The Arizona Diamondbacks are going to be part of an incredibly strange reality television show, in which old, former college quarterbacks compete to see who can throw the best knuckleball, and earn the chance to pitch for the D-backs in spring training.
Imagine one of the contestants, 50-year-old Doug Flutie, wearing a Diamondbacks uniform, and tossing a knuckleball to Josh Hamilton in what's supposed to be a semi-legitimate spring training game.
The other candidates involve the Booty brothers, John David (USC) and Josh (LSU) -- Josh actually played professional baseball at one point -- as well as David Greene (Georgia) and Ryan Perrilloux (Jacksonville State).
Of course, they'll learn the art of the knuckleball from a man with a career 4.41 ERA who received Cy Young votes one year (1995) -- Tim Wakefield.
According to a Diamondbacks press release, this show -- The Next Knuckler -- is going to start airing on Wednesday, and will have appearances from knuckleballer R.A. Dickey, and for some reason, Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Also, a 15-year-old girl.
Here's the reasoning for participating, from D-backs President and CEO Derrick Hall: "With a knuckleball, you never know what kind of success a pitcher will have and that's part of the intrigue for our franchise to take part in this reality show."
So, if you see Doug Flutie pitching for the Diamondbacks this spring training, you'll know why.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.