Even the players want Varitek back!

It appalls me that some Red Sox fans don’t want Jason Varitek back. Perhaps they are those lowly bandwagon fans who only look at the statistics and don’t realize that there are certain players whose impact goes much beyond the box score. 

It goes beyond hardcore fans who want Jason Varitek back on the Red Sox. Even fans of opposing teams know that Jason Varitek belongs on the Red Sox. I have said before how much of an impact Jason Varitek is on the pitchers, and I’m not just making that up. 
Jason Varitek and Jonathan Papelbon.jpg
Upon signing with the Red Sox, Jonathan Papelbon said, “There are certain players in Major League Baseball that you take a gamble on, whether it’s age or whether it’s money… Varitek is, no question about it, in that category… Whether it’s a money issue, or whether it’s an age issue, there’s not question in my mind, you make a gamble with a person like that. It’s that simple to me.”
Papelbon has spent his entire career with the Red Sox, so he has only known one catcher, Jason Varitek. 
Jaosn Varitek and Curt Schilling.gif
If that’s not enough for you, Curt Schilling, who joined Boston in 2004, had some stuff to say. Curt has been around a little bit longer than Papelbon, so he’s definitely speaking some words of wisdom. Schilling speculated that the Sox have invested roughly $45 million dollars in its pitching staff for next year and “if your catcher doesn’t work with your pitching staff, it’s not one player that has a down year, an off season,  it’s potentially the entire staff”. He then said that he’s “very comfortable in saying that there is very little chance that every guy on that staff won’t be better if he’s back next year. He’s the kind of guy that makes you as good as you can be in each start”. 
The most significant quote though was, “Jason knows us as good, if not better, than we know ourselves” 
I don’t remember the exact quote, but I do remember Kevin Youkilis saying that it would be a huge blow not to see Varitek back at Spring Training. 
Jason Varitek and Theo Epstein.jpg
It seems like Theo and the front office have finally listened to the pleas of fans, and the pleas of the players themselves. As we know a contract offer has [finally] been made. That took a while after the whole arbitration mistake. Varitek wants two years, and he could finally be getting his wish. The contract could guarantee two years, or Varitek could attain two years by having a certain number of at-bats. It’s like those incentive contracts that we gave John Smoltz and Brad Penny. Those are the best type of contracts. Instead of just throwing the money at people and potentially getting disappointed (like the Dodgers and Andruw Jones), that money should certainly be attainable, but only by certain means. 
Hopefully Varitek would be willing to accept a lower payroll. His hopes for something around $10 million dollars were diminished upon declining arbitration. I really find it interesting that apparently he didn’t know that by declining arbitration that the receiving teams would have to relinquish two draft picks. Does that sound like the captain of the Red Sox? Are players really that blind to the business side of baseball.
I blame Scott Boras. I have no warrant for that, but I blame him. 
Sean Casey and David Ortiz.jpg
Another player announced his retirement. This time it was Sean Casey. Great, our new team just lost it’s first baseman (just kidding). 
He only played 12 major league seasons, the majority of which he spent with the Reds. This doesn’t mean he’s done with baseball by any means. He signed on for some kind of job with the MLB Network. Could he be another analyst? I could definitely see him up there. 
Did you realize that with the abundance of unsigned free agents out there that you could form a pretty good team? If you didn’t see the entry, all you have to do is scroll down. If you could name it, what would you name it, and which city would it be in? 
John smoltz autograph.jpeg
I found out yesterday that my friend’s Dad used to be a partner in owning the Savannah Sandgnats. Unfortunately, she did not realize the significance in owning an autographed John Smoltz ball (I’m the one with the Jacoby picture in the back),or sitting on his lap for that matter, or owning a signed World Series ball. Regardless, her father has agreed to let me interview him for this blog.
Savannah Sandgnats.jpg
So, if you could ask a former minor league baseball owner any question(s), what would you ask?

22 Comments

Elizabeth – it is those fly-by night fans who don’t understand the game who don’t want Varitek back! You and I (and Youk & Pap & Schill – boy are WE in good company!) know how important it is to have our Captain back. But I’m feeling the love! Get the brownies ready to bake and I’ve got the fruit basket company on speed dial!

What would I ask a former minor league owner? How you do deal with the emotions of having to tell a player that their dream is over and they won’t be continuing in baseball?

Keep the faith Elizabeth – I have my candle lite to the baseball gods!

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com

I really hope Varitex comes back. I think Casey will be good because he played with a bunch of those guys. My questions would be . . .
- Did any good players play on the team when they were in the minors?
-How did the team do when you owned it.

That’s all I can think of.

Bob, http://bostonsports.mlblogs.com/

Julia: I’m feeling it this week too! I’m anticipating the moment I see ‘Jason Varitek has signed with the Red Sox’. Nice question too!

Bigpapi72: I’m feeling Varitek comin’ back this week. Nice qeustions!!

-Elizabeth

Elizabeth – add Manny Delcarmen to the list – he was just on the local news saying that we need Jason back!

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com

Adam Dunn can play first!!
Of course, he isn’t very good at it, but better there than in the outfield.
http://imbringingdiamondback.mlblogs.com

Everything is Scott Boras’s fault, I’ve decided. Even when it has absolutely nothing to do with him. Because he’s the devil. Hopefully Varitek signs soon because, although I’m still slightly bitter that he went to the All-Star Game last season even though AJ was having a much better season at that point, my favorite Red Sox fans here on MLBlogs shouldn’t have to suffer anymore. :) As for what to ask a former minor league owner…what does it feel like to see your former players making it in the Majors?
Jen
http://ajroxmywhitesox.mlblogs.com

Julia: I wish I had local Boston news to see those awesome updates!!

Caroline: Alright, we have the first base problem solved.

Jen: Perhaps AJ can start at the All-Star game this year. Great question :)

-Elizabeth

Sounds like it’s only a matter of hours (maybe even minutes?) until Varitek is signed. I really hope you get your wish and he’s back. The rivalry wouldn’t be the same without him. My question to the former minor league owner would be: What marketing techniques did you find useful in boosting attendance? My brother-in-law was part-owner of a minor league team several years ago, and they were constantly struggling to get people to come to the park.

- http://janeheller.mlblogs.com

Jane: Thanks, I hope you’re right!! You’re absolutely right that the rivalry wouldn’t be the same without him. After all, he did start that fight in ’04. Nice question!

-Elizabeth

Looks like this is a matter of pride for the captain. The ball’s in his court (if I may mix my sports metaphors), so he’ll need to step up to the plate to make a decision.

Steve T.
http://soxblog.mlblogs.com

Steve: Nice mixture!! Both in the same sentence, that’s pretty impressive. If he passes up this offer, I don’t know who else is going to make him one.
-Elizabeth

I’ve been saying all along that if Varitek plays in ’09, it’s only going to be with the BoSox. It will happen, I know it!

If I could ask a former minor league owner any question, it would be: what was the wackiest promotion you’ve ever done for a game? (the minor leagues are notorious for weird promotions, you know)
They used to have dime beer night here in Milwaukee for the major league club-until people started throwing up everywhere and getting all rowdy:)

http://thehappyyoungster.mlblogs.com/

Nice picture of you, Liz. I’m impressed. Really, I am.
Anyway, since I can’t leave anything on She-Fan’s blog, I just wanted to say I’m tempted to go out and get her book. (And for the record, SJP looks NOTHING like her. Just me and my two cents…lol)
When you, Julia, etc. get a chance to read my latest blog, let me know something: am I paranoid about this, or just plain bitter?? LMFAO
Someday I’ll tell the story about Don Zimmer playing for the Senators. It’s NOT a typo. It’s true, and I got a picture that’ll PROVE it. (Shocked the hell out of ME, when I noticed it. Group picture of the Senators in ’64.)

Happy: Nice question, and when he signs, you will have officially called it.

NastyNats: Can’t wait for the story!!

-Elizabeth

It looks like Tek will sign by Tuesday :-) Was just roaming through some blogs and seeing if I could find anymore information for my own. Its looking like this so far:

$5MM for 2009
$5MM team option for 2010
$3MM player option for 2010

I like the deal considering had he taken arbitration he would have gotten the full $10MM for this year alone. For more information and updates come check me out Sox fans and other fans alike!

http://newdynasty.wordpress.com

Up to date information not just on the Boston Red Sox, but our up and comers from Pawtucket, Japan, and anywhere else!
Hope to butt heads with many of you soon!

Ellizabeth,
Looks like the Sox have officially made Tek an offer, but i haven’t heard if he’s accepted it or not. Catching is one of the few positions in baseball where intangibles such as leadership are almost more valuable than the numbers a guy puts up, so it’s good to see that the Sox brass has finally come to its senses.

By the way, great interview with Tom over at Rockymountainway. Being a sportswriter is kind of a tough business to get into. but I think you’d be good at it. This blog should definitely help you get noticed, anyway. Good luck!
-Erin
http://plunking-gomez.mlblogs.com

‘New dynasty’: Interesting findings on Varitek, I don’t know if the Red Sox would be cutting his pay roll in half though.

Erin: Catching is probably the only position in which you can truly look at the intangibles, unless you have a captain from a different position. Glad to hear you enjoyed the interview, I hope to get into the Sports Writing business.

-Elizabeth

I hope you guys can get Tek soon!! He will definitely be a great addition to your 2009 team!
http://kaybee.mlblogs.com

Kaybee: Even though the contract has a deadline, I still think it will be soon.

-Elizabeth

“Sandgnats”… now that’s a name! I’d ask him where that came from first of all. Then I’d ask him for season tickets. Can’t go wrong there, right?
–Jeff
http://redstatebluestate.mlblogs.com/

Jeff: LOL, do you even live anywhere near Savannah? I like the name question!!
-Elizabeth

Nope… far from it. The CHI… but still, you could get season tickets (for free) and sell them on eBay at discounted prices… you know, make a little cash for the summer.
–Jeff

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