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Chooch is where the heart is

If you read one article this week (this year?), read this one.

In case you live under a rock — or in New York, where Derek Jeter is stuck in the news cycle like a day-old Taco Bell burrito — then you've at least heard about this week's Sports Illustrated.

Our regional cover features the man, the myth, the legend — Senor Octubre himself — Mr. Carlos Ruiz with the title, "The Ace Receiver."
The Phillies catcher is profiled in great depth and detail by former
Philly Daily News scribe Gary Smith. It's a must, must, must read.

In it, Smith paints the portrait of a player that almost quit on
baseball in the minor leagues, but pressed on and dedicated his career
to the memory of his father. Ruiz, aka Chooch, has become one of the
finest defensive catchers in the game, something he takes immense pride
in. He also takes full responsibility for the success of the Phillies'
starting rotation.

"When I am catching," Chooch says, "it is not two
people out there — a pitcher and a catcher. It is one person. It is my
fault if something goes wrong. Whatever is happening to him is happening
to me."

Apparently, Chooch also does impressions of just about everyone on the
Phillies' roster. Well, almost everyone. He won't dare mimic Roy
Halladay. But that's understandable.

OK, enough talking about it. You need to ... Go. Read it. Now.

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