Thursday, November 12, 2009

Where Else But Boston?

Jason Varitek, who will be 38 this coming April, took the full five days he was allotted to decide he'd exercise his player option for $3 million and will be back with the Red Sox in 2010.

But let's face facts. What other choice did Tek have?

He wasn't going to take a cut in pay and go somewhere else, where he wasn't even guaranteed being a starter.

No one, and I mean no one, was going to give him that kind of money, especially to be a backup catcher. And that's what the Red Sox captain is right now. Nothing more than a backup to Victor Martinez.

He didn't start any of the Red Sox postseason games in 2009. Teams ran wild on him last season. (Remember the Texas Rangers and their glorified track meet last summer when they swiped eight bases off him in one game?) He threw out just 16 runners in 2009. 108 stole off him.

Forget Tek's "intangibles," like how pitchers like throwing to him. The arm isn't there, and the bat isn't either. Varitek hit just .209 in 2009.

His days as a starter are now over. He'll be catching Josh Beckett every so often, to give Martinez a break. He's been a great captain and handled himself with professionalism. But his next stop should be in the coaching ranks, and Peter Gammons once said that MLB players voted him one of the players most likely to become a manager one day.

One last go around in 2010, and then I hope Jason Varitek retires as a Red Sox. Father Time catches up with everyone, and he's right now he's knocking on Tek's door.

BTW, I put no stock whatsoever in the rumors that just popped up about Hideki Matsui. The Red Sox would have to move David Ortiz to make it happen, as Matsui is strictly a DH, and I just don't think that would be possible.


Rick said...

Before I say anything too negative about Varitek I definitely want to say thanks for the great Red Sox career. As of now I consider him an average at best backup but with his "player-coach" attributes I feel fairly good that he is back for his last year. Maybe playing less will help his productivity slightly

Matt said...

38 is 266 in catcher years.

The Omnipotent Q said...

I feel the same way, Rick. Tek has been a great asset to the Red Sox, and as a coach he may become an even more valuable one as time goes on...

Peter N said...

I also agree with you and Rick, JQ. 'Tek will be fine as a "twice-a-week" guy and V-Mart will hit at or near .300. Ya can't argue with that. Now what about left field?? HMMMM.

I wrote a post a few days ago that said there was no fit for Matsui in Boston. He can't patrol the Green closed.

As always, love your blog, John.

SoSock said...

I have always been a huge fan of Tek's. Of course, I have a soft spot for catchers period. Nonetheless, even I realized after we picked up Martinez that Tek had no business playing on anything more than a limited basis as a back-up, and often I got frustrated at Tito for starting him late in the season when I felt we should have been more aggressively pursuing the division title. I hope he hangs up the cleats after this season becuase I would love for him to retire from the Red Sox club. And, unlike some other players, I think this would serve him best as well. I doubt anyone would pay him much more than he would make as a coach to be their back-up catcher, especially if there's not a marked improvement in his numbers.
Thanks for all the geat games called Cap'n.
And please, ANYONE but Matsui - I despise that guy.

SoSock said...

ummm - great, not geat.
typing impairment strikes again

The Omnipotent Q said...

Thanks for the kind words as always, Peter. I think Tek realizes that the end is fast approaching and I think he also wants to remain with the Red Sox when that end arrives. (The fact that he can't get anywhere near $3 mil from anyone else makes that choice easier.) It's too sad to see guys who've spent an entire career with one team move on to another just to try and hang on (Dwight Evans comes to mind).

Matsui isn't a good fit for the Sox, SoSock. Papi isn't going anywhere and Shemp can't play the OF...

GIANTS FAN said...

Going to add you right now. Take care.

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