February 29, 2012

No Country for Old Men

With the retirement of Tim Wakefield... comes the retirement of Jason Varitek.

I mean the past few years his performance at the plate has been awful and the reason the Red Sox kept him around was his defensive abilities at catcher. He was basically Wakefield's own personal catcher, so there isn't a whole lot of use for him anymore in the lineup. But that was all in the recent past. If you look back further, he was a great player for the Sox.

Here's things he can put on his resume:
-Three time All-State
-Three time Golden Glove winner
-Three time Silver Slugger
-Only the third team captain in Red Sox history
-2004 and 2007 World Series Champion.

Yeah I think he's good.

Here's a snippet of the general "praise for a player who retired" story.

“He was just involved with everybody,’’ Buchholz said. “If you ever needed advice about anything - hitting, pitching, catching, whatever - he was the guy. If he didn’t know the answer, he would find out for you then sit down with you and let you know.’’

From every corner of the clubhouse yesterday, players praised Varitek after hearing that the 15-year veteran would announce his retirement tomorrow at JetBlue Park. They knew it was coming, Varitek having turned down the Sox’ offer to come to camp on a minor league contract. But that didn’t lessen the impact of the news.

“I loved working with him,’’ said Josh Beckett. “I never had a catcher before that I felt like cared more about wanting me to be successful even before he wanted to be successful.

“He’s going to be missed a lot, in the clubhouse and on the field.’’

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