Results tagged ‘ Jason Varitek ’

It’s Crunch Time: Arbitration Deadline

The next important deadline in the world of baseball, general managers must decide by the end of this upcoming Monday whether to extend arbitration to their free agents. Ian Browne explains arbitration pretty well in his report on

Players who are offered arbitration must inform the club of their decision by the end of December 7. Players who accept arbitration become contractually bound to the team for the following season. 


In Jason Varitek’s case, who is the Sox’s only Type A free agent, it is almost certain that Varitek would reject this arbitration offer because he would rather a multiyear deal. This is essentially the motivation for Epstein because should another team sign Varitek (which won’t happen because THEO IS GOING TO RE-SIGN HIM) the Red Sox would receive two draft picks. 
So here’s what I’m wondering:
Does this mean that Theo doesn’t want to re-sign Varitek because he knows that Tek is going to reject arbitration? 
What happens if a player is not offered arbitration? 


The only Type B free agent that the Red Sox have is Paul Byrd, if they offer arbitration to him, the Red Sox would get one draft pick if another team signs him. It is unclear if Byrd would accept or deny the arbitration. If he accepted, it could create a problem because the Sox don’t necessarily have room for him in their starting rotation, so it could very well be that Theo will not offer him arbitration.
As for the club’s other free agents, they are not ranked so even if they were offered arbitration, they rejected and went to another team, the Sox wouldn’t get any draft picks. These “unranked” free agents include: Mark Kotsay, Alex Cora, Sean Casey, Mike Timlin, Curt Schilling, Bartolo Colon, and David Ross. 
Now, the Jason Varitek Situation is becoming more confusing. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens tomorrow. 

Jason Varitek and Carlton Fisk

1099231237_4494.jpgAccording to the power agent Scott Boras, Varitek is not interested in a minor role, he is interested in a full time roll. Last week, Curt Schilling said that he had a conversation with Varitek, in which Varitek said that he might be willing to catch less games, but Schilling isn’t sure if he’s mad about that. Obviously, Varitek doesn’t want a reduced roll, after all, he’s in great shape, and can call games like no one else. Even though I’ve been told not to trust agents (even The Matrix advises us not to), I agree with the example that Scott Boras turns to, Carlton Fisk.ws_fisk_1975_288x235.jpg

 As a fans of the sport, everyone has some degree of respect for the renowned Red Sox catcher. But interestingly enough, when Fisk was 36 (and at this time his Red Sox career was finished and he was playing with the White Sox), he batted a mere .231, sure better than Varitek… but two years later, when he was 38, he batted only .221, only one hundreth of a percentage point higher than Varitek. However, when he was 41, he batted .293. And if you continue to look at his statistics, his batting average continually went up and down, his career batting average was only .269. The guy still got inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2000. The fact of the matter was, he was a great catcher, and was also a captain for the Red Sox. So this is why I think we need to keep Varitek, we don’t just give up on a guy because he has the worst offensive season of his career. 
BDD_pudge_bgfile.jpgWe need to appreciate the fact that he calls the game like no other, and according to Scott Boras there is no other catcher with a higher win-loss percentage starting a game than Varitek. So, yes, I am comparing Jason Varitek to Carlton Fisk, and I think that Varitek is just as capable to have a rebound season. I think that Theo should sign Varitek to a two year deal, and let him play everyday because that’s Varitek’s mentality. He’s not the kind of guy who’s going to sit on the bench when he’s healthy and watch a game go on (unless of course, Wakefield is pitching). The body cannot function without the mind, and a team cannot function without it’s leader. 

The only thing I want for christmas, is Jason Varitek back on the Sox

jasonvaritekhm7.jpgFour years ago, Jason Varitek re-signed with the Red Sox on Christmas eve. The only thing I want for Christmas this year, is for Jason Varitek to do the same thing again. It has been reported that the Red Sox offered Varitek a one-year deal… but Scot Boras, one of baseball’s “power agents”, said that he was unaware of this, in fact, he said that negotiations between Varitek and the Red Sox haven’t even started. Boras believes that a lot of teams are quite interested in Varitek. Theo Epstein himself said “Jason’s an important guy here, and we’ll sit down and explore if there’s a way for him to come back that will help be a positive solution for our catching situation. If there is, I’m sure he’ll end up coming back. If there are obstacles we can’t overcome, sometimes that’s beyond our control. It’s an important one. He brings a lot to the table here, despite not having one of his most productive years. We’ll sit down and talk about it.” The Red Sox are said to favor a deal in which Varitek comes back, but doesn’t play quite as often, so perhaps there could be an acquisition of a younger catcher, who can be developed into an everyday catcher upon Varitek’s depart. Plus, when you have Varitek as a tutor, what could go wrong? The Sox already have a couple young catcher, including Kevin Cash, Dusty Brown, and George Kotteras. MikeLowell.jpg

On another note, what about Mike Lowell? Sure he still has a year or two left on his contract, but his value is very high… so the Sox could get a good deal for him. Personally, I’m opposed to this because I think that Mike Lowell still has great potential. He just got hip surgery, and I’m sure that his rehabilitation process is going well. I definitely have faith that he will have a strong offensive season. Does that mean I’m not interested in Tex? Absolutely not, he seems very interesting, but I think that it’d important to look at the pros and cons of him coming to Boston. 
It’s been over a week, and CC still hasn’t signed with the Yankees, and Hal is getting impatient. He told Sabbathia that this offer won’t last forever. My question is, why hasn’t CC succumbed to the money yet? The truth is, every baseball player follows the money. Sure CC would like to go home to the west coast… or maybe even the national league, but if any other team goes for him, wouldn’t the Yankees continue to drive up the price? It sure seems like Sabbathia is their number one priority. 

I forgot how depressing the offseason is…

Now that baseball season is over, I’m pretty bored. I actually have to do my homework in my room now, not while watching a baseball game. Maybe that explains the sudden escalation in my geometry grade (except for Friday’s test). Ironically, I’m behind on my AP US History reading now. Forget outlining, I’ve just got to finish the antebellum period! 

So I just found out on the MLB Pro-Blog ‘Brownie Points’ that Jason Varitek has been going through a divorce throughout the year. Perhaps that explains his offensive numbers. Even though players shouldn’t let their personal life interfere with their professional life, it’s hard not to. Plus, perhaps he was trying too hard to have a stellar year since it is a contract year. Nevertheless, I think the Sox should re-sign him. Remember JD Drew in 2007 how is offensive numbers were disappointing? Well, I’m pretty sure that his son was ill throughout the entire year, and then in 2008, look at the year he’s had! Wasn’t he player of the month in June or something like that? Maybe Varitek can turn it around next year. You can’t just give up on a guy because he has a down year. 
I also think that Jacoby Ellsbury and Jed Lowrie will do better next year. The problem with Jacoby was that everybody expected him to have an amazing year because of what he did September-October of ’07. But remember all of the amazing plays he made in the outfield? He didn’t have an error all season! It’d be a mistake to let him go. And as far as Jed Lowrie, even though his offensive numbers fell towards the end of the season to about .256, he was pretty solid at shortstop. And Julio Lugo didn’t do much better offensively, and don’t even get me started defensively. Lugo is a nice guy, don’t get me wrong. He threw me a ball after all (and then I started crying of course, I’m so pathetic), but I think we should develop Lowrie into a great player. 
Besides Varitek being a free agent, Curt Schilling also filed for free agency. I think he wants to pitch in the second half of the ’09 season. But, in my opinion, I don’t think anyone is going to sign him. He’s had a great career with the Red Sox, and I remember the look on his face as he walked off the field in ’07, perhaps the last time he pitched for the Red Sox. I think he should just retire, continue his blog, and punch anyone in the face who tries to say that his famous bloody sock is fake. Alex Cora and David Ross also filed for free agency. Alex Cora has been a somewhat important factor in the organization, seeing that he is a utility infielder. Maybe we can use him to get some bullpen depth though? And I’m sure some of you are asking yourself right now, who is this David Ross guy? He was Kevin Cash’s backup catcher (and Cash was Varitek’s back up catcher) so no wonder he didn’t get any action. 
As far as the AFL goes, Clay Buchholz is “regaining his confidence”, but he still has a lot to prove in spring training. He’ll probably be in competition (agian) for the fifth starting spot since Paul Byrd will soon be filing for free agency.
The Red Sox exercised their option on Tim Wakefield, as I expected. Perhaps they’ll use him in the bullpen as they did in 2003. He can go anywhere. Maybe they’ll use him like they did Mike Timlin. 
Zink is also doing well in the minor leagues, so expect to see him in spring training. Also expect Dave Pauley and Chris Smith (at least, I think it’s Chris). Maybe we can use them for bullpen depth. 
Bartolo Colon is basically gone, the Red Sox suspended him when he basically left the team. Whatever, that was probably more of a gain than it was a loss. 
Some good news: The Red Sox are going to remain in Fort Myers for a little while at City of Palms Park, but a new stadium is going to be built by 2012 (the 100 year anniversary of Fenway Park!!! I’m so excited). It’ll probably have a mock green monster, and other similarities to the antiquated, but beautiful park in the great city of Boston. 
As far as free agent pitchers go, I love the idea of Jake Peavy, but the problem is, who do we give up for him? He’s basically the face of the Padres organization. There’s also Derek Lowe, who I’m sure would love to come back to Boston. And I still love that guy, so why not? There’s also AJ Burnett, who appears to be a great pitcher, and I think that he is, but with all of his injuries, it’s hard to know weather or not he is reliable. 
I wish I could debate about this instead of felon disenfranchisement. Why must I listen to the NFL (no, not football, National Forensics League). I might as well drop debate. 

Game 5 is over, it’s time for game 6

As much as it is nice to dwell on the past, the past being Thursday’s epic finale of game 5, we simply can’t. If we focus on the past, not only do we have a lot going on for us, but we have a lot against us too. So the key is to focus on game 6. The key to game 6, in my opinion, is to pretty much disregard the number. Numbers tend to give us really high, or low expectations for people. In Game 3 everyone had pretty much chalked up a win for game Lester because they relied on his impeccable numbers, but it just didn’t happen. So regardless of what Beckett has done this post season, this season, or in post seasons in the back, it’s over, and it’s happened. Right now, Josh Beckett is going to pitch game 6, and I believe in him.I completely trust every decision that Terry Francona makes. He chose to put Coco Crisp in instead of Jacoby Ellsbury, and it worked; so maybe he will do it again, and maybe he won’t. Whoever goes out there tonight, I have faith in him. The Red Sox have all the momentum going into this game because they can carry it from the past, into the present. and hopefully, into the future. Once again, we can’t say: Oh we won game 5! We’re definitely coming back now. No, because remember, if we focus on game 7, then we don’t win game 6. We need to focus on winning each inning, winning every pitch. Josh Beckett needs to focus on communicating with Jason Varitek and executing his pitches properly. I believe that he can come through in the clutch, and I believe that everyone else can too. We’re in another must win situation. It’s going to be epic. 


Let’s not talk about games 6 or 7… let’s talk about game 5

“I mean, I sat in that dugout for a lot of wins this year and took the smiles and the laughs and everything. You hate to sit through a night like tonight. I can’t wait — I won’t bail on those guys. We’ll show up tomorrow and play.” — Terry Francona October 16, 2004– the night the Red Sox were blown out 19-8 by the Yankees and fell into the 3-0 deficit hole. 

“We definitely have our work cut out for us, but I don’t think we should look at it as we’ve got to win three games in a row. We’ve just got to win [Thursday]. If we focus on winning Games 6 and 7 and you don’t win Game 5, it doesn’t matter. I think we really just have to focus on playing nine better innings than they do. If we win, great — we’ll pack it up and regroup and go on to the next day.” — Dustin Pedroia October 16. 2007– the night the Red Sox dropped the third straight ALCS game to the Cleveland Indians to fall into a 3-1 deficit. 

‘Look, we can’t worry about winning four [three] games. We’ve got to worry about breaking it down to nine innings, and then breaking it down further to pitch by pitch.”
-Jason Varitek

Everyone knows that the Red Sox have experience, but that doesn’t matter. The past is in the past, and now we are in the present looking forward to the future. We’re not even thinking about coming back, that’s not what we need. As Pedroia says, if you focus on game 6 and seven, then you lose game 5. The captain of the Red Sox, Jason Varitek who has been with the team since 1997, really puts it best. It really comes down to the nine innings, pitch by pitch. In the past, I’ve looked at it game by game, even into the future, and obviously, that’s not the way to go. Jason Varitek said those words in 2004, 2007 and he’s probably saying them again now. Terry Francona, our beloved manager, also has a great mentality. We’ll show up tomorrow, and play, and if we win, then we just go onto the next day and focus on that. One thing at a time. It’s going to be tough, and I am scared out of my mind right now. But I still believe. I believe that we can win without Manny, I believe that we can win without Mike Lowell, I believe that our pitchers will turn it around and do what they’ve got to do, I believe in Jacoby Ellsbury, not just because he’s my favorite player, but because I know that he can do it. I believe Big Papi. I believe in Jason Varitek, and I believe in our entire lineup. I have so much faith. But seeing the Fenway faithful walk out before the game is over is heartbreaking. Have the magical Red Sox lost some of that beautiful mentality? God I hope not. And if we lose, if we lose, then it’s not the end of the world. Manny Ramirez said that last year regarding the Indians situation, and his easy-going attitude is exactly what we need. Seeing people like Jacoby Ellsbury, Big Papi, and Jason Varitek struggle is frustrating, and it is sad for everyone including them because they want to help the Red Sox. So you’ve just got to believe. No matter what, never turn the game off, never turn your back. 
I was thinking about quoting Walt Whitman’s ‘O Captain, my captain’ as a reference to Jason Varitek, but I decided not to. Because after ‘O Captain, my captain’ it says, our fearful trip is done. But our fearful trip hasn’t even started. Right now, Jason Varitek is what is keeping the Red Sox going. I have no idea what’s going to happen tonight, I don’t want to anticipate anything because I simply can’t. All I know is that I truly believe, and I will always truly believe whether we win, or lose by twenty runs. 

Jed Lowrie with a walk off hit

To start off on an irrelevant note, I was unaware of the fact that they put stars around profane language. I’ll have to watch myself seeing that I curse like a sailor. 

Last night’s game was epic so to speak. Jon Lester pitched out of jams and has yet to give up a run in the 2008 post season. Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia both got RBI’s (and with Dustin’s, he also snapped his hitting slump) but it was the eighth inning that almost made me puke my dinner up. Hideki Okajima comes in and walks Teixera and is then taken out. Justin Masterson, the man that the Red Sox have relied on thus far in the eighth inning (postseason that is) came in and gave up two runs. Seeing that he is a rookie in his first postseason series ever and he has been over used, what do you expect? I was sitting on my bathroom floor for five minutes trying not to puke my guts up, I was that nervous.2-2 game four, the Red Sox did not want to go back to Anaheim. . In the top of the ninth, there’s a man on third and Aybar tries to drop a suicide squeeze but misses the bunt so Varitek has the man on third caught! Varitek runs and kind of tackles the man and the out is recorded. When Tek falls to the ground the ball rolls out. Still out! That could’ve saved the game right there. Our captain, leading us to victory as usual.It was the bottom of the ninth inning, and this is what true baseball fans live for. Sitting on the edge of your seats, about to pop a blood vessel Jason Bay hits a double down the right field line and there we have it, a man in scoring position. The next batter is the somewhat useless Mark Kotsay (who groped the umpire earlier in the game if you didn’t happen to witness that awkward moment) and he lined out to the second basemen. Then, the trusty rookie Jed Lowrie comes up. He lined out with the bases loaded the night before and was with a chance to redeem himself. Did he take that chance? Yes, he sure as hell did! He hits another one into right field and Jason Bay is running with his life and he slides across the plate. SAFE!!! GAME OVER! The Red Sox win on a walk off hit by Jed Lowrie! One of only four other walk off hits in major league history hit by a rookie. And the Red Sox are going to the ALCS along with Tampa. See you Friday night folks!