AM

        “Booty Call” is dirty? News to me. I thought it had something to do with needing new shoes.

      • historiophiliac - Feb 6, 2013 at 12:01 PM

        Wonder Woman wears boots, you know. I, also, have red boots…but they’re Ropers. :(

      • cur68 - Feb 6, 2013 at 12:04 PM

        My people call them “mukluks”. I wish they wouldn’t. No one reports to a “mukluk call”.

      • historiophiliac - Feb 6, 2013 at 12:26 PM

        For reals!

    • pellypell - Feb 6, 2013 at 12:25 PM

      With names like Booty, I figured this was a casting call for Keeping up with the Kardashians. Imagine my surprise.

      • historiophiliac - Feb 6, 2013 at 1:52 PM

        Imagine the disappointment if you tuned in to watch “Baseball Bootys” and you got those guys.

    • indaburg - Feb 6, 2013 at 3:06 PM

      I don’t know how I missed this post earlier.

      Booty, Booty, and Flutie would be the most awesome name ever for a law firm.

      • historiophiliac - Feb 6, 2013 at 3:08 PM

        Or, you know, a legal drama on Fox. :)

  3. vallewho - Feb 6, 2013 at 11:29 AM

    They should call it “Knuckle-grit, baseball talent not necessary”.

  4. larrytsg - Feb 6, 2013 at 11:36 AM

    I definitely would NOT count out the old man, Flutie. I mean, he was the first guy in like 40 or 50 years to drop kick an extra point in the NFL. So I can definitely see him being a player in the knuckleball thing. Plus, with Jamie Moyer seemingly retired, it would restore my definition of youth in thast Flutie is 2 years older than me!

  5. illcomm - Feb 6, 2013 at 12:02 PM

    Craig. you should go and be the knucklehead reporter for NBC. wait, don’t u own that title already.

    • historiophiliac - Feb 6, 2013 at 12:13 PM

      If you’re going to be mean, you have to be funny. Mean AND not funny don’t work. To review:

      OK:

      Smart & funny
      Smart & dull
      Mean & funny

      Not OK:

      Mean & Not funny

      • paperlions - Feb 6, 2013 at 1:35 PM

        Also not okay:

        Ochre sweaters on a wax vampire

      • historiophiliac - Feb 6, 2013 at 1:49 PM

        Boooo!

        /throws peanut shells

      • paperlions - Feb 6, 2013 at 3:03 PM

        Hey, what happened to the popcorn?

      • historiophiliac - Feb 6, 2013 at 3:11 PM

        You guys were grossing me out with the 5-second rule eats.

      • paperlions - Feb 6, 2013 at 3:12 PM

        It’s popcorn, that stuff is so light it barely even touches the ground. :-)

      • historiophiliac - Feb 6, 2013 at 3:14 PM

        Gah, football fans!

  6. jwbiii - Feb 6, 2013 at 1:08 PM

    Will they have a bullpen council at the end of every episode where someone gets voted off the mound?

  7. Matthew Pouliot - Feb 6, 2013 at 1:23 PM

    For those that don’t remember, despite being a pretty terrible player in the minors, Josh Booty saw some time in the majors with the Marlins from 96-98, going 7-for-26 with four RBI. He was the fifth overall pick in the 1994 draft before washing out and going to LSU.

    • cur68 - Feb 6, 2013 at 1:30 PM

      So there WAS a Booty Callup?

      • historiophiliac - Feb 6, 2013 at 1:50 PM

        Major Booty? Minor Booty? OMG!!!!

      • cur68 - Feb 6, 2013 at 1:55 PM

        I feel like we’re working on the title for a Wayans’ Brothers movie script.

  8. paperlions - Feb 6, 2013 at 1:38 PM

    If a former football player (even a QB), gets a tryout for a Kirk Gibson managed team, doesn’t he have about a 90% chance of making the final roster? The grit, the hustle, the toughness, the go-through-a-brick-wall attitude…..they really should have done with with former linebackers learning how to catch.

    • historiophiliac - Feb 6, 2013 at 3:01 PM

      That’s a t-shirt post, bro.

      • paperlions - Feb 6, 2013 at 3:04 PM

        You know it.

  9. mybrunoblog - Feb 6, 2013 at 1:49 PM

    Jim bouton is waiting for his phone to ring.

  10. chris728 - Feb 6, 2013 at 2:07 PM

    Flute is a very good athlete. I’ve played basketball with him on several occasions and he is a fighter. None of the guys on the list strike me as that. My bet is with Flutie

  11. albertmn - Feb 6, 2013 at 7:32 PM

    Flutie is the only guy that played long enough in the NFL that he might have enough money to be able to spend extra money and time learning the knuckleball. He could afford to fly in Charlie Hough for extra lessons on the side.

  12. mazblast - Feb 6, 2013 at 10:55 PM

    Does Wakefield get the final say on who has the best knuckler? Or will it be some suit in the MLB office who decides, after consulting with some “ratings expert”?

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