If the Captain returns, will he keep his C?

Jason Varitek is one phone call away from putting himself back on the Red Sox’s roster for 2009. He simply has to tell the club he will exercise his $3 million player option.

At the GM Meetings in Chicago yesterday, general manager Theo Epstein made it clear that Victor Martinez will be a full-time catcher, which leaves Varitek playing once or maybe twice a week.

Under that scenario, would Varitek feel awkward keeping the C on his jersey? Knowing how much pride that man has, I think he might pass it on to Pedroia or simply give up his captainship.

Varitek knows better than anyone how important it is to be in the trenches every day, and my personal feeling is that he might feel sheepish about being a captain with a highly reduced role.

At any rate, Varitek has earned the right to do what makes him comfortable. He has until Saturday to inform the Red Sox if he will accept his option or become a free agent.

Stay tuned.

30 Comments

I realize that he hasn’t, but it feels like Tek has been the “C”aptain forever… I dont know how it would feel to see him in uniform without the “C”… It just feels like its been there all along… Come on Tek-er… make the call!!!

I would be fine with Tek returning if he is willing to accept his reduced role. (Yes, Ellen, it does seem that Tek has been the Captain for quite a long time, even when unofficial). And yes, he has earned the right to retire on his terms, and if he exercises this option, that would be a fine way to do so. (I am also glad Wake is getting to do so). I hope V-Mart will get stronger behind the plate. And while Tek has earned the “C”, Bob made the point that the “C” does need to make its way onto another jersey. I would hope, if Tek does return, that Tek would pass the “C’” on to Youk or Dustin (preferably personally and privately, not making a big deal of it), and tell them by doing so, “This is YOUR team now”. I hope he will.

Did anyone watch the ESPN program “30 for 30: Without Bias”? The “30 for 30″ programs have been VERY good, in this humble peon’s opinion, but it is this one that I thought would be one many of us would watch. The program featured our local news anchor (who was a recovering addict himself), as well as our CLOWN of a mayor, Marion Barry (just tying that name, ACK!).
I followed Len Bias in the DC area for several years, and I was excited to hear see he would come to Boston (I saw the day when he was drafted). I also remember the day he died. I was as devastated as anyone, but someone in the program, in a very matter-of-fact manner, stated that Bias’ death had as big an impact on DC (which is still around 70% Black) as the Kennedy assassinations had on the rest of the country. I don’t think he overstates that case by much.
Ellen and Julia, earlier this year we talked about George Michael, the sportscaster who hosted the syndicated sports program, “The Sports Machine”. (If anyone has seen Costner’s flick, “Tin Cup”, Michael and the Sports Machine make a cameo in the movie). Michael is not interviewed in “Without Bias”, but the local news anchor he teamed with, was. I grew up watching both of them, and I loved the banter the two of them had on the set, esp. when he would discuss pro wrestling, which Vance and the rest of us would call “Rasslin” (OK, here we go again…). Michael was fun to watch do the sports, but the ‘rasslin was a little much. But part of what drew me to watching the news, and which kept the serious news in some perspective, was watching the two of them banter.
Jim Vance, the news anchor, revealed that he had a drug problem back in the days when it was not fashionable to do so. I already had a high respect for him, and I was stunned when he admitted his problem, but the way the situation was handled, where he was able to get treatment and return to another long stretch as a respected news anchor, made my respect for him grow even more. So hearing him discuss Len Bias’ death was even more striking to me–I knew where both had come from.

Ian, It never occurred to me to even think about the “C” on Tek’s uniform. I’m sure it crossed his mind long before many others. You bring up some good points.
(Also, thanks Greg for pointing me to this blog. I look forward to future discussions!)
–Saundra
http://enjoyingtheballgame.mlblogs.com

Thanks GregC1969, that Bias thing was the most depressing thing I have watched in a long time. That said, it was a great show. Just so depressing to think Bird definitely would have had five or six rings instead of 3 if Lenny had kept his nose clean.

Ian, it would have been great if he had kept his nose clean. Not too many REALLY knew what that stuff would do to them, esp. at that time. I wish he had not tried it in the first place! I wish he could have gotten Bird and Co. more rings with us–I was really excited when we drafted Bias. It is interesting to me that we went 20 years without a title after that year, though! Hmmm!…

I hope Tek keeps his captainship. Though his role as an everyday catcher/player is diminishing, he is still a leader and a role model to the younger players. Giving it to Pedroia would be a good idea, but Varitek has been in the game longer and has been in the Red Sox organization longer. Think about it this way, Lou Gehrig kept being the Yankees captain in 1938 even though he rarely played because ALS was taking over. Just a thought for Tek to ponder upon.
-Holly
http://irishsoxkid19.mlblogs.com

I agree to an extent, Holly. I would hope that Tek would continue to exercise leadership, esp. off the field. On the field, though, I would like to see Dustin or Youk be the captain (if there will be an “official” captain at all!), and even more, that Tek would give it to his successor personally. I hope so. GO SOX!

A similar thing has been happening with my favorite soccer team (Monterrey) here in Mexico. The longtime captain, Jesus Arellano was born in Monterrey, has played 13 out of 15 years of his carreer with the team, he even changed his jersey number to 400 when the city turned 400 years old, and while at 36 he could still be playing, several knee injuries have gravely slowed him down, to a point where he’s stated he will retire next June. Knowing his playing time would never be the same, he privately ceded his captainship to Luis Perez, a player eight years younger but equally talented and one who was already a new force of leadership for the team. In this particular case, it turned out to be the right thing to do. Perez has quickly taken over the responsibility of morally leading the team and has proved to be a good man who deserves the distinction. Arellano admits he would have already retired but wants to stay until June in hopes that the team will win one more championship with him on the roster. He rarely plays anymore, but every time Arellano enters a home game in substitution of another player, the crowd gives him a warm standing ovation, and he knows he’s done more than enough just by being there. The end of his career is painfully near, but he’ll leave when he pleases, and nobody will question that.

To all who are serving presently or who have served in the military, esp. those on this blog (Craig and Garry esp.), HAPPY VETERANS DAY!

First – I echo Greg – THANK YOU to all our men and women currently in uniform and to all our Veterans! We owe you so much and thank you seems so inadequate….

Our Captain….I have to agree with those of you who think he will give up the “C” – it means so much to Tek to wear it…I don’t know if there is anyone who really is ready to take over that role. I hope he does come back so he can go out with the “thank yous” he deserves.

Greg/Ian – I too watched the Len Bias program and I remember well when he was drafted. It was just awful when he died – not only because it was another life wasted, but because of the “what ifs” he left unanswered. It was the same way when Reggie Lewis died (I was at Northeastern when he played – we knew then he was going to be big.) we were just left with a lot of unanswered questions.

A million plus thanks to every person who has served or is serving in any branch of the Armed Services of the United States and our allies. Yesterday today and tomorrow. Where would we be without them??
Thank you.

To all soldiers out there overseas…I hope you can come home soon and breathe the air and feel the sunshine. We miss you all.
To all veterans, after seeing Band Of Brothers, I now realize just how hard it was to be a soldier. It’s a tough experience but where would America be without you.
.
It’s been so quiet. Arnie where are you? Bosoxbrian where are you? Gary where are you? Andrew where are you?
We need you back!

Dave – one person who could be back is Billy Wagner- http://www.fenwaywest.com/2009-articles/november/billy-wagner-could-be-back.html

Interesting……

Yes, many thanks to our veterans.
Wagner’s agent indicated not to rule out the possibility that Billy will accept the arbitration offer from the Red Sox. I’d like to have BW back in 2010.
If Billy does come back, please let him finish the inning unless he is shelled or unless you have a closer names Mariano.

Dave, Arnie answered your planet question yesterday… I think Brian is bulking up, getting ready for Spring Training…

Julia. I am quite sure that we are going to see the RedSox mentioned in many many different deals… They will report it (check out the mlbtraderumors website and see how many times on the 1st page the Sox are mentioned)… Theo could say “Hows Matsui doing” and alot of writers (not our Ian, of course!! ), to fill space will say that it means we are interested in him playing for the Sox….
I, for one, am more interested in the places we AREN’T mentioned.. you know how close Theo plays things to the vest, right??? Toronto, Dodgers, LAA….

p-toooey on Matsui!!!!

Ummm….Matsui to Boston?

http://boston.redsox.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20091111&content_id=7653130&vkey=news_bos&fext=.jsp&c_id=bos

Things are already getting weird this off-season!

Hi Nation, from the warmth of the Sunny Southwest! Well now that the Stankees have purchased another trophy we can get on with 2010, no? Okay, so the Sox were in the hunt for the same guys, but that’s the name-o-the-game, right?
This thread about Tek has me in a corner. I’ve worn his jersey year after year forever, it seems, and my wife still has a crush on the Cap, but one thing I’ve noticed through the years (and it could come back to haunt us) is that Sox fans (and please don’t take this negatively) sometimes allow emotional connections with players to cloud their judgement. As much as I’d like to see Tek back, I think he’s better suited as a potential manager/coach and should hang ‘em up. Stick with the Sox and make them a better ballclub by being a leader from the bench. Who wouldn’t like to see him as a successor to Francona? …………………….Back to the emotional connection, I am as guilty as any Sox lover for connecting with one or two specific ball-players and not wanting to see them move on, either into retirement or to another team. I relate very well to the TEAM as a whole and am more than proud to sport their colors wherever I go, even during the offseason. I think that is what makes us special as the “Red Sox Nation” and sets us apart from other organizations. I can honestly say that the fan support is far more loyal to the PLAYERS than other fans display. Yankee fans, for example, can cast a player aside like a dirty dish rag. If they’re losing, they whine and take pot-shots at the “loser-o’-the-day”. Example? A-Roid. Until now, he’s never been accepted by Yankee fans as a TRUE Yankee. WHY NOT? You don’t have to win a championship to be a TRUE Sox player, right? We LOVE our guys, no matter where they come from or where they go. Look at Millar. He’s still one of “us” even though he’s in Toronto (funny how he can’t seem to go anywhere but the AL East!). Pedro? No doubt. Even Clemens is still revered by many. We don’t cut ties easily. I was disappointed to see Masterson go, but look at the result! He’ll do just fine in Cleveland and Victor was a HUGE asset to the team this year and will undoubtedly become a fan favorite at some point. Being a Sox fan can be difficult as well. Look at the reception Gagne got and how that ended up. Penny? Same thing. Smolz just couldn’t get it done, but we gave him a chance right? We welcomed them all and wish them well wherever they play. The connection to these players is a lifetime committment for many Sox fans. Tek has made his mark and will ALWAYS be looked upon as “El Capitan”, even if he moves aside for V-Mart. We all have to make the transition sometime. I welcome him back in whatever role he chooses and wish him the best no matter what.

Matsui… bad bad bad complexion and from what is said an ever growing pornography collection.

Matsui? No thanks. Not into Yankee hand-me-downs. There are better (younger) hitters who can play left if necessary. Bay? I hope he re-signs.

Jim. Welcome back! I have no problem with Tek retiring..But whats the harm in haviong him as the back up catcher?? I dont mind seeing him there either.. my early post on this thread said as much. I also mentioned that him playing only part time could lend itself to him easing into coaching. I would have a harder time seeing him in a different teams uni…
And as far as wishing former players well in their new surroundings?? I do.
With one exception : Johnny Demon. I hope his pinstripe loyalty comes back to bite him right in his overpaid Yankee A*S*S this off season…
Here’s a good joke I read earlier… he’s looking for a 3-4 Year contract at 13 mill per year!!!
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHALOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

jason has excercised his option. Good to have you back Cap’n!!!!

Varitek Exercises Player Option
By Tim Dierkes [November 11 at 3:47pm CST]
3:47pm: Varitek exercised his option to return to the Red Sox, tweets Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe.

Good to have Tek back. Even in a backup role, it is good to have El Capit’an return.
Matsui to Boston? I SURE HOPE NOT! SIGH!

I’m glad to see that Tek exercised his option – having him as backup still allows the team to gain from his experience. Welcome back Captain! And this way he can retire in style! GO RED SOX!!!

Wakefield and Varitek both agreed to deals where they’d get payed less than they had been getting, and maybe less then they could have tried to negotiate for on other teams. This type of loyalty is very rare in professional sports nowadays, and is a real pleasure to see.
I bet you wouldn’t see Jeter or Mariano doing the same!

Actually, Carlos, I suspect we would have seen that from Mariano and Jeter. Perhaps no one else on that team, but I suspect if there were anyone on the Yankees one might say that about, it would be Jeter and Mariano. Good thing for Jeter and Mariano, though, is that they really do not have to test that idea. The Steinbrenners have historically been willing to pony up for those two, in particular, and they probably darn near would have gotten the moon if they’d asked.
In general, though, I think you are right about the Yankees players.
Your larger point is also very well taken–it is nice to see the players who are more loyal to the team than they are to big paydays. Tek tested that idea last year (he is a client of Beam Me Up Scotty). That is one thing I really admired about Mike Lowell, though–he had the opportunity to go to the Phillies (reportedly, anyway) after 07, and stayed with us. I was thrilled that he did.

We finally have a veterans’ memorial! A new park is being constructed in downtown Asheville, and the section that is completed includes a veterans’ memorial. The dedication for the memorial was today. Even though it was wet today, it was exciting to be able to attend. It is LONG overdue in this city. A very good Veterans Day here in Asheville! :)

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