In about the best baseball-related thing to happen since Adrian Beltre head rubs, Tim Wakefield and Kevin Millar have decided to make a reality show about knuckleballs.
Specifically, "The Next Great Knuckler" will pit quarterbacks John Booty, Josh Booty (who actually has 30 MLB plate appearances with the Marlins), David Greene, Ryan Perrilloux, and Doug Flutie (no, seriously) against one another as they try to pick up the enigmatic knuckler. The winner will get an invite to Spring Training with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
First off: why the Diamondbacks? Aside from R.A. Dickey, the Sox are basically the knuckleball team. Oh, sure, Wake finally decided to hang up his cleats and move on to...reality television, apparently...but they've grabbed Charlie Haeger and Steven Wright, and Charlie Zink came up with the Sox before disappearing. It's kind of our thing.
With that out tof the way, though, it is kind of an interesting idea. The knuckleball is the thing players who clearly can't make it as traditional players turn to time after time in a last-ditch attempt to find some path towards the major league. It works so differently from any other offering with its "live and let fly" approach to control and no real need for velocity that it's not entirely clear what the requirements are to be a knuckleball pitcher. It almost makes you believe that one of these guys (except Flutie, since he's 50 and, as far as I know, quite wealthy) could end up surprising.
Almost. Let's be honest here: that Spring Training invite is a glorified trip to Arizona with backstage passes, and these guys are in it either for fun or an appearance fee. But hey, for something that almost had to have come from the mind of Kevin Millar after a few beers, this actually has some potential. If you've got nothing better to do next Wednesday night at 9:00, you can find it on the MLB Network.