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In praise of Varitek

Discussion in 'Red Sox Fan Forum' started by tedylb, Oct 2, 2008.

  1. tedylb

    tedylb Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    There were several stars last night. Bay, Papi, Jacoby, (What a catch! Speed never slumps.), and of course Lester for a brilliant performance. But to me the player of the game was Jason Varitek.

    Tek took control with his handling of Lester and Masterson, two gifted youngsters who could have easiily lost it until Varitek settled them down, gave them confidence, and called a masterful game.

    I don't care if he's hitting .220. He's one of the smartest and underrated players in the game. As we saw last night, pitching is still the dominant force in baseball. The Sox never had enough until the new management did something about it in the Varitek era. Maybe we'll fully appreciate him when he's gone. Like another smart catcher, Mike Scioscia, the Captain will be a great manager someday.
     
  2. signbabybrady

    signbabybrady Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    #24 Jersey


    V-TEK is the man and he did a good job handling the staff yesterday and all year. Please, Please, Please resign him in the offseason Red Sox.
     
  3. scout

    scout Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    People piss and moan when the Sox lose and Varitek goes hitless or doesn't drive in a run. But there is no one more responsible for the last two World Series titles then Jason. He could bat under 200 in this year's playoffs and still be the most important player on the field. Had Schilling not brushed off Jason's pitch call, he'd probably have caught five no-hitters.
     
  4. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Actually, one could argue that V-TEK should have seven no-hitters already--the four he has, plus Schilling's, plus Devern Hansack's rain-shortened one (which alas doesn't officially count), plus a preseason one involving six different pitchers (ditto).
     
  5. scout

    scout Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    #15 Jersey

    Rain shorted one, I don't remember. How many innings did it go?
     
  6. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #3 Jersey

    5 innings. Hansack got a CG and a SO, but no no-no. :) / :(
     
  7. tedylb

    tedylb Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    Another example of Tek's virtuosity is Daisuke. Here's a guy who led the league in walks and still finished first in BAA and third in ERA. Opponents were something like 0-17 with the bases loaded against him this season. With the language barrier and Varitek's knowledge of the hitters, Tek led DM out of all the trouble he got into to achieve an 18-3 record.

    I'd hate to think of what Daisuke's record would have been without Jason's guidance.

    (Also, a terrific and important bunt by Tek down the first base line last night.)
     
  8. Boston Boxer

    Boston Boxer U.S. Air Force Retired PatsFans.com Supporter

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    i would have him back in a second if the price is reasonable...but his agent is Boras, and he will be going after his last big contract. It looks like we will have to over pays if we want him back...kind of like the Yankees did with Posada
     
  9. 363839

    363839 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    This a great thread for a great player.
    Ever since Tek's arrived the Sox have been very competitive.
    As another testament to his handling pitchers, I've been a fan of the Sox since the Yaz years but I never saw a no hitter(pretty sure).
    Tek has caught what 4 or 5.
    2 World Championships.
    Yeah, Sox got to resign him.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2008
  10. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Well, they need to resign him and develop his replacement. Even Tek will admit he won't be around forever.

    To paraphrase the above, he officially has an MLB-record four, had Schilling blow a fifth on the very last batter (thanks, Curt :rolleyes:), and has two that don't count (one preseason, one rain-shortened).
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2008
  11. ausbacker

    ausbacker Brady > Manning. PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I'm guilty of being down on Tek with his batting this season, but his catch play calling is outstanding. When it matters most, he seems to deliver, something we should all not forget.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2008
  12. tedylb

    tedylb Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    The way I see it, these are the plusses and minuses of re-signing Tek:

    Neg: He'll be 37 next season, is not the hitter he was a few years ago (especially from the left side), and he'll need more rest. And his agent is Boras.

    Pos: A hitting catcher is one of the toughest finds in sports. Tek knows his pitchers and opposing batters better than anyone in MLB. His staff and teammates love him.

    Even though he's on the downside of his career, Jason will draw plenty of interest in the FA market, which Boras will exploit to the max. Here's hoping he'll take a hometown discount and help to develop a replacement. Maybe $15 mil for 2 years? I don't know if this is realistic. But I do know finding another catcher with his leadership skills and intangibles will be a difficult task.
     
  13. tedylb

    tedylb Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    After what he showed against the Angels, is there anyone who doen't want the Captain back?
     
  14. TomBrady'sGoat

    TomBrady'sGoat 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    Um, me. I'm fine with him back for another year or two, but they better find someone to take over in 3 years or fewer.

    I posted this in the ALDS MVP thread, but it seems more fitting here:

     
  15. tedylb

    tedylb Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    OK, Goat, Tek isn't perfect. But he made the plays he had to for the Sox to win the Series. As Buck Martinez said, Jason was crossed up on the passed ball. And he got the big out on the squeeze. I thought his pitcher management was terrific in the 4 games, and he got a key hit in game 4 too.

    I said I'd like to have him back for two years to groom his replacement, and help bring another title to Fenway. Do you have a better catcher either in the organization or the free agent market? There seems to be a lot more demand than supply for a catcher of Tek's caliber.
     
  16. TomBrady'sGoat

    TomBrady'sGoat 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    Here's my problem with Varitek: I can't stand how any mistake he makes is excused and how everything that goes right gets attributed to him. Even when he's playing crappy he gets excused with the "he handles the pitchers so well" mantra. Why can't the man simply get credit only when he deserves it?

    You didn't hear it nearly this often when he was really good. You could point to his stats and performances when extolling his virtues. As his performance has tailed off badly he gets just as much credit but it has mostly morphed into subjective "leadership and experience" praise.

    For instance, I cannot recall the last time I've heard a baseball player praised because he "made the plays he had to for (insert team) to win." What plays were those? If they were routine, isn't he expected to make them? Thinking of this series the only time I can remember Varitek doing anything was his single in game 4. One (non-RBI) single in 4 games isn't very impressive.

    In my opinion Varitek had a poor series (so did Pedroia. players are allowed to have a bad series). He didn't do anything stupid like Vlad but he didn't do much to help either. He wouldn't be anywhere near my top 10 list of players from the ALDS yet people keep giving him credit for the series win.

    As for replacing him, that's admittedly difficult due to the poor quality of catching out there. But you asked if there was anyone who didn't want him back and yes, ideally (meaning Boston has another option) I'd prefer to see a new catcher in Boston. Varitek is only going to continue to get worse and I'd love Boston to improve at the position.

    For instance, I'd trade Buchholz for Salty in a heartbeat (with a benefit of the trade the ability to move on from Tek). Heck, I might let Brown and Kotteras platoon next year. At least that has the possibility of non-suck from the catching position.
     
  17. D-Money

    D-Money In the Starting Line-Up

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    No way.I am not trading Buchholz just yet.I think our coaches have messed around with his mechanics too much.I would give him next year and hopefully he will deliver.As for a new catcher, i cant argue but who is out there?
     
  18. scout

    scout Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    Are you saying a rookie pitcher had it right over a veteran catcher who has caught four no-hitters and has two world championships. Do you understand that everytime Varitek goes on the disabled list the Red Sox tank? Do you understand in the last two world series wins that the biggest reason why the Red Sox won was because the way the games were called from behind the plate. Veritek did not have a poor series. He may not have hit the ball that well, but was brilliant behind the plate. Some teams go with a weak hitting shortstop because they are so valuable. The Sox can have Jason hitting poorly because he brings more to the table then any other position. BTW, he's starting to hit.
     
  19. TomBrady'sGoat

    TomBrady'sGoat 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    Salty is a premier catching prospect. I would have traded Buchholz for him last year before he struggled so I'm not being reactionary. You have to give up quality to get quality, and Boston has depth at pitching and nothing at catcher. Since Texas desperately needs pitching while having a ton of depth at catcher (including Teagarden, who they like more than Salty), Salty is one of the few catchers actually available and Boston seems like an ideal trading partner.

    I don't get your point about the rookie pitcher vs. the legend of Tek. Are you replying to my issue with Tek calling for three balls when Masterson had Vlad 0-2? I didn't say anything about anyone "having it right." I said that Tek was an idiot to call for the "stand out his crouch" high fastballs on 1-2 and 2-2 with the tying run at the plate.

    "Every time Varitek goes on the disabled list" is obviously referring to 2006. When Varitek went on the DL in 2006 he was a much better player than he will be next year, so how the team did without him doesn't really tell us much. Boston also lacked a viable replacement and were only able to acquire the corpse of Javier Lopez through a waiver trade. Things wouldn't be so dire with an entire offseason to replace him.

    Oh, and the rest of the offense wasn't as good in 2006. The 2008 Sox were able to survive Tek sucking this year so I don't see why the 2009 Sox would fall apart without him.

    As for the subjective "his gamecalling is invaluable" argument, do you realize that no one has been able to find any statistical correlation between catchers and pitcher performance? Sabermatricians have studied what happens when the pitchers stay the same but the catcher changes. They've also studied when pitchers change teams and work with different catchers. They haven't been able to find any proof that catchers have any effect on pitchers, let alone that they have a huge effect which clearly overrides offensive performance (to be clear - I'm talking about pitch calling and not other defensive aspects of catching).

    I'm not saying he has no effect. I'm saying that if he (or any catcher) had such a large effect it would somehow show.

    Oh, and one last note on Varitek in the ALDS. Lester had an amazing series. Matsuzaka was somewhat disappointing and Beckett was disappointing. How exactly was Varitek "brilliant behind the plate," assuming (as you do) that his pitch-calling is so vital to the success of Boston pitchers?
     
  20. cupofjoe1962

    cupofjoe1962 In the Starting Line-Up

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    We all know that Varitek is not the hitter he use to be.

    All we ever hear is his value to the pitching staff.
    Now his glove is starting to fail him. He has had multiple pass balls in
    this series already.

    He is also far worst than his 220 average reflects.

    His biggest problem with the bat is his situational hitting. Put a guy on third with less than 2 outs and Varitek is the last gut in the world I want to see at bat. He will pop out strike out or foul out. He will do anything, but score the run. All that is needed is a ground ball to the right side of the infield or a fly ball deep enough to score the runner.

    Please do not resign Varitek. Offer him arbitration and if he does not take it, accept the draft pick compensation and move on.
     

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