I also noticed this adorable catcher, Carlos Ruiz, in 2008 and 2009 who seemed to fly under the radar all the time. He quietly called the pitches and at certain times in the season could really be a clutch player. I started to follow his moves back then and on any given day the Phils played, I'd be over my laptop typing (errr, screaming) "CHOOOCH!" into my FB status whenever he'd make a killer play or hit. Doc's no hit game he credited to Ruiz...and many other well played games. Who doesn't remember the commercial with Doc and the blow up Chooch doll promoting the start of last season? The two were a force last year and I really credit both of them for being such class acts but Doc especially for elevating Ruiz to a new place of respect.
Here we are in 2012 and I broke down this April and got myself a Chooch jersey. I'd had a tee shirt and his bobble head but not a Jersey. It was a long time coming. Like I said, I was never a fan of the sport...or any commercial sport for that matter. And frankly, I don't do jerseys. It's a look I never liked nor identified with. I still don't. It conjures up images of starter jackets, hot shorts, Lee Press On Nails, hair with bad roots and bo-bos. But I wanted something more official than the Chooch tee. I wrestled with this decision for years. SO conflicted. It's not my style at all. When I finally made the decision and sprung for it, I vowed to keep it indie in spirit and style and took a pic with Instagram and said, "Made him wait 3 years. Had to know my feelings were real, ya know?" Word.
And here we are this season with a pathetic offense and some of our ace pitchers looking like they are losing their focus and who is playing like an ace? My man. Ruiz is killing it every night he's out there. He's had more homers this spring than all of last season and more RBIs. For the first time in his career, he hit 4th in the line up last night. Now, he's been playing well and totally deserves all this attention and reward if you will. But if our offense were actually bringing their A game, he'd be further down on the line up, but no doubt still playing great.
Here are some of my favorite Chooch pics I've found over the years. My little curated Chooch gallery if you will.