Captain returns to camp
It has been a rough few days for Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek, who left camp late last week because of an illness to his father.
The catcher returned on Wednesday, but it might take him a couple of days to get back into the swing of things. He did have one nice diversion — pictured below by Brita Meng Outzen — when he got to participate in the eremonial first pitch with his friend Nomar Garciaparra, who officially retired as a member of the Red Sox earlier in the day.
“Yeah, it’s a weird feeling. It’s just a different feeling,” Varitek said. “A little tired. I’m tired. I was tired today. it’s been a stressful, straining week, whatever, five or six days, whatever long it’s been. Guys have been great. Had a ton of text messages from [general manager] Theo [Epstein] down to [manager Terry Francona] down to [catching instructor Gary] Tuck down to my teammates. Family has been great. Friend support in the area has been awesome. I’m just very thankful that many people have reached out.”
Varitek, respecting the wishes of his mother, is keeping his father’s condition private at this time.
The Red Sox have given the catcher their blessing to do whatever he needs to from a family standpoint. Varitek’s parents live in the Orlando area, which is less than three hours from the Red Sox’s training base in Fort Myers.
Varitek has played in just one exhibition game this spring — the exhibition contest against Boston College on March 3. He said that he might be game-ready by Friday, though he could wait for Saturday when Boston has a home game.