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Oakland Athletics Catcher Derek Norris Looks the Part of Big League Catcher

PHOENIX, AZ - FEBRUARY 27:  Derek Norris #72 of the Oakland Athletics poses for a portrait during spring training photo day at Phoenix Municipal Stadium on February 27, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Paul Francis SullivanChief Writer IJune 21, 2012

Derek Norris, the top catching prospect who was part of the Gio Gonzalez trade, made his major league debut this afternoon.

Look at this guy. He's what a catcher is supposed to look like. Stocky. Tough. Grizzled. Possibly angry. Just in terms of visual aesthetics, this bearded intimidating figure is what you want in a catcher.

In his first game in the bigs, Norris threw out a base stealer in the ninth inning with the scored tied at one.

The A's were criticized for trading away young pitchers like Gonzalez, Trevor Cahill and Andrew Bailey this offseason, reinforcing a cheapskate image without the heroic Scott Hatteberg (see Moneyball)  to redeem the team.

But Josh Reddick, brought over from Boston, already has 15 homers while Bailey has yet to pitch a game in a Red Sox uniform.

Cahill has pitched well for Arizona; however, Jarrod Parker, the main chip in the trade, currently has a lower ERA. The A's other acquisitions from the Diamondbacks have also been performing strongly this season. Ryan Cook has been outstanding in the bullpen, and Collin Cowgill has played well in the outfield.

While Gio Gonzalez is a Cy Young contender in Washington, the A's haul in that deal has been on display in each of the last two games.

Pitcher Tommy Milone threw a complete-game victory yesterday to raise his record to 7-5,  and Derek Norris showed today that he is ready behind the plate.

In the end, the Athletics might very well have the last laugh on all of their trades. However, it does not look like Norris will be laughing at anything anytime soon.

Maybe a straight serious faced actor will play Norris in Moneyball 2.

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