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Greed is god

Posted by Chad Finn, Globe Staff November 13, 2008 05:59 AM

You probably won't believe me by the time you arrive at the final syllables of this piece, but it is the truth as I know it: There's little satisfaction to be found in criticizing Jason Varitek.

Through his 11 full seasons with the Red Sox, which coincide with the franchiseís modern Golden Age, there has been much to admire about the catcher and captain. He occupies a meaningful place in Red Sox history, having caught four no-hitters and backstopped a pair of world champions. His smell-the-glove beatdown of Yankees narcissist Alex Rodriguez stands as a pivotal and defining event from the emancipating 2004 season. And it does not hurt that his persona and approach fall somewhere between stoic and heroic. With his scrub-brush haircut and impossibly square features, heís an artistís rendering of what a Red Sox catcher ought to look like, just as Carlton Fisk was a generation ago.

In many ways, he is our Derek Jeter, though the Yankeesí calm-eyed, fist-pumping captain is obviously superior in talent and production. They both have extremely recognizable profiles as central figures in baseballís marquee rivalry. They both are greatly respected by their peers. They both loathe A-Rod. And one more commonality: When it became clear that the tangible measures were now suggesting that the player had significant flaws, they both had a well-stocked army of vocal and oblivious supporters who began clinging to the flimsy concept of ďintangiblesĒ as a vague means of denying the erosion of their idolís talent. The emperor has no clothes ó and in Jeterís case, the emperor canít go to his left, either.

And you can bet your bobblehead that punching holes in that particular argument carries a tremendous amount of satisfaction. For all of Varitekís alleged intangibles ó handling pitchers, hustling, grit, guts, toughness, chewing glass, spitting nails, squatting, scowling, etc. ó recent events suggest heís teetering on becoming one of the most vile subspecies of professional athletes: an aging, subpar performer who demands the salary and security of a prime-of-career star.

I would pay good money ó though surely not as much as heíd demand ó to read agent Scott Borasí lengthy treatise on why Varitek, a free agent apparently on an outlandish quest for one last jackpot, is an ďinherently valuableĒ player who deserves a lucrative multiyear deal after putting up an OPS of .672 at age 36. There just isnít enough genuinely funny fiction these days.

I guarantee you there is more truth to be found in the following sentence than there is in Borasí entire sales pitch: Varitek cannot competently hit major league pitching now, and he never will again. He hit .225 after the All-Star break in 2007. He hit .220 this season. Ancillary factors have become another easy excuse for Varitekís 2008 decline. Please, spare me the Dr. Phil nonsense that Varitekís personal problems somehow affected his performance this season. If anything, they would affect his mental preparation, not his ability to connect with a fastball traveling above 87 mph. I donít doubt that Varitek knows opposing hitters better than many, if not all, catchers in the American League. Pitchers of great accomplishment and credibility, from Pedro Martinez to Curt Schilling to young Jon Lester, have said as much so often that there has to be some measure of truth in there. But his ability ďto call a good gameĒ has become such a tired mantra that itís a wonder any young pitcher ever makes it to the big leagues without his guidance along the way.

Varitek deserves some ration of credit for Lesterís development into one of the premier left-handers in the game, and his rapport with other successful members of the Red Soxí diverse pitching staff, from Josh Beckett to Jonathan Papelbon, reflects well on him. But let me throw some other names at you here, along with a word of warning: Prepare to cringe.

Scott Sauerbeck. Chad Bradford. Jeff Suppan. Byung-Hyun Kim. Ramiro Mendoza. Bobby Howry. Matt Clement. Wade Miller.

The point is the Red Sox had enough pitchers who failed miserably here in recent years to fill every staff in the Can-Am League. If Varitek is going to get heaps of praise for the successes, shouldnít he accept some measure of fault for the failures? Funny how no one ever mentions he caught 13 of Clay Buchholzís 15 starts this season.

If there is a trace of venom in this piece, itís only because Iím galled by the brazenness of his current salary demands, though I probably should know better. The perception is that Varitek would play this doggone wonderful game for free, yet a cursory look at his history tells you that his bank account has usually been very high on his list of priorities, dating to when he refused to sign with the Minnesota Twins out of Georgia Tech. You cannot have the execrable and remarkably effective Boras as an agent and claim that youíre playing for the love of the game without being the very definition of duplicitous.

Still, Iím simply dumbfounded that theyíd even suggest that the starting point is four years and $52 million, at least not without a laugh track. Itís those ridiculous salary demands ó coupled with the Iím-a-team-guy-so-Iím-not-going-to-complain-even-though-Iím-complaining incredulity he showed when Terry Francona had the nerve to pinch hit for him in the postseason ó that has me convinced of this: No one believes in the value of Jason Varitekís intangibles more than Jason Varitek.

Then again, thatís all he has left. His bat speed is gone for good, and so are most of the primary skills that made him such a valuable part of so many outstanding Sox teams.

Itís okay to admit it. It happens to all of them. Yes, Virginia, even to stoic and heroic captains who run out every predictable 4-6-3 grounder, all the way to the bank.

OT columnist Chad Finn is a sports reporter for Boston.com and can be reached at finn@globe.com

311 comments so far...
  1. He should get a one year deal, maybe two, for not a lot of money - respectable, but not outrageous. And then he should get out before it becomes embarassing and coach. Boras won't do it though, so Sox fans will need to come to grips with the fact that Varitek is going to go somewhere else. Unless he has enough sense to negotiate his own deal a la A-Rod and cut out Boras.

    Posted by LB225 November 13, 08 09:14 AM
  1. Bang.

    Release the hounds . . .

    Posted by JD November 13, 08 09:21 AM
  1. Great piece Chad. As much as I love 'Tek and all that he's contributed to the Sox over the years, I think it is time for a new era of catcher behind the plate. It is clear that everyone overrates the "intangibles." Besides, Varitek may have called all of those games, but I think the pitchers were a bit more integral in the successes they achieved on the mound. And the fact that Boras is actually using Posada's contract as the benchmark for Varitek is completely ludacris. Since when is a .672 OPS worth $52 mil over 4 years!!

    Posted by Eileen November 13, 08 09:44 AM
  1. Does it always have to be so black and white? I've watched Varitek enough and heard him speak enough to know that he is the ultimate team player. If he's a fraud, as this column practically states, then it would truly be a major surprise and disappointment to me. But, really, this guy is supposed to take a lot less money than he could get elsewhere to stay in Boston? If he can get 4 years and $52 million on the market, he's supposed to take 2 years and $16 million to stay in Boston? If other teams are willing to accept the "intangibles" this writer scathes as fact and the Sox won't, Varitek would be stupid not to go collect an extra $36 million at the tail end of his career. Would absolutely hate to see this guy in another uniform and I applaud the Sox for realizing that of the group of free agents after '04, that Varitek was the key guy to keep. One moe thing, Varitek was hitting .220 or so at the All Star break, yet his peers voted him onto the All Star team. When you invest $80 million a pitching staff, carrying a .225 average at the catcher spot doesn't see like too much a price to pay if it makes those pitchers better.

    Posted by Jim November 13, 08 10:15 AM
  1. Chad, to answer your question there is a trace of venom in this piece and without knowing all of the facts. I am not ready to arrive at the conclussions you've suggested in this article. I am sure that Varitek and for that matter all of us will seek to earn as much as our employers will pay us. Is that greed or predence?

    I do agree that Varitek's stats don't warrent an increase and coupled with his age. I wouldn't offer him a long term deal either. Epstien's pretty shrewed and has shown that he can separate loyalities and realities. I would like to see Jason finish his career with the Red Sox and I am sure that in order for that to happen. Jason and Boras both are going to have to really look at the pros and cons of the upcoming negociations.

    Posted by Beantowne November 13, 08 10:18 AM
  1. Not to be nit-picky (OK, I'm being nit-picky), but weren't Clement and Miller pretty much derailed by injuries?

    Funny how to this very day Clement still gets derided as some kind of weakling even though his doctor said the pain must have been so extreme it was almost a miracle that he was able to pitch at all.

    Posted by duinne November 13, 08 10:34 AM
  1. He won't get crazy money. Who will give it to him? No GM in baseball is that dumb.

    As an alternative, taking a chance on a rookie catcher wouldn't be much of a gamble. Even backup catchers throughout MLB can hit .210 to .220.

    If there were an amazing defensive quality to Tek, that would be something. But the numbers don't lie. He is average at best BEHIND the plate and far below average STANDING at it. That means very little money beyond a sympathetic gesture from the Boston FO.

    Sympathy isn't going to bring that much.

    Guaranteed money will MAX at $16M over two years.

    More realistically it will end up something like $10M guaranteed with incentives that could push it to just over $20M. Make him EARN the money if he wants back.

    Posted by Slee_Stack November 13, 08 10:36 AM
  1. Captain Oh Captain... What are we without you?

    Posted by Seth Makechnie November 13, 08 10:36 AM
  1. Captain Oh Captain... What are we without you?

    Posted by Seth Makechnie November 13, 08 10:38 AM
  1. Anything more than veteran minimum with incentives is grand theft. Spot on with the failed pitchers - that's my arguement when the "He calls a great game" matra starts.

    Posted by sam the butcher November 13, 08 10:38 AM
  1. damm....did any one see the plate number of the bus that Chad just ran over varitek with? great column chad. I couldn't have expressed myself any better.

    I still say give varitek a 2 year (or a 1 year plus an option), $7.5 million contract with a ton of incentives and pick up a young texas catcher in Teagarden or Saltamacchia to groom.

    Posted by mudbugger November 13, 08 10:39 AM
  1. We watched Bellhorn reduced to waving at fastballs from the left side. Then I watched him do the same at Pawtucket. You knew there was no way he was going to even foul a pitch, and he didn't. Varitek is there, and it doesn't go away.

    I agree he is not the signal caller of the legend he has created for himself. And what are the names again of those geniuses behind the plate in Tampa and Phillie?
    The Sox should inform Tek he's just out of their league.

    Posted by Anonymous November 13, 08 10:40 AM
  1. chad said:
    "His smell-the-glove beatdown of Yankees narcissist Alex Rodriguez stands as a pivotal and defining event from the emancipating 2004 season."

    Hey, I love that moment where he shoved his glove in A-Rod's face as much as the next guy, but did Varitek "beatdown" A-Rod? I don't remember A-Rod ever getting tackled to the ground or punched (I recall a bit of wrestling between the two). In addition, it was Varitek who was out of the lineup the next day with injuries.

    Posted by Sille Skrub has B.O. November 13, 08 10:42 AM
  1. chad said:
    "His smell-the-glove beatdown of Yankees narcissist Alex Rodriguez stands as a pivotal and defining event from the emancipating 2004 season."

    Hey, I love that moment where he shoved his glove in A-Rod's face as much as the next guy, but did Varitek "beatdown" A-Rod? I don't remember A-Rod ever getting tackled to the ground or punched (I recall a bit of wrestling between the two). In addition, it was Varitek who was out of the lineup the next day with injuries.

    Posted by Sille Skrub's little winkie November 13, 08 10:45 AM
  1. If we sign him, Tito should give serious consideration to using his DH to hit hit for Varitek. I m sure at least some - if not most - Redsox pitchers can hit better than 'Tek.

    Posted by PAL November 13, 08 10:50 AM
  1. It is hard for me to believe that Boras (I refuse to address him as Mr.) has the audacity to suggest the starting point for his client is 4 years/52 million. That is more than his last contract of 4 years/40 million. Who is the last batter you want to see come up with the tying run on third and two outs late in the game? Jason Varitek has meant so much to this franchise, but let's face it, his offensive skills have dimished so much over the last few years that I believe there is not one picture in the league that fears his coming to the plate in a critical situation. I say no more than 2 years at 15 million in a platoon role.

    Posted by Austin November 13, 08 10:56 AM
  1. Too much credit is given to Varitek's game-calling skills. Longoria loves the high pitch, Carlos Pens loves the low pitch. Did 'Tek know that? The Phillies sure did, and pitched them accoringly. And won the WS.

    Posted by MIke November 13, 08 10:56 AM
  1. Truth. Deal with it. Fortunately, there is reason to believe that Theo could have ghost written this post, meaning Tek plays part time for Theo's number, or languishes elsewhere. We appreciate you, Jason, but as someone who hires Scott Boras would know, this is a business. Buh bye.

    Posted by Ken November 13, 08 10:57 AM
  1. big difference between Boras' negotiating tactics and what Varitek actually wants and will accept. If Boras came out and said we want a 1 or 2 year deal at fair money he should be fired as an agent. Remember last time Varitek was a FA...he wouldn't even talk to other teams until the window with the Sox had closed. I have never heard Varitek say anything along the lines of what you are criticizing him for. Your criticizing him for things that other writers say about him...nice when you guys can create your own little conversations among each other...good for job security isn't it...you hack!!!

    Posted by Sean November 13, 08 10:58 AM
  1. I couldn't have said it better. Considering the dearth of quality catchers on the market I'm OK with the Sox slightly overpaying Varitek. But they would have to be insane to offer him any more than 2 years and I do not believe that they are. It's unfortunate that several of the Sox' recent stars have gotten edged out of town because of salary conflicts. I guess that's the price to pay in order to have a team that is a consistent championship contender.

    Posted by Bilbo McFonzi November 13, 08 11:03 AM
  1. I have been thinking that for the past 2 years. Tek WAS great. Now he is another mediocre catcher trying to score a huge payday in a thin market of experienced catchers.
    I would like to see him around as a player coach, but would cringe with EVERY at bat.

    Posted by Richard November 13, 08 11:11 AM
  1. As much as Jason has done for this franchise with his prior '08 performances, he has washed it all away by acting like an idiot teenager in his personal life while all of our worshiping kids watch and simultaneously performs like a man 10-years older than what he actually is. DUMP HIM! You usually deserve what you get and he deserves nothing more from the Sox......

    Posted by RallyC November 13, 08 11:14 AM
  1. the article is right on...i couldn't have stated the facts any better....

    Posted by Rojelio Moret November 13, 08 11:17 AM
  1. Totally agree with everything said, so the big question is....if Theo knew this was coming, why did he leave it until now to have to find Tek's replacement ( and possibly a second full season catcher)?
    We had the best of Tek but we will have to succeed without him from now on.

    Posted by Leonard November 13, 08 11:17 AM
  1. You're right on with your interpretation of Varitek's attitude and probably his playing skills, but the salary part is business and he can ask for anything he wants to. Before we label Varitek "vile", lets see how the negotiation proceeds, if he signs with the Red Sox, and if he doesn't sign if he goes public with his bitterness.

    Posted by Greg S November 13, 08 11:18 AM
  1. Sorry, but you couldn't be more wrong. If the Boston Globe pays you $x, and other similar companies will be willing to bear higher amounts $y and $z, then you would certainly be foolish for not exploring those opportunities. What would your reasoning be, exactly? "I am too old, and not able to write better articles than the younger staff. Therefore, I will take the $x that the Globe has offered me for fear that I may be seen as greedy or embarrassing".

    So naive, so judgmental.

    Posted by Mike G. November 13, 08 11:21 AM
  1. Varitek has always been one of my favorites. I gave my son the picture of his clash with A-Rod for his 13th birthday as a sign of looming manhood (one guy in the picture has no idea what is to be a man, the other does).
    But I can't argue with anything in this column. His asking price is so far a field that Varitek should be embarrased by it. If he was worth $10 m a year four years ago, how can he now be worth more?
    The only way Tek should be back is if he 1) signs for 2 -3 years at less than $10 M a year, and 2) agrees to reduced playing time in the hopes of staying fresher longer AND 3) agreeing to mentor his eventual replacement. To do this, he may even have to agree to catch Wakefield, as by the 2nd or 3rd year he'll have transititioned to the Mirabelli role.
    This would be a scenario for both the team and the captain. Short of this, it's time to say good-bye.

    Posted by Scott from San Fran November 13, 08 11:28 AM
  1. Another journalist calling for the public ousting of a great Red Sox player, shooting down another hero. Chad leaves us hanging, claiming to know everything about his motives and potential for returning to form. Excuse me, what is the purpose of the agent? To blame Varitek or any other baseball player for the slimy doings of their agents is misguided. It is not Jason doing the talking. Shoot the messenger.

    Posted by dr November 13, 08 11:30 AM
  1. good stuff..u can tell he spent some time on this..making sure he picked the right words to use and what not..but the truth is varitek has one swing motion..whether its a curveball in the dirt..or a 92 mph fastball away and a tad up...its the same swing..and it has wayyy too many holes...everyone loves JV...but its time to start calling pitches from the bench...

    Posted by its true November 13, 08 11:31 AM
  1. good stuff..u can tell he spent some time on this..making sure he picked the right words to use and what not..but the truth is varitek has one swing motion..whether its a curveball in the dirt..or a 92 mph fastball away and a tad up...its the same swing..and it has wayyy too many holes...everyone loves JV...but its time to start calling pitches from the bench...

    Posted by its true November 13, 08 11:31 AM
  1. Is there an older saying than, "the truth hurts?"

    Of course, all Red Sox fans admire what Varitek has done for the team through the years, but the party between him and the Red Sox should be over.

    But is it?

    I think the most interesting thing Theo has to do this off season is to figure out what to do about this Varitek situation. He reportedly has a "good relationship" with Scott Boras, but is such the product of anything other than a desire on Theo's part to keep on good terms with the guy who controls so much prime baseball talent these days? From my vantage point, a new contract for Varitek that is anything other than short and incentive laden is a sign of capitulation to Boras.

    Stay tuned . . . .


    Posted by Anonymous November 13, 08 11:34 AM

  1. Straight on dude....right in the center of the bulls-eye. When most folks are just hoping to keep their job, and many aren't...sheesh.

    Posted by doug Welbourn November 13, 08 11:45 AM
  1. He won't go elsewhere. No one will offer 4 years @ 52 million. No one!

    Posted by Dean November 13, 08 11:46 AM
  1. I couldn't have said it any better. I saw this coming 3 years ago!!!!!!

    Posted by Fred Cicciu November 13, 08 11:51 AM
  1. Spot on. I'd like to see the Sox trade for a young, MLB-ready catcher and offer Tek the chance to mentor and play part-time. Two years, $8M per. Maybe I'd go as high as $10M/yr. Who out there is going to pay more than that?

    Posted by BIR November 13, 08 11:51 AM
  1. Give him a 2 year deal for the same amount he's been making and see what happens. If he doesn't take it then we move on.

    Posted by Matt Gagnon November 13, 08 11:57 AM
  1. You can't blame these guys for trying to get the best deal they can. Nor can you blame the Red Sox for paying a player what they think he is worth. (JD Drew's contract notwithstanding.) Tek leaves it on the field and you can't ask for more out of a guy than that. The question is whether what he has to leave on the field is adequate to the team needs. And at what price. And what do they do if Tek moves on.

    Posted by PumpsieGr November 13, 08 11:59 AM
  1. Would be nice to see him a year or two at reasonable dough to help along the "new" guy, whoever that is, but I cringe seeing him swing at that low outside pitch or hitting into a double play, which was all too frequent last season.

    Posted by ExiledInCali November 13, 08 12:05 PM
  1. Goodbye Jason it was fun while it lasted.

    Posted by Jim Moncrieff November 13, 08 12:07 PM
  1. Who is the last player you want to see come to the plate late in the game with the tying run on third and two outs?† Jason Varitek!!†† AL pictures don't fear him coming up with the game on the line.† Jason has been great for this franchise, but his offensive skills have diminshed beyond the request of 10 million a year.† I say 2 years at $15 million so he can be used to develop his replacement.† Boras (not Mr.) is more concerned about his share rather than the realistic value of the player which leads to his client (ex. a-rod) having to step in because no team will meet his ridiculous demands..

    Posted by austin46 November 13, 08 12:08 PM
  1. The proceeding column was anonomously sponsored by Red Sox management....

    Posted by jack November 13, 08 12:10 PM
  1. I couldn't agree more with Mr. Finn's assessment of Varitek. Tek should retire now instead of embarassing himself at the plate for the rest of his career. His performance at the plate during the ALCS and especially in game 7, proved that his batting skills are not what they were and with a high degree of probability never will be again. He has served the Red Sox well during his tenure and he has also been paid very well in return. It is time to say 'thank you' and have a good retirement.

    Posted by Armenianman November 13, 08 12:11 PM
  1. Jason, It's been great watching you play all these years. Good luck to you, and come back when you're ready to coach.

    Posted by BP November 13, 08 12:12 PM
  1. Awesome. Well done.

    Posted by Jingo Jackson November 13, 08 12:20 PM
  1. I love the argument I've heard from Boras about the Red Sox winning percentage with Varitek catching...I'm sure it has nothing to do with the quality of pitchers he catches versus the .500 pitcher who goes on his off day. Love Varitek, would like to see him in a Sox uniform for another year or two in a more limited role and at a reasonable salary but that's just not going to happen with Boras running the show. And I agree with the article - Boras wouldn't have Tek as his client if not for want on Tek's part.

    Posted by MA November 13, 08 12:22 PM
  1. It's call NEGOTIATING...jeez.

    Posted by MELin AZ November 13, 08 12:25 PM
  1. This is the dumbest criticism of Varitek I have ever read.
    When you reference Varitek catching 13 of 15 from Buchholtz and guys like a Matt Clement; and Tek should take the blame for their miserable outtings??; I want someone to explain to me how; as he works with these failures; and he calls for pitches on the corners....and these inepts leave a hanging breaking ball over the middle of the plate.... how is that Tek's "fault" that the pitchers can't hit their spots (called by Tek) and lack control.
    This article is obviosuly written by someone who was never a catcher; and will "NEVER" understand what it takes to be one.
    ....And yes, I caught in the professional level (Baltimore Orioles System) so I do know what I am talking about.

    Resign Tek and end this miserable article's nonsense. Tek does it better than anyone in the Game.... His offense lacks but he is beyond reproach. Hacks like Chad Finn can sit back and criticize -- but there is a significant reason why "Tek's" peers voted him into the All-Star Game hitting .218 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    It's because they know; he's the best behind the dish !!

    Posted by Kevin P November 13, 08 12:28 PM
  1. Varitek rarely caught Tim Wakefield, and Tim is now the winningest active Sox Pitcher. At $52M, we can live without him.

    Hire him as a coach when he discovers reality again.

    Posted by S Waters November 13, 08 12:29 PM
  1. Varietk? He's no Jim Pagliaroni.

    Posted by Richard November 13, 08 12:29 PM
  1. I still like Varitek and still think he is someone we need to resign. You all seem to froget how invaluable he is to our pitching staff. I myself think the deal should be something like 2 years and $8 million anything under $7 mill insulting and what he makes now or more is very generous based on his stats. And let's not forget that his numbers haven't always been that high becaus he does not focus on hitting or padding his stats is focus is team 1st and what he contributes to pitching. Imagine that, an unselfish baseball player, there MANY that could take a lesson from him.

    Posted by RayRay01 November 13, 08 12:29 PM
  1. Varitek does one thing well. STRIKEOUT! His K's have increased to 28% over the last 2 seasons. He only hit .201 from the left side. POOR as it comes. HIS TIME HAS COME AND GONE. LET HIM WALK! Totally agree with your article. He is a backup catcher at best. Calling a game is so overrated.

    Posted by Dennis S Smith November 13, 08 12:31 PM
  1. We, as Red Sox fans, have been spoiled over the last few years by having a catcher that was an offensive threat. Now that 'Tek has dropped down to an average catcher, everyone wants to ship him out of town. I hate seeing 'Tek come up in big spots as much as anyone, but there are no better options out there. The Sox will need to re-sign 'Tek for 2 years or so, and try to find a young catcher to groom.

    Posted by Jim MacLeod November 13, 08 12:34 PM
  1. S Smith: Now I've read the second dumbest criticism to Chad Finns.
    Thanks for Posting # 51

    OMG !!

    Posted by Kevin P November 13, 08 12:37 PM
  1. he should go to the Yankees! They have a long history of overpaying aging superstars... Randy Johnson comes to mind...

    Posted by echofilm November 13, 08 12:40 PM
  1. 4 years 52 million? Meehhhhh I was thinking more like 2 years 12 million....

    You're right MELin AZ, it's called negotiating, but when two parties start so far apart to begin with, there is no hope at finding a price everyone will be happy with. As much as I hate to admit it, Varitek is probably done in Boston. Bring on Saltalamacchia!

    Posted by zhastings83 November 13, 08 12:43 PM
  1. This blog post is so thin, so substanceless, it is embarrassing. Calling a free agent a "vile subspecies" is simply an abusive ad hominem attack.

    Whenever anyone goes on the job market they always emphasize their best skills and seek as much compensation as possible. This is how a capitalist market works: we sell our labor (or our goods) for as much as we can. To evaluate Varitek's self-marketing strategies and salary demands as "outlandish" is simply wrongheaded.

    Why not turn this critique to one aimed at the logic that governs the free agency system in baseball? What needs to be accompanied by a laugh track is the fact that MLB corporations *are willing* to pay their workers such exhorbitant sums of money: If Varitek's agent can find a franchise to soak for $52m over four years then that would be funny.
    Laugh at the owners, not the workers.

    Varitek's free agency bid is *simply* another example of the extreme excesses of the mass entertainment industry. It is entirely wrongheaded to evalute the process as if morals and morality play any role. They do not.

    Posted by gillbilly November 13, 08 12:52 PM
  1. This blog post is so thin, so substanceless, it is embarrassing. Calling a free agent a "vile subspecies" is simply an abusive ad hominem attack.

    Whenever anyone goes on the job market they always emphasize their best skills and seek as much compensation as possible. This is how a capitalist market works: we sell our labor (or our goods) for as much as we can. To evaluate Varitek's self-marketing strategies and salary demands as "outlandish" is simply wrongheaded.

    Why not turn this critique to one aimed at the logic that governs the free agency system in baseball? What needs to be accompanied by a laugh track is the fact that MLB corporations *are willing* to pay their workers such exhorbitant sums of money: If Varitek's agent can find a franchise to soak for $52m over four years then that would be funny.
    Laugh at the owners, not the workers.

    Varitek's free agency bid is *simply* another example of the extreme excesses of the mass entertainment industry. It is entirely wrongheaded to evalute the process as if morals and morality play any role. They do not.

    Posted by gillbilly November 13, 08 12:52 PM
  1. you're underestimating varitek's value as a simulated hitter during simulated games for rehabbing pitchers.

    no one has refined the art of being a simulated hitter quite like 'tek.

    Posted by benjikaye22 November 13, 08 12:56 PM
  1. we do have an option here.Keep him,give him his want and let Ortiz DH for him.And you know the rest,the pitcher hits away......There is one thing going on here,for sure.Boorass, (did I mispell that) I'm sure,somehow reads these little inputs.So,hopefully,these articles will reduce Variteks' price.....I really like Jason.I wear his 2005 opening day shirt.It has a real nice gold mesh surrounding the "C" for apparant (CAPTAIN) around it and ALSO his #30, not to mention the BLESSED RED SOX that covet him so much.But how much can the greatest Organization in all baseball take...Oh,by the way,the shirt cost me $200....but it comes with a hat !!

    Posted by Jack ....Melbourne,Fla November 13, 08 12:58 PM
  1. This is what it boils down to. Someone puts $12 million down on a table you are sitting at. The person tells you you can have the money if you play somewhere else. If you want to stay in Boston, you have to get up and walk away and leave the money. What do you do Chad? Is that greed?

    Posted by jk November 13, 08 12:58 PM
  1. And what is up with that idiotic "C" thing on the jersey? Like a little kid in grade school or a soccer player. My son and his friends laugh themselves sick whenever he bats.

    Posted by Richard Brayne November 13, 08 01:03 PM
  1. "Tek does it better than anyone in the Game." I would like to know what "it" is. If "it" is calling a game, maybe he does. If "it" is killing yet another rally by striking out or dribbling a weak grounder to second with 2 out, definitely. There comes a point where you have to weigh how much Tek is helping with his behind the plate skills against how much he is hurting with his lack of production at the plate. In my mind it's not even close any more. I'm not saying the Sox should get rid of him, but he's got to come down to Earth with his salary/years demand.

    Posted by Mike K November 13, 08 01:03 PM
  1. Nice Going,Chad........Might serve as a wakeup

    Posted by Jack ....Melbourne,Fla November 13, 08 01:05 PM
  1. Bad piece. Don't you try to get the most out of your contract.? I guess you write for free. Maybe you should after this piece. Jeter got 10 yrs because he is a shortstop, catchers only get 4yrs.

    Posted by Jason November 13, 08 01:08 PM
  1. Matt Clement and Wade Miller are both completely unfair to throw on Varitek. Clement was doing quite well before he got hit in the head with that Crawford line drive and even after he started struggling and they told him he was healthy, they discovered later that his shoulder was basically shot and had been for awhile. It's a similar situation with Wade Miller. He was just coming off of surgery, a difficult thing for anyone, let alone trying to do it as a new pitcher in Boston.

    I think considering that the Red Sox will be relying heavily on young arms in the near future with Buccholtz, Bowden, Masterson, etc. it will be important to have a strong catcher behind the plate. While the catcher from Texas is a great option, it would be silly to rely on him to develop our young pitchers while he's still developing himself.

    Posted by Kate November 13, 08 01:10 PM
  1. Chad, a little perspective please!
    1) To assume an athlete should take a home town discount or that he is greedy is crazy...would you?
    2) Seems if the Sox match the high bidder, Tek will stay...also seems the high bid will not approach 4/52.
    3) With Lester (of course) Bucholz (maybe) and Masterson (probably) getting meaningful innings, who would you rather have behind the plate instead of Tek??

    Posted by rkarp November 13, 08 01:17 PM
  1. Russ Gibson....we could use you now..RIP my friend.

    Posted by dennis November 13, 08 01:17 PM
  1. I like Varitek, but I can squat behind the plate and continuously call for a high fastball. His play calling has gotten worse. On more than one occasion, including the playoffs, he repeatedly called for pitches the batter wasn't chasing and the ump wasn't giving to him, determined to make it work.. It was ridiculous.

    His defense is way below average and he's a liability at the plate. If he wants to return for cheap money, thats fine, but hopefully he doesn't pout and complain when Tito sits him. I understand his agent is there to set the bar high and negotiate from there, but his comments are becoming laughable.

    Posted by The Sean November 13, 08 01:20 PM

    Posted by Larry November 13, 08 01:21 PM
  1. The whole point of Varitek calling a good game is certainly valid. He's known throughout baseball for that strength and widely respected by his peers and coaches as well! More often than not,the pitchers who are able to throw the pitch called for by Tek and place it where he wants it stand a very good chance of succeeding in neutralizing that particular batter's strength(s)...the one(s) who can't locate and can't execute the strategic pitch called for at that exact moment pays for his mistake!...and let's not be so provincial that we don't occasionally give credit to a good hitter for hitting a good pitch! I believe a gradual transition and subsequent departure by Tek a couple of years down the road would prove more prudent as wise in it's overall effect on the pitching staff as well as the overall character of this team!

    Posted by Willstah November 13, 08 01:25 PM
  1. The whole point of Varitek calling a good game is certainly valid. He's known throughout baseball for that strength and widely respected by his peers and coaches as well! More often than not,the pitchers who are able to throw the pitch called for by Tek and place it where he wants it stand a very good chance of succeeding in neutralizing that particular batter's strength(s)...the one(s) who can't locate and can't execute the strategic pitch called for at that exact moment pays for his mistake!...and let's not be so provincial that we don't occasionally give credit to a good hitter for hitting a good pitch! I believe a gradual transition and subsequent departure by Tek a couple of years down the road would prove more prudent as wise in it's overall effect on the pitching staff as well as the overall character of this team!

    Posted by Willstah November 13, 08 01:25 PM
  1. Base stealers thrown out = 22% That's pretty lame.
    Why don't switch hitters who hit 100 points less from one side than the other ever try hitting from their "best" side all the time? It's simply an egotistical "I'm such a great athlete I can hit from both" sides mentality.

    Posted by Gary Unger November 13, 08 01:31 PM
  1. 100% on the money. 1 or 2 year realistic contract. No Borac bells and whistles. Would love to see Theo and crew scouting/developing a catcher or get a catcher for 2010 or 2011. Every captain has to at some point leave his ship - and Varitek has to be eye'n the shore. I think the fans will give him a great, deserved send off. It's always sad to see the great ones do what we all do - AGE - such is life. I hope he shows the Sox some respect - as they have shown him throughout the years.

    Posted by ABK November 13, 08 01:32 PM
  1. Wow! It is amazing how many have jumped on Finn's anti-Varitek bandwagon. Did Finn forget about how many no-hitters Tek has caught (kinda funny how he failed to mention that, huh?) He can and does call a great game and yes, his offensive skills are on the decline, however, I highly doubt there is a team out there that is willing to give him a 4 year/52 Million deal. If there is than at that time we can say goodbye and wish him the best. However, I believe he will be our catcher for the next 2 years with a club option for a 3rd. The Captain is not going anywhere!

    Posted by Dave from Wakefield November 13, 08 01:33 PM
  1. Oops, my bad! Finn did mention the no hitters. Sorry about that. But that doesn't change the fact that the Captain will be back. I am not afraid to admit that I am a Tek fan and I want him back (for the right price which will happen).

    Posted by Dave from Wakefield November 13, 08 01:37 PM
  1. I love the comments by posters who simply say "give him $14M for 2 years and then let him go". The problem is that Vtek won't accept a deal like that and can get more elsewhere. He's going to force the Red Sox to either overpay for him or he'll find another sucker to do the same.

    Time to part ways and start fresh. Any bum from AAA can do better offensively and defensively than he has in the last season and 1/2. I love what he did for us - I respect him tremendously for his past accomplishments, but if you pay top dollar for him now - you ARE paying him for past accomplishments. Time to move on.

    Posted by J.P. November 13, 08 01:38 PM
  1. Hey Chad, Ditto!

    Posted by Al B. November 13, 08 01:39 PM
  1. This is pretty funny. No one is going to offer Tek more than a journeymans salary.
    He may be lucky to hit 200 next year. At this point he should be a backup catcher and not even a starter. He hasn`t been any good since that knee injury a few yaers ago.We could always bring back Mirabelli and get as much offense as Tek will provide, I say tell him goodbye.
    Maybe offer him a couple of million with a bunch of incentives but otherwise he is out of his mind.

    Posted by MD sox fan November 13, 08 01:40 PM
  1. Your article is right on the money (a Boras pun of course). Tek is a worthless commodity who if signed, will take a roster spot from a player who will be able to contribute.

    Dump him and either trade or buy or bring-up a catcher. Any would be better than Captain Over-rated.

    Posted by Otis November 13, 08 01:42 PM
  1. As Edward R Murrow might have told Tek if he were the GM:
    "Good night and good luck"! No sane team exec will contemplate 4 years for a .220
    hitting 36 yr old catcher whose flame is almost out. But then there's always the
    Dodgers (see Kevin Brown, Jason Schmidt et al) My one wish is that Tek somehow catches on with an AL East rival, which would essentially turn that team into an eight-hitter National League lineup.

    Posted by KCfromRI November 13, 08 01:42 PM
  1. Wow, bitter much Chad?? He must have refused your request for an interview at some point in the distant past. ;-)

    Posted by Dan D November 13, 08 01:45 PM
  1. Great article, Chad! Varitek was an automatic out all year. I never had any confidence he would come through with men on base and teams got smart and walked batters in front of him to pitch to him. He should look in the mirror and realize he's done. He's had a good career and could be a backup somewhere but not in Boston. Boras is a buffoon with all his stupid stats and figures on his clients which help him make millions of $$. Boras trying to compare Varitek to Posada is a joke! Posada can still hit! Boras is everything that is wrong with baseball. He's an egomaniac and I can't believe the owners give him the time of day.

    Posted by Dutch November 13, 08 01:51 PM
  1. It appears to me that it's the length of the contract is the show-stopper here. If Tek is unable to catch for any reason during this period, the acquiring team won't be able to use him at 1b and/or in the DH spot. Ergo, he'd be the race with a broken leg.

    On a two year contract, it's a no-brainer; a three is a bonus; a four is a giveaway.

    Of course, not following up in the Tek direction would most certainly necessitate that the Sox have a formidable backstop plan. Surely, they won't pass and miss on another candidate? Regardless, someone will be catching next year in Fenway. It's all a matter of what they bring to the baseball table.

    Posted by DjM November 13, 08 01:53 PM
  1. We can do better than Varitek. The guy thinks the world revolves around him with his outlandish demand for that big $52 million dollar payday. I would be willing to bet dollars to donuts that if the Red Sox told him to get lost he would be hard pressed to get anything close to what he's asking. In fact, he might not much of an offer at all. Theo Epstein should trade for a young catcher and tell Jason to hit the bricks. We survived the loss of Damon, Mueller, Millar, Martinez, and recently with Ramirez. If we can survive without those guys we can survive with the greedy and miserable hitting Varitek. Jason, it good knowing you but you know the way out.

    Posted by SeaBeachFred November 13, 08 01:53 PM
  1. Chad, spot on mate! Boras is one of the worst things that has happened to baseball and the game he is playing here is dont you love the loyalty of Tek, he deserves to go out on a high note, etc. etc....Tek should look to Wakefield as an example..If I was Boston I would give him a 2 year deal for the transition at 6 million per or hit the road. fair is fair and his bat and arm hurt us a ton in 2008!

    Posted by AJ November 13, 08 01:54 PM
  1. Jason Varitek is and has been the most over hyped and over rated player in red sox history. He gets all the credit when the pitcher has a good game and none of the blame when he stinks up the joint. Let's face it folks, he is way past his prime and the sox need to move on and prepare for the future without him. I always hear the same old song and dance from his supporters. Baseball has been here alot longer than Jason Varitek has been catching and unless you can measure his true worth (in the form of game calling abilities) I reject all comments stating that you must sign him.

    Posted by rickb101 November 13, 08 01:56 PM
  1. Chad,
    Great work, I have been posting the same things on Boston.com boards for months. If he gets the credit for the sucess how come he gets no accountability for the Matt Clements. All I remember is people saying Clement will benifit from Tek. Didn't happen. I wonder aloud how any team on young pitcher ever make it without Tek. The Sox should be 162-0 with his game calling and when other teams win it is pure luck! Please, the World Series Teams had young cathcers who seemed to do pretty well and they hit a little too.
    His defense does not out weight his horrible offensive production. At short money he may be a stop gap but for Posada money, I wonder if the Yankee's would like that contract back now? Atleast Posada can hit. He actual throws out runners too.

    Posted by Tph2004 November 13, 08 01:58 PM
  1. "great" How does the word fit Veritek!! He was a good catcher. Now it is time to retire to AZ and do golf and hunt for females!!

    Posted by larry November 13, 08 01:58 PM
  1. Shhh! How are we going to get our two draft picks if Boras can't snooker some team into giving Tek a multi-year deal?

    The Sox don't want Varitek back, and this is one instance where Boras's interests and the Sox' interests are perfectly aligned.

    Posted by jack sanford November 13, 08 01:59 PM
  1. Has that move when Tek stands up and calls for the high fast ball(clearly within the hitter's peripheral vision) ever worked??? Great piece, Chad. I like Tek, but he needs to get real. Clearly it's Boras trying to save his own rep, as the inevitable pay-cut Tek will be forced to take won't bode well for Boras. He is staring the number stupidly high in hopes of conceding to something moderately high..it's his only hope.

    Posted by bill November 13, 08 02:00 PM
  1. How could we let such a beautiful sight go?? He certainly is good to look at!!!

    Posted by Sooz November 13, 08 02:03 PM
  1. Finally! An objective reporter not sucking up to the Nation ownership and players.
    It will be fun beating Tek in a Tigers uniform or even better if it is with Ozzie!

    Posted by Jim November 13, 08 02:04 PM
  1. Boras & Veritek is just another example of celebs fleecing the public. If the Sox resign the bum, it's the public that pays the tab like all of the other operating expenses after the owners pull out their salaries!! Tek was over the hill at least a year ago and needs to leave!!

    Posted by dan November 13, 08 02:07 PM
  1. We shouldn't have resigned Curt last year and everybody knew it...do not resign Vtek no matter what the contract. We are better off without both of them. Good luck to any team that gives him his money. Can't hit can't run oh but you call a great game.
    Good Bye Jason and you'll always have Heidi Watney

    Posted by BRyan2280 November 13, 08 02:08 PM
  1. The point of saying that Varitek is responsible for Wade Miller and Matt Clement is to point out how absurd it is that Varitek takes CREDIT for the likes of Jon Lester, Curt Schilling and Pedro Martinez. I mean, if you, as a catcher, are going to take credit for how great the pitchers are that you groom, you also have to take the blame for Clay Bucholtz's terrible year, etc.

    BOTH positions are nonsense. Varitek has almost nothing to do with the success of the pitching staff beyond his ability to call a game, which is NOT a big deal. Come on now.

    Posted by J.P. November 13, 08 02:09 PM
  1. When Derek Lowe left via free agency in 2005, I wondered if he would be able to adjust to another catcher, since Tek had been traded with him from Seattle and was the only catcher he had really known. Guess what? D-Lowe went from ERA in Boston in 2003 of 4.47 and 2004 of 5.42 to 3.62, 3.63, 3.88 and 3.24 from 2005 through 2008. So, who is to blame or who takes credit for that? Not only did he do well without Tek, he thrived. So, I thnk the answer is, yes, Tek knows pitchers well and works with young pitchers well, but so don't a lot of catchers. BUT, never underestimate Boras' ability to read the market. I think Tek will get a better offer from another team. Boras is doing his job testing the market.

    Posted by Ginger November 13, 08 02:11 PM
  1. I'm in the business of helping people who are losing their jobs, their homes, their self-respect, their self-worth. These people will perform any task, apply for any job, work as long as it's needed if it means putting food on the table and keeping their children safe and warm.

    So, when I read about a man in the prime of his years, who has already been the recipient of money many, many times his worth, and who can live comfortably the rest of his life and support entire family trees with the wealth gained from an incredibly stupid system, I am a very avid sports fan disappointed by the greed.

    Posted by memike November 13, 08 02:14 PM
  1. Wow, an article that promised to be objective and wasn't. An article that should have had facts, instead has lies and innuendo. An article that goes out of it's way to make a point, but fails to do so and still the incompetent author thinks he has.
    An article that ignores his goodpoints and minimizes them as intanigbles yet blatantly contradicts itself a sentence later.

    I am all for the counter prevailing point of view, but can we at least get someone marginally competent to write it, instead of winging it and failing?

    Posted by Greg November 13, 08 02:16 PM
  1. ANYBODY who associates with BORASS has a BIG ? next to their character.

    Posted by Eric NH November 13, 08 02:17 PM
  1. While I agree that the asking price is ridiculous, so is this artilcle. It's a clear attempt to generate controversy to heighten awareness of the author and build some sort of journalistic career. You really need to settle down - your ambition is beyond transparent.

    Posted by T McGinty November 13, 08 02:18 PM
  1. This is why people think the Red Sox are miserly and lack loyalty: they will never accept the terms Varitek and Bor-Ass have put on the table, so, just like Manny and Pedro and Damon, they will be demonized for showing no respect for the players who have made them such a great team in the recent past. Loyalty no longer has a place in the free-agent world that all sports have become. It is heartbreaking but true. I will miss his presence next season, but no more than I missed his bat this season.

    Posted by longpond November 13, 08 02:20 PM
  1. Get a grip; it's just part of the process. It's BORAS looking out for his client -- you know -- doing his job... You can't fault Tek for utilizing the best... that whole business side of the business. To sit here and call Tek names... please, grow up. That kind of idealism is moronic; it's not reality.

    Posted by AJ November 13, 08 02:23 PM
  1. Tek shoud get five years at $75m.

    He brought home two championships. He deserves it. And, yes I would be willing to pay higher ticket prices to keep Tek in Boston.

    Posted by southshoreashley November 13, 08 02:24 PM
  1. Varitek is a class act and just because he asks for, or his agent asks for more moeny than we will ever make then so be it. I guarantee you they will come to a resolution and it will not be close to the 4/52. Richard Brayne, your Son and Friends laugh when Varitek Bats, when is the last time you spoke to your kid and explained the value of someone like Varitek. He shows up to work every day and works hard does not dance around like an idiot, flip his bat or any of those stupid antics. He hustles every time he is on the field. To me that is what I talk to my son about and that is what I want my son to do anytime he is on the field. Look in the mirror Rich

    Posted by Michael Maguire November 13, 08 02:31 PM
  1. Great piece. Boston.com has been sorely lacking in running dog lackeys for managment. Let's have some more of those articles about whether the Sox should sign Mark Teixeira as if that was even a remote possibility. We can't just not sign Veritek we have to insult him on the way out. It's not too soon to start getting digs in on David Ortiz either. No wonder nobody returns Cleo's phone calls.

    Posted by TŰyŰ K‚put November 13, 08 02:33 PM
  1. If Tek wants more than 2 years, perhaps the additional years should be structured like Schilling's last contract was, with a large number of incentives. Either that or the terms could include a significantly lower salary but with a guaranteed position with the Sox as a coach. I personally think Tek would be the best coach the Sox could hire to develop their catchers.

    Posted by Jon November 13, 08 02:34 PM
  1. I love all the arm-chair professionals who all think they are right! This column is such a joke! It's a GAME for crying out loud! You might think the world would come to screeching end if a team loses a player! Tek is great, it seems to me that he focuses more on working with pitchers than he does on his own hitting. So crucify the poor guy why don't you? Do your lives depend on who comes and goes on teams? Grow up, boys and stop your self-inflicted know-it-all bantering!

    Posted by Pat November 13, 08 02:34 PM
  1. I don't think that Chad will be invited to the Boston Baseball Writers dinner this year.

    Through his words, he writes a great deal but he makes no valid comment and clearly knows nothing about the vital contribution Jason Varitek makes to the Red Sox.

    Maybe Chad belongs in another market or should write about something he might know about.... like shoveling snow in the coal mines of California.

    Posted by clifkeane November 13, 08 02:35 PM
  1. I haven't read the full comments (I'm at work), but I'll venture to say that his divorce will feed highly into his demands for one last payday. Consider it like this: All of his prior big contracts took place during his marriage. Therefore, in any divorce, more likely than not, his ex-wife will receive roughly 50% of that sum (minus taxes and other losses/plus gains on investments). She will also likely receive full custodial custody of the kids (he is a Major League player who may be moving to a new market and certainly can't justify full custodial custody from February through (hopefully, if he is with the Sox) early November. (post to be continued)...

    Posted by Chris November 13, 08 02:35 PM
  1. Amazing...whenever a player is a free agent, he is automatically labeled as a greedy #$%^%$#..meanwhile the really greedy guys(Henry, Lucchino, Werner, et al) get a free pass...the ass-kissing Boston media will play this like they play every negotiation between management and labor...the price of food and drink at Fenway is a helluva lot more outrageous than anything a player might get...by the way, when are those wonderful owners gonna open the books so the average fan might see how much they're stashing away each year?

    Posted by gary gosger November 13, 08 02:35 PM
  1. As much as I respect what he's done for the Red Sox, I wouldn't pay Varitek any more than $1m/per to return. The game is brutal in that once you're done, you're done - especially for catchers. The team could get a journeyman or bring up a AAA guy and get almost the same, if not more, than what they'll get from Tek in 2009. Take the $8 or $9m the team will save and apply that towards someone who'll help in 2009 and beyond.

    Time to move on. Let Boras get the Dodgers to overpay for Tek.

    Posted by darren November 13, 08 02:35 PM
  1. None of the pitchers mentioned in this entry achieved a great deal of succes after leaving the red sox except MAYBE Chad Bradford and he was very mediocre here but not godawful as I recall. A better barometer of Varitek's worth might be the meltdown of the pitching staff in August and Sept 2006 after Varitek got hurt.

    Is he worth Posada money? Of course not (neither is Posada)..but 2 years $20 million contract with the agreement that he mentor a young catcher along the waymight be fair to both Varitek and the sox

    Posted by Jim November 13, 08 02:40 PM
  1. How is handling a pitching staff and intangible? That's what catchers are supposed to do. Good clubhouse guy is and intangible. Handle a pitching staff is a job description. Look at what happened to the young pitching staff when Tek went down at the trade deadline a few years ago.

    Posted by Soog November 13, 08 02:42 PM
  1. Varitek has been a big part of the success of the Red Sox in recent years, much like Troy Brown was a big part of the Patriots' title runs. However, like Troy Brown, Tek has seen his skills diminish with age. It is easier to keep an aging football player on a 53 man roster than it is to keep an aging baseball player on a 25 man roster. I'd love to keep him in a Sox uniform, but not for any more than a two year deal. If he insists on 4 years, let someone else make that mistake (hello Pedro, Damon, etc). We can bring him back as a bullpen coach in five years.

    Posted by Mike in Waban November 13, 08 02:44 PM
  1. "Scott Sauerbeck. Chad Bradford. Jeff Suppan. Byung-Hyun Kim. Ramiro Mendoza. Bobby Howry. Matt Clement. Wade Miller."

    None of these pitchers were products of the farm system and all were developed elsewhere outside of Vartitek's tutelage (besides early Suppan who pitched in 39 games over the course of three seasons '95-'97). Most were retreads off the scrap heap, never very good, injured or coming off injury.

    Blaming Varitek for that group of busters' lack of success is laughable.

    Posted by Alseephus November 13, 08 02:44 PM
  1. Several points:
    1) 50% of everything he owns goes to the former Ms. Varitek
    2) I don't see anybody knocking down the door to pay him $13M a year until he is 41 years old
    3) he can't hit and can't throw anymore and he seems to be less than committed to working with the young pitchers - in particular his pitch selection for Buccholiz was terrible. Overall he is now barely an average player.
    4) 2 years at $15m total is a GENEROUS offer based upon his value. Even that may be overpaying
    5) IF a team is dumb enough to meet his asking price then that removes $52M of available money from the free agent pool.

    Posted by Cujo November 13, 08 02:46 PM
  1. Varitek could learn I thing or two from A-Rod. He should dump Boras, negotiate directly with Epstein and pocket the commission Boras would have received. I like Varitek, but he is padt his prime and not worth the money he is asking for.

    Posted by Mike November 13, 08 02:46 PM
  1. Tek is a fraud especially since I figured out he is Bill Simmons wedding ring guy and asked my freinds wife to head back to the hotel with him when all she wanted was his autograph. What a low life fraud. Can't even hit Pedroias weight.

    Posted by Steve B November 13, 08 02:47 PM
  1. Veritek's flailing at strike three in both the seventh and ninth innings of game 7 vs. the Rays symbolizes this bum's last 3 years. He has averaged around .232 for the 3 years, and when, when, was he ever even an average hitter? The genius can't even figure out that he has a lifetime average about 65 points lower from the left side. Change? Nah, too stuborn, too stupid or all of the above. He can't throw Big Papi out stealing, and how can you say he calls a good game? To make that claim, you must know the opposing hitters, whether the pitcher has good stuff that night, etc. So the Einsteins who call him a good defensive catcher, in reality, have NO CLUE. Gimme, gimme, gimmie, gimmie, I'm Tek The Great, and how dare you question my contributions, and current skill level !!!!

    Posted by wbhickok November 13, 08 02:48 PM
  1. Veritek's flailing at strike three in both the seventh and ninth innings of game 7 vs. the Rays symbolizes this bum's last 3 years. He has averaged around .232 for the 3 years, and when, when, was he ever even an average hitter? The genius can't even figure out that he has a lifetime average about 65 points lower from the left side. Change? Nah, too stuborn, too stupid or all of the above. He can't throw Big Papi out stealing, and how can you say he calls a good game? To make that claim, you must know the opposing hitters, whether the pitcher has good stuff that night, etc. So the Einsteins who call him a good defensive catcher, in reality, have NO CLUE. Gimme, gimme, gimmie, gimmie, I'm Tek The Great, and how dare you question my contributions, and current skill level !!!!

    Posted by wbhickok November 13, 08 02:48 PM
  1. Veritek's flailing at strike three in both the seventh and ninth innings of game 7 vs. the Rays symbolizes this bum's last 3 years. He has averaged around .232 for the 3 years, and when, when, was he ever even an average hitter? The genius can't even figure out that he has a lifetime average about 65 points lower from the left side. Change? Nah, too stuborn, too stupid or all of the above. He can't throw Big Papi out stealing, and how can you say he calls a good game? To make that claim, you must know the opposing hitters, whether the pitcher has good stuff that night, etc. So the Einsteins who call him a good defensive catcher, in reality, have NO CLUE. Gimme, gimme, gimmie, gimmie, I'm Tek The Great, and how dare you question my contributions, and current skill level !!!!

    Posted by wbhickok November 13, 08 02:48 PM
  1. Veritek's flailing at strike three in both the seventh and ninth innings of game 7 vs. the Rays symbolizes this bum's last 3 years. He has averaged around .232 for the 3 years, and when, when, was he ever even an average hitter? The genius can't even figure out that he has a lifetime average about 65 points lower from the left side. Change? Nah, too stuborn, too stupid or all of the above. He can't throw Big Papi out stealing, and how can you say he calls a good game? To make that claim, you must know the opposing hitters, whether the pitcher has good stuff that night, etc. So the Einsteins who call him a good defensive catcher, in reality, have NO CLUE. Gimme, gimme, gimmie, gimmie, I'm Tek The Great, and how dare you question my contributions, and current skill level !!!!

    Posted by wbhickok November 13, 08 02:49 PM
  1. (continuation of earlier post): Mass guidelines (non-binding on those in his income class) say he should pay around $77,000 in child support. That does not include significant alimony payments and picking up his kids' expenses until their 20s. Child support is determined based upon the "best interests of the children" and cannot be legally reduced by agreement of the parents. Another major factor is that the court can "attribute" income to him if he chooses to take less money. A "home town discount" will not apply to calculating his payments (only his free market "value" will") for his kids and to his ex. Many police officers (and firefighters) working 350+ days a year have found this out to their chagrin.

    Posted by Chris November 13, 08 02:49 PM
  1. $52M/4yrs... If that is the case, Tek, don't let the door hit you as I slam the door. I really, truly hope you have more sense than this.

    Posted by ToofarawayfromBoston November 13, 08 02:52 PM
  1. Chad, we already have Dan Shaughnessey in this town to write whiny drivel like this. This is Varitek's last chance at a big payday and he's earned the right to shop around. Toughen up and go howl at some other moon.

    Posted by Jason November 13, 08 02:52 PM
  1. Please Jason - go away and take your anemic .220 average with you. Thanks for the memories.

    Posted by George J. Limberis November 13, 08 02:52 PM
  1. I know everyone including his teammates say how valuable Varitek is at calling games but I have to ask why then were the Phillies and Carlos Ruiz able to shut down Longoria and Pena with a lesser staff? This especially surprised me considering how much more familiar the Sox staff are with the Rays hitters.

    Posted by Scott November 13, 08 02:53 PM
  1. What I want to know is when did Jason start using the 40 lb bat? Are they legal? Sure looks heavy to me.....

    Posted by BTM November 13, 08 02:57 PM
  1. Never been very good at throwing out runners either.

    Posted by Steve B November 13, 08 02:57 PM
  1. Chad Finn has a lot of sack to criticize "The Captain" like that in Boston. But most of what he says is absolutely right on! True, I was never a catcher in the Baltimore Orioles' system, but I have 2 eyes and have been watching the Red Sox, and Major League ball in general, for 40 years. I liked the Pagliaroni reference.

    Here's another one for Red Sox old-timers: bring back Sammy White! He never made over $25,000 a year in his career. No agents then. Just the player mano-a-mano with Mr. Yawkey. Guess who won 95% of THOSE confrontations!

    Posted by Brad in Sarasota redsoxguy@andro-tech.net November 13, 08 03:00 PM
  1. Is he still tapping Tappen?

    Posted by PMac November 13, 08 03:02 PM
  1. I couldn't agree more on Chads commernts. A pay raise for those weak double plays that he's constantly hitting into to. Boras is doing his job but like the Sox are going to pay him that money/years. Get real Tek/Boras.

    Posted by Mike McFly November 13, 08 03:03 PM
  1. Veritek, like others, is just struggling with the whole fame thing. He has been a great captain and should stay.

    Posted by Jimmy S. November 13, 08 03:03 PM
  1. Anyone offended by Varitek's salary "demands" is not familiar with how negotiations are conducted. Varitek shouldn't be paid anywhere near what he has asked for, but it's a starting point. I'm sure he doesn't actually expect 4/52 anymore than Manny really thinks some team will offer 6/150.

    As for the relationship betwen Varitek and the Sox, he can ask for whatever he wants but he has deteriorated so much offensively and defensively that they should not offer anything more than short term, small money. If he can more from another team he should go there. His contributions to the team's prior success have nothing to do with his value in the future. This is a business.

    And by the way, his actions off the field have nothing to do with it either. We're fans, not marriage counselors.

    Posted by Anonymous November 13, 08 03:03 PM
  1. tek fucking sucks he couldnt even hit his way out of a paper bag. get rid of him

    Posted by manoli November 13, 08 03:05 PM
  1. The Soxs are the Soxs because of Veritek. Oh, to build a time machine and go back to 2004. Remember? Keep the faith and all?

    Posted by Jimmy S. November 13, 08 03:06 PM
  1. This new section is a complete joke. I love that the writer needs to note "Sports Writer" at the end of his story. Honestly, I wouldn't have known if he didn't put it there. Where are the facts? What about the FACT THE THE RED SOX TEAM ERA IS LOWER when he catches than when ANY OTHER CATCHER DOES? The salary argument is dumb (and far more tired and tedious). Salaries are what they are. Catching options are very thin and it would be far more prudent and sensible for the Red Sox to bring Varitek back for 2-3 years than it would be to bring in a clubhouse disruptor such as I-Rod.

    This is the second article I have read here since this thing started. Charles Peirce piece on bringing Marbury to the Celtics was completely laughable and displayed an embarassing lack of basketball knowledge.

    Posted by Johnny BigLeagues November 13, 08 03:12 PM
  1. Not that I think the Sox should just flush their money down toilet, but Varitek should be on the Red Sox for his whole playing career and then move into the coaching ranks... part of this should include transitioning to the next #1 catcher *if* it is a young unproven guy. Varitek needs to come to grips with this too, as well as the reality that his skills do not even warrant a contract like the last one. Does he realize that Boras is making *him* look like a greedy SOB and someone who is in total denial.

    So... 2 guaranteed years at $9M each... a third option year at $14M, which kicks in if he starts 240 games in 2009-2010 (a BIG if). If he and Boras want to put their money where their mouths are... then show that he is worth 3 yrs/$ 32M. Maybe even an option for 2012 as well (but make him *earn* the option). If he doesn't start 240 games in 2009-2010, he gets a $4M buyout (which makes it 2 years/$22M), and a permanent job in the organization (if he chooses to retire at that time).

    Sounds simple to me...

    Posted by Boomer5 November 13, 08 03:13 PM
  1. If memory serves, Wade Miller was on the DL when he signed with the Sox, then helped immensely when he subbed for Schilling and Wells when they were hurt. 4-4 with 4.95 ERA. So what exactly can Varitek be blamed for?

    Posted by Y8S November 13, 08 03:13 PM
  1. Tek now has an average to below average arm and a slow bat. He can call an excellent game behind the plate. Sounds like a bench coach to me.
    Theo, outside of the Shortstop position, seems pretty good about finding a price and getting it done, or walking away (see Damon, Pedro) I think he is there with Tek now. My guess is 2 yr/16M is the ceiling. And I don't see anyone else offering more than that, unless they have a young staff that needs the veteran presence.

    I see him as the next Sox manager when Terry Francona's health issues catch up with him

    Posted by Steve November 13, 08 03:14 PM
  1. I have heard of a picthing rotation before but not a cacthing rotation...

    Posted by EDDY Heslop November 13, 08 03:14 PM
  1. Kevin P.
    Since you are the all knowing regarding catchers, might I offer my opinion as someone who has pitched at a high level.
    You speak of it not being his fault that pitchers cant hit the corners or "hang a breaking ball". However to follow your line of thought.....He should not have continued to call for a pitch that he knew his pitcher couldn't execute. A good catcher should have a feel for the stuff his pitcher has that night.
    I pitched long enough to know that calling a game IS overrated in regards to a catcher. I will give credit to Tek in knowing his pitchers...however he and the pitcher meet before the game to discuss a strategy on the hitters....ALL decent catchers do this. As a pitcher, the only thing I wanted from my catcher was to keep it from going to the backstop, and to stay out of my way and let me judge how good my stuff is that night. It is important for a catcher to work well with a young pitcher, however Beckett, Lester, Dice-K, etc. know how to pitch....period. The bottom line is....no matter how many times the catcher calls for the same pitch, if the pitcher doesnt want to throw it...he wont....PERIOD.
    So as a counter arguement, the "for every Lester, there is a Byun Hyun Kim" is dead on. If he has such a great effect on a pitcher executing, which is crap, he is not throwing it for him, then he has the same lack of communication when the pitcher ISNT executing...why keep calling for the same pitch if it gets mashed?
    I am impressed, you played singe-A ball as a catcher......so what, I pitched in Colorado Springs for a year too (when they were affiliated with the Indians as the Sky Sox). Doesnt make me an expert...but it makes me more of one than you.

    Posted by steve November 13, 08 03:15 PM
  1. You can't lay the blame on sub par pitchers on Varitek. He doesn't sign the players, he's dealt the hand that's given to him...and at least in the case of Clement, he was having an all star caliber season until he was hit in the face and never recovered mentally.

    I do agree however that anything over a two-year, or 1 year + club option, at this point is asking too much. The way Boras is trying to spin it doesn't hold water because Tek was never and will never be the same hitter as Posada and in the AL East, d defense may get you the personal trophy, but offense brings home the bacon.

    Posted by Anonymous November 13, 08 03:15 PM
  1. Please let this not be a Sox sponsored tarring and feathering a la Manny.
    That would be disappointing to this ardent fan and disrespectful to a great man.

    Posted by tekkie13 November 13, 08 03:16 PM
  1. I think this article was written a bit prematurely. Varitek has the absolute right to ask for what he thinks he is worth. If, as the article suggests, he is not worth nearly that much, then it is quite simple for the Red Sox to say "no thanks" and make a counter offer (or not).

    If Varitek starts using the media to flame the negotiations or locates another team (i.e. Yankees) merely to run up the bidding, then we can judge his actions as fans. This is business - you don't gain anything without being willing to lose something.

    I am all for debating his worth to the team, his ability to hot a fast ball, manage a pitching staff, but I will not criticize anyone for making the first step in understanding his market value.

    Posted by rich November 13, 08 03:16 PM
  1. Who cares what Finn thinks! Who is he? Where did he play? What makes him an expert? it's all about creating a forum for blog blowhards to whine and bitch.
    Most , if not all of you, haven't accomplished anything in your lives but you love jumping on the negative bandwagon of life. Where did you coach, where did you play, what championships did you win??? we don't care what you think!!!

    Posted by tom barrett November 13, 08 03:16 PM
  1. Get over it Finn and go back to wherever you blogged before the Globe hired you as a cost-cutting measure. The player and the agent are 2 different things. Varitek IS the consummate teammate/captain/catcher who is obviously on the downside of his career. But why should that stop him from attempting to make as much money in his late 30s as possible. And Boras IS the most successful agent in the world who gets the most for his clients in almost all cases. And that does make Boras the enemy of all sports fans. But don't confuse the two, and chill out with the venom. After all this isn't a Manny/Boras situation where the player gave up on his team in order to get out of town. Hate Boras all you want for that, but not for the Tek situation.

    Posted by kc November 13, 08 03:17 PM
  1. He should marry Angela ...

    Posted by Cammie Capek November 13, 08 03:20 PM
  1. It's a free market system and one that Mr. Boras successfully operates in. Tek has been a great catcher. Unfortunately, his skills have diminished measurably. He will be an asset to some National League team for two to three seasons at somewhat less than he is making now. I wish him the best with his new team.

    Posted by Dave Farrell November 13, 08 03:21 PM
  1. Great piece Chad.....if the Sox sign Tek for any more than 2 years at above Market Value and he hits .225.......people will soon forget about how he works well with pitchers and being the captain.....and calling out Theo. Take a page out of Belichick and keep the emotions out....there will be life w/o Tek someday.

    Posted by WD November 13, 08 03:25 PM
  1. It's about time someone said the truth. Go find another sucker -- bye bye captain!

    Posted by Bob A. November 13, 08 03:25 PM
  1. This column disturbed me. Obviously Varitek's best days are behind him, but the nasty tone here really does seem like another case of the "Red Sox Bum's Rush Out Of Town" that always seems to suddenly flow from every local pen in the business when someone's gotta go.

    "... one of the most vile subspecies of professional athletes..." ? "Vile"? Wouldn't "difficult" have sufficed? It's "difficult" when a respected but aging star wants to get overpaid, yes. But is Varitek really "vile," suddenly?

    And how about this: "The perception is that Varitek would play this doggone wonderful game for free, yet a cursory look at his history tells you that his bank account has usually been very high on his list of priorities..."

    Did Varitek every claim he'd play the game for free? I don't remember his ever saying that. Oh wait -- it's "perception." So, he's a hypocrite for not living up to, what, your perception?

    That's a classic strawman argument. And it's vile.

    If the guy has to go, he has to go. If he can get more money elsewhere, good for him. But spare us the standard "Red Sox tar and feathers and ridden on a rail out of town" stuff, in this case anyway, ok?

    p.s., Go Bruins.

    Posted by Medford Mickey November 13, 08 03:26 PM
  1. You are a miserable douche. How about the fact that some of us are actually a FAN of Varitek? Does that count for nothing? Of course he shouldn't get that huge contract but why the hell do you have to crucify him? What are you so bitter about? He needs to finish his career here if for no other reason than he is a true Red Sox. Not many people ever get to that point because of cold-hearted buls***like you just wrote. I hope he stays you jerk...

    Posted by Brendan November 13, 08 03:28 PM
  1. great piece. get rid of this guy. there is nothing worse than the pompous aging washed-up player who pretends to be heroic, chivalrous, one of the guys and in it for the love of the game. as much as manny was an idiot, he never kept it a secret that it was all about dollars to him. as you say, anyone with boras for an agent is just a hypocrite if they say they are otherwise motivated.

    Posted by meghan November 13, 08 03:29 PM
  1. HO Hum, Another sox legend up for free agency, another globe columnist hatchet job. You'ld think the Sox owned the globe or something. ...oh wait...

    Posted by MUNGHERO November 13, 08 03:29 PM
  1. I don't know how Varitek squats with balls big enough to ask for $42 mil over ANY amount of years sporting a .220 average and a .672 OPS.

    The Sox are the Sox because of a lot of factors, and yes, Varitek was/is one. We'd still have Pedro Martinez if that was the case that we should keep all those factors. I am as sentimental as anyone about Varitek - Love the guy. Every piece of Red Sox gear my girlfriend owns has "Varitek" on it.

    But when you make salary demands that go 100% against the grain of the persona that IS the reason you get respect, like Varitek did, I have to turn the page. For me the only option for him to keep the respect of the fans was to do what he did in 04 and circumvent Boras. Because he didn't do that, I'm sorry, he lost the only arguing point he had to request any kind of salary north of 8 mil a year over 2 years.

    Posted by EE22 November 13, 08 03:33 PM
  1. Post #136 currently holds the title of dumbest post, by far.

    Posted by Mike S. November 13, 08 03:45 PM
  1. Certainly Varitek is well past his prime. And I agree with the column that simply having Boras as your agent means you're in it for the money. I would, however, bring him back if the price becomes more reasonable. I'd pay him 3 years, $21 million to catch 80 games a year and serve as a mentor to the pitchers and the next catcher. Then he can retire and get a job in the organization whenever he wants one.

    If the price tag remains in the 8-figures-a-year range, he'll have to catch for someone else. It's just not realistic.

    Posted by cjc3312 November 13, 08 03:49 PM
  1. These posts are a DISGRACE....

    Let's all knock the "Captain" Varitek for (1) bad offensive season; that was littered with turmoil and tumultuous injuries mixed with episodic disasters.

    Varitek has been with The Red Sox his ENTIRE CAREER; only on the DL "ONCE" -- as a CATCHER !! Unheard of !! He has helmed our pitching staff for over a decade; through2 World Series Championships and held a Career .267 BA.
    (1) bad offensive season; in which his peers still voted him to the All-Star Game in recognition of his amazing leadership, defensive ability and prescence in game-calling and rock-solid ability behind the dish ---- and look at all the PINK-HATS on here who want to run him out of town; like they did with Manny.

    Why does everyone need to tear-down our heroes; when they have (1) bad season (time)? It's a nightmare to read these ignorant posts.

    Without Varitek; we likely don't have our 2004 & 2007 WS Championships; but let's tear apart our heroes and ship them out. Tek is a leader; not recognized by the failed non-leaders on this page. What Boras is asking for is a bench-standard; it gets negotiated down....WAKE-UP PEOPLE !!

    Tek needs to be re-signed & you can attain someone like Teagarden and groom him over Tek's shoulder. You can't just bring a stranger in to this pitching staff and expect success. Sign the big-bats (Teixeira, etc....) and you won't miss a #9 hitter hitting .220 or higher next year.



    Posted by Kevin P November 13, 08 03:50 PM
  1. I love Jason Varitek but he has lost his mojo at the plate. We need a hitting catcher. I would like to see him finish his career with the RS but perhaps in another role off of the field. His playing days are coming to a close. His lack of hitting is getting old.

    Posted by Hitobito November 13, 08 03:56 PM
  1. This is deff. the hardest decision the Red Sox have made in a couple years....I mean he is the captain of the greatest team in baseball. I say if the price for him goes down then take him for 2 years and still get another young catcher. I have to say though if his price stays what it is right now....well the plate won't be the same in 09

    Posted by LGRS November 13, 08 04:00 PM
  1. The main thing that bothers me is the way that 'Tek was so obviously annoyed by being pinch hit for. A strong leader can turn into a divisive force in an instant, and I thought that Tek approached the line this year. The money part doesn't bother me yet, as this is standard fare for Boras (though one could make the point that Jason hired Boras to do just this).

    As for his intangibles, I think that they were more important when we had the "Idiots". The team is now much more mature and corporate, and may not miss him as much as the '05 team clearly did. Going forward the leaders on this team will be Youk, Pedroia, Beckett et. al.

    Posted by Robert November 13, 08 04:00 PM
  1. It is a tough call given his legacy, but not so tough either. The business sense of the Red Sox has to dictate that 'Tek move on given his high contract demands. It is simple supply and demand economics with a strong dose of irrationality that will lead 'Tek to a big contract somewgere else. Or the market may not develop for him as expected and he will be offered a fair deal. Intangibles are great when combined with reasonably good tangibles, but they certainly do not outweight the basic skills inherent to the game. The fact is that catchers break down earlier and 'Tek has never been a hitter like Posada, so DH makes no sense. He is a catcher. The Red Sox had the best years 'Tek had to give and now it is time to move on. No shame in it. It is the harsh reality of professional sports.

    Posted by TJ Cahill November 13, 08 04:03 PM
  1. Scott Boras is an evil genius. Someone will sniff that leather and remember those clutch years and give him a much bigger contract than they should, and it will not be the Red Sox. Too bad Jason will return to Fenway Park in a different uniform and hit into a few DPs and wave at pitches away, while cashing checks he earned in the past.

    I don't get how everyone tries to compare normal people taking "whatever their boss is willing to pay them" and high level professional athletes. Read the memo: these guys are multi-millionaires, unlike most of us, and even though a million doesn't go as far as it used to they are still doing just fine, thanks.

    Posted by mattacme November 13, 08 04:04 PM
  1. "His smell-the-glove beatdown....." LOL. I've found that well-placed Spinal Tap references are always good for enhancing any piece of journalism.

    Agreed. We each get a little slower and and a little older every day and it would be good if some of these former gods would start to acknowledge this and accept pay that is in-line with performance.

    Posted by Padraig November 13, 08 04:04 PM
  1. Not for nothing, i think the potential suitors for Varitek are exaggerated at best by the EvilOne.

    Posted by CUL8ER November 13, 08 04:07 PM
  1. This basis of this piece and Chad's anger seems to be Varitek's supposed greed. But it was Boras, not Varitek who made the laughable statement that Jorge's contract would be the benchmark. Athlete's hire agents to get them as much money as possible. The majority of the time they are not involved in the negotiating process at all. Varitek never once stated he thought he was worth Posada money.

    Posted by Scott November 13, 08 04:09 PM
  1. First off, really like 'Tek as a member of the Sox but I cringe every time he comes to the plate.

    Fact is, he's going through a divorce and that can really change a guys mindset; half of his money is leaving his bank account and not coming back. (see such sports example as Michael Strahan considering retirement b/c his wife, now ex, would be getting half. Also, see Parcels come back to coach for a controlling owner, which we know he hates, after his wife left with half). This deal will likely be about the money.

    But, lets hope the Sox have learned from the mistakes Green Bay made with Favre and they offer 'Tek a good longer term deal that involves a transition into a pitching coach after 2 years on the field unless certain stats are met. Both sides would win long term, 'Tek gets good money and maintains his hero'd Boston image and the Sox retain the "intangibles" for more than just 1 or 2 years.

    Posted by PatsFan12 November 13, 08 04:11 PM
  1. Look at his previous contract, 10mil per year, and break it down, 5 mil for his work behind the plate, 2.5 mil for the Captain's job and intagibles, 2.5 mil for slightly above average hitting (which he was in 2004, for a catcher). So, since the hitting is below average now and hard to guarantee a competant replacement behind the plate.... I'd say cap offers to Varitek at 7.5mil a year and not a penny more, even with incentives.

    Posted by Anthony November 13, 08 04:12 PM
  1. "Stay tuned for next week's OT column when Chad Finn breaks down his reasons for disliking puppies!"

    Wow, Chad. I wonder if you'd tell Varitek to his face that he's "on the brink of becoming one of the most vile subspecies of prefessional athletes." My guess is no.

    Posted by Steve November 13, 08 04:13 PM
  1. I love Tek, but great article. I agree with you completely. Boras' demands are completely ludicrous.

    Posted by Earl Weinz November 13, 08 04:14 PM
  1. three words:
    duplicitous pond scum

    Posted by JR November 13, 08 04:16 PM
  1. Hmm, since the MLB performance enhancing testing policies got some teeth in them -- have anyone's numbers gone down as dramatically? I'm just sayin'

    Posted by Ghost of Ben Johnson November 13, 08 04:18 PM
  1. As much as I can't stand the man, Boras is a remarkably good auctioneer: on the sure-sell items (like Manny or Texiera), you start low or let someone else suggest the starting price so you can tap into the over-imagination of every salivating would-be buyer in the crowd (notice he's been nothing but vague on either of them). On the dubious sales (Varitek), you start high and then slash your price- hopefully luring someone into overbidding. Does anyone think Varitek is worth 4/52? Definitely not, but now 2/20, which is still overpaying, doesn't seem as absurd as it might have, does it?

    Posted by BY November 13, 08 04:20 PM
  1. Thanks Chad. It is about time someone was willing to write about a player and not worry about how that individual would react to the piece. The Red Sox are oing great and I appreciate the fact that they are looking to youth to serve the future. I was sorry when they traded our catcher of the future to Cleveland in the Crisp deal because it took a very short term view of a position which is difficult to fill. There are some very good young players out there and I am sure that Theo will do the right thing and not get caught up in overpaying for old players like the Yankees.

    Posted by Michael November 13, 08 04:21 PM
  1. All you have to ask yourself is how would Belichik & Pioli evaluate this player? Forget the sentimentality. His game is gone and so should he be.

    Posted by Dave Wave November 13, 08 04:22 PM
  1. It's negotiations, dummy. Anyone would do the same thing in a money rich-short career. The argument that ERA's are lower without Tek? Catching Wake's games are ERA-losing jobs; weak counter. The pitching staff is young but mature so his intangibles may not be as vital going forward. It would be nice to continue with him to a degree but only in a 60-40 mix with another catcher. The Sox will offer only as much as they deem to be smart based on value and "big picture". The choice will be Teks to either seek out every dime or stay put. BTW, I think he will bat better this year - .240-.250. His personal matters had an effect last year. He made his bed, now he has to climb out of it and get back to working on his hitting (right side).

    Posted by Dan November 13, 08 04:22 PM
  1. I'm beyond concerning myself with how much the Red Sox pay their players. My concern is having a regular in the line-up who bats .220. Having a catcher that bats .240 and has an average chance of throwing out a runner would improve the Red Sox.

    Posted by Paul November 13, 08 04:23 PM
  1. Post #142

    By your words; I can significantly doubt your pitching at any level.
    A catcher "gets his feel for a pitcher" based upon the game at hand. What is working and not.
    How does that catcher come to know the pitcher's strength of the evening?
    That would be by "calling the game".
    When a pitcher hangs his breaker over the middle and it gets LAUNCHED; you don't abandon the pitch....you mound-visit and speak to the pitcher's strength. You discuss if this was a mistake hanger or does the pitcher have a feel for his break?
    Notice Tek visits the mound more than any catcher in the game.

    that's why the pitcher & catcher are called "the battery" -- They are a unit on the diamond, and you don't "stop-calling" a pitch because one batter beats you either.
    Catching holds a great-mindset in psychology; leaders. Pitching has a followers mindset.

    I can see why you were one.

    Posted by Kevin P November 13, 08 04:26 PM
  1. I have noticed these stories only come up when players use Scott Boras as an agent. I think he is an agent provocateur. First he'll get everybody mad. In the end, with some skillful, face-saving negotiating, Varitek and the Red Sox can break through to get a reasonable deal. V'tek may not be playing ball many more years but he will probably have a long career in baseball if he wants it. It would be great if he could play a few more years with the Sox.

    Posted by brightonfan November 13, 08 04:30 PM
  1. Wow what a waste of time with all these comments. Every Red Sox fan is hoping and wishing for Teagarden or Saltalamacchia.....most of you have no idea who either one of them is!!! If Salty was so great, he would have been the starting catcher for the last 1.5 years for the Rangers after they traded Texeira for him...Teagarden won't be traded!! As we have all seen pitching is the only way to win in this league almost every free agent pitcher has been a bust, so we all want to trade a young pitcher for a catcher....it makes no sense!! Varitek is a free agent with a greedy agent,,good for him, it got him $40 milllion last time...2 years 15mil!!!

    Posted by Anonymous November 13, 08 04:32 PM
  1. Steve.....face the facts.....'Tek is National League pitcher offensively (and sometimes worse)....when he DOES get a hit, the response is "wow!" he is on base! I think it's laughable that the argument is 'Tek's role was primarily defensive...he's a baseball player!!!!!! I guess I missed the part where he can be a part-time contributor that is a starter....

    Posted by sox310 November 13, 08 04:33 PM
  1. Tek needs to drop 2 ozs. in bat weight....

    Posted by Erik November 13, 08 04:34 PM
  1. Perfect! Thank you for putting it in to words much better than I ever could.


    PS> Can we send Francona with him for letting him in so many crucial situations this season simply because he is the veteran?

    Posted by Tom November 13, 08 04:34 PM
  1. Time for CHAD to go!

    Posted by dr November 13, 08 04:37 PM
  1. Of course, Varitek should ask for as much money as he can get. Heck, the owners ask for as much as they can get out of the players AND the fans AND the crew. Ever buy a beer at Fenway? Obviously not.

    And of course Veritek shouldn't low-ball himself. When you sell your used car, do you ask for the lowest price you'd ever accept first? Obviously not. You ask for the amount you'd really like to see, and then reduce it when it doesn't seem to be selling.

    It is possible to love your job AND demand to get paid as much as you deserve. Sadly, in our world, the only way to get paid as much as you deserve is to shoot high and be a narcissist. It's all a page out of the CEO's playbook.

    Posted by Joshua Veritas November 13, 08 04:40 PM
  1. I can only see him fitting in to one team just based on the length of the contract Boras is seeking for him, & that is Detroit. They are not going to pay him 13m per season, so where does that leave him? Right here in Boston for possibly the same money , (10m/yr), he got in his previous year(s) if not a bit less, & certainly nothing more than 1-2 years with Club Options beyond that. There is only one catcher besides Tek that I would like to see the Sox go after, & who would be ready to step in now on a full time basis, & that is Shoppach. The one kid from Texas that they seem most interested in, is still a year or two away, but I could see them going for him & retaining Tek to train him, & maybe entice Tek with a lucrative coaching or managing position beyond his playing years that would be in the "Can't Refuse" range of money. I think he will be a premium asset after his playing days.

    Posted by Dave Z November 13, 08 04:41 PM
  1. Varitek, you must go. And PLEASE, take Wakfield with you.

    Posted by Richard November 13, 08 04:50 PM
  1. NOW Red Sox fans are willing to say that Varitek is old and washed up. However, if you were to tell a Sox fan last July that there is NO WAY he should have been on the A.L. All-Star squad, they would have given you 15,000 reasons why he should have been there (despite his PATHETIC .220 average going into the Mid-Summer Classic).

    Sox fans are well known for kicking their once respected players in their @sses when they're on their way out. It's just sad that now you turn against the man who basically turned around the 2004 Season for you guys.


    Posted by John November 13, 08 04:50 PM
  1. Those of you slamming Finn for this piece are simply too blind or too biased to understand that it's simply the truth. Tek's contract demands are ludicrous at this stage of his career and while I'd love to see him here for another year or two tutoring his replacement, I doubt it will happen. Someone is going to pay too much for his services. It just won't be the sox.

    Posted by Bouncer617 November 13, 08 04:57 PM
  1. Two years is fair, $52 mil probably not. Why not shoot for the stars and see what happens. They probably understand it may be an unrealistic goal and then offers could be in a range for his current talent. Rather than start lower and get off even less. Merely gauging his worth. There's always a fine line between confidence and arrogance. A swagger is good. He's at a point like most cathers at this age, needs to look to be more flexible. Being able to play first or DH, but you still need a bat for that. If he is the leader he is portrayed, why not look at a couple of years even four, but if the playing ability slides anymore, look at making him a player coach (first, third,bullpen)

    Posted by Rick November 13, 08 04:59 PM
  1. After the connivance of Boras in the Manny bailout last summer, you have to wonder why his salary demands for Varitek are not openly ridiculed by the Red Sox. I guess they want Mark Teixeira that badly.

    Posted by william November 13, 08 04:59 PM
  1. The very idea that "Borass" thinks his client is worth anything remotely close to 52 million is preposturous. Anybody who knows anything about baseball surely would conclude that Teks days as a productive hitter are gone. They've been gone for two years now. Anything more than 3 years 30 million would be an albatross and handcuff the team for future sighnings.

    Posted by SASWANSON November 13, 08 05:00 PM
  1. The truth is Boras may have made Theo's job easy. If his initial demand was more reasonable it would be more difficult to let him go. For all those people who say boras is just "negotiating" I offer you this -- if your first demand makes the other side get up and walk away from the table ( as 4yrs/$52 surely did) you've severely overplayed your hand, and perhaps eliminated the ability for your client to return to the team he really wants to play for, Boston. That's not good negotiating, people. The problem is that Boras has shown a willingness to place his clients on whatever team pays the most - regardless if it is the best fit for his client (Pudge in Detroit following a 100 loss season). He will have Manny playing for the Hanshin Tigers if its the most dough, believe me. The point to keep in mind is that one of the things that Theo is most adept at is not overpaying for his own FA's and knowing when to say goodbye to his own stars (Pedro, Damon, Nixon, etc). For all the positive feelings we have for Varitek - we all see the righting on the wall - that he has aged, can't throw anybody out and it overmatched in the batter's box. If his agent is going to make such overblown statements about his value - let him try to get it from some other team ( which I doubt he will). Tek will look pretty sad in Kansas City Royal blue.

    Posted by Fisk 27 November 13, 08 05:03 PM
  1. Will miss you Tek., you had a hell of a run for your time here, but eventually everyone leaves, either on there own merit or with a push. It's time to get younger, stronger and less expensive behind the plate. We have the talent of pitchers that I believe could be just as successful with another catcher back there. It's not like you have to be a rocket scientist to catch a pitch. Good luck getting that last big check, I really mean it.

    Posted by Craig November 13, 08 05:09 PM
  1. Finally, somebody who makes sense in this town.

    Posted by LouieTheLip November 13, 08 05:23 PM
  1. I agree with your content but not the tone it is written in. Jason Veritek is a red Sox super hero who transcends angst .

    If he is asking for the money reported and if he can get it somewhere else, good for him. But I will not go down the route of greed, disloyalty, ect.

    The Red Sox would not be the team they are today without Jason Veritek and he'll always be a Red Sox super star.

    Posted by Neil from NH November 13, 08 05:25 PM
  1. Now I can see where thr phrase "Hanging Chad" came from. LOL
    I definitely would like to see him as a Sox coach in the future

    Posted by weaver53 November 13, 08 05:25 PM
  1. There are a lot of good character guys, none better than Tek from what we hear. But to be honest, a lot of what he gets credited for in my mind is a pitching coach's job. What is the top pitching coach paid versus what Boras is hunting for?

    Posted by Jeff Reynolds November 13, 08 05:26 PM
  1. Bye Bye Tek, Bora$

    Posted by nate November 13, 08 05:33 PM
  1. Please let's all be realistic. This is a game that business men play. I cannot place blame on any player for taking what a team will pay him. Business decisions are not hard when it's a time for money concept. But I have to believe that there is plenty of room on my team for a SOLID catcher with weak hitting skills and all of the intangibles that have been mentioned.

    That said, I find it hard to believe that there has not been some creative deal making offered by Red Sox management. 2 years with an option on a 3rd for 15 is manageable. What about a coaching position written in should the 3rd year not be exercised by the team? There are options. But will Boras ALLOW one of his subjects to take less in the short term for more in the long run?

    I hope that our Captain has fun regardless of his direction.

    Posted by Anonymous November 13, 08 05:37 PM
  1. Is he worth more than a year at 1-2 million dollars? Heck no, and that's easy enough to say. If they sign him, it should be with the understanding that at most he's splitting catching duties with someone else.

    However, this guy went out of his way to throw him under the bus. And that's BS. Tek deserves more respect than that.

    Posted by Alex November 13, 08 05:39 PM
  1. Varitek should get a 3 year deal. SO WHAT, his offensive stats were down last year. SO WHAT!! At 38 years old Carlton Fisk had a terrible year batting .221. Then over the next 4 years. He batted .256, .277, .293 and then .285 at the age of 43. Oh, that's when he was playing for the White Sox. After he was run out of town by the jack ass Red Sox ownership at the time. A bad year for TEK does not define the rest of his career at 36...

    Posted by marcogio14 November 13, 08 05:39 PM
  1. Varitek has never sought more than he was worth. In fact, the last time around he literally stated that he would prefer to forsake a campaign for huge salary riches in order to stay with the Sox and keep his family settled where they were. Your piece is making this man out to be exactly the opposite of what he is - a steady, brilliant field general who can bring out the best in his pitchers and still stiick his glove in A-Rod's face. Let the man spend his final years in Boston and bring along the younger catchers who'll cluster around him to learn what he knows. The Sox win, he wins, & it sets a good tradition for the future.

    Posted by Kent Morgan November 13, 08 05:41 PM
  1. Do the Sox get draft picks should Tek sign elsewhere?

    Posted by Ben Ben the Fisherman November 13, 08 05:46 PM
  1. jeez - you read stuff like this and you're likely to start believing manny's conspiracy theories about sox mngt and the media trashing all the sox heroes to push them out of town. You can't argue that Tek can't hit, but how does that translate into this thoroughly below-the-belt character assassination? Because he wants to earn a living and get the most the market is willing to pay, and has an agent whose job is to maximize that income, he's now 'the most vile subspecies in sports'? Thatís bs. And if 'intangibles' are so meaningless, why was it such a good idea to get rid of manny, for his bad 'intangibles'? And how, if you're thinking logically, can you question, from an armchair, the impact of handling pitchers just because every pitcher thatís ever come through the sox system didnít turn into an all-star in the majors. The data may be right, but this was a lame hack job.

    Posted by boston_02109 November 13, 08 05:46 PM
  1. Let's be honest here. No one will blame Tek for trying to have his agent get the best possible offer. But REALLY? Does this clown Boras REALLY think his figures are in the ballpark? Nice negotiating skills.......Theo has left the building! If he is half as smart as he has proven himself in the past, he is in his limo and gone!

    4 yrs - $52 mil......YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!

    Posted by Az Red Sox Rooter November 13, 08 05:46 PM
  1. Everyone has some great points. Tek did alot for us, but if he really wants to stay in boston, he needs to tell Boras the d***head that and get a short term deal done. The kid from texas who no one can ever pronounce or spell his name would be a great fit for the Sox. If Varitek thinks he can get Posada money anywhere else, then maybe it's time to close that chapter of his career.All I can say is thanks for all you did for Sox Nation including punching Stray-Rod in the mouth. That was classic.

    Posted by Jason S. Tampa,FL November 13, 08 05:49 PM
  1. Wow, another rant about Varitek from Chad? How many is that now? Chad, does your girlfriend/wife/mother have a thing for Varitek or something? Give it a rest!

    And everyone on here that wants Varitek to take a "hometown discount " to show his loyalty to the Red Sox....where is your loyalty to the Red Sox captain? Jeezus! what a bunch of friggin' hypocrites!

    Posted by James November 13, 08 05:52 PM
  1. So what if Varitek wants a lot of money? Theo and John Henry should just suck it up and pay what Tek is asking for. I am 110% sure that we would have two fewer sets of World Series rings if it weren't for him. They can afford $13 million a year for all the revenue that has started flooding in now that the Red Sox are among the best in MLB. Has anyone else noticed that there are way more red sox fans around the country now than there ever have been? That means more people buying more (insanely overpriced) sox merchandise. If they are going to charge people that kind of money and it is still selling like crazy, they can afford to pay him his salary.

    Besides, we're the Fenway Faithful. How come we are the only ones who have to be faithful?

    Posted by Manda V November 13, 08 05:53 PM
  1. I'm not convinced that Varitek will never hit major league pitching competently again. However, I am also not convinced he is worth more than a two year contract at well below what Boras is asking.

    Posted by ron November 13, 08 05:53 PM
  1. Varitek has never sought more than he was worth. In fact, the last time around he literally stated that he would prefer to forsake a campaign for huge salary riches in order to stay with the Sox and keep his family settled where they were. Your piece is making this man out to be exactly the opposite of what he is - a steady, brilliant field general who can bring out the best in his pitchers and still stiick his glove in A-Rod's face. Let the man spend his final years in Boston and bring along the younger catchers who'll cluster around him to learn what he knows. The Sox win, he wins, & it sets a good tradition for the future.

    Posted by Kent Morgan November 13, 08 05:53 PM
  1. Pay him the $52,000,000, its a drop in the bucket for the Red Sox. What is the altrernative..nothing. And yes Virginia a divorce can screw up your batting skils, he would be the come back catcher of the year in 09 if they had that award.

    Posted by Jimmy Kraskouskas November 13, 08 05:57 PM
  1. Interesting article and interesting comments. My question is, when do these insane price tags stop? We are possibly on the verge of a major recession, citizens are being laid off in droves (soon to be on unemployment), people are losing their homes and a large percentage of Americans can't even afford to go to a baseball game. And on the flip side, baseball players through their greedy agents are seeking millions per year to play. I know their athletically gifted and that's commendable but there has to be cut off.

    Posted by MP November 13, 08 06:05 PM
  1. trouble is, these guys have no clue. They ALL have a distorted view of their value.They forget that it's all about their numbers.
    Face facts ball player. you are nothing but a piece of meat. nobody cares if you are mr. nice guy or mr. team player. If you can't produce you are worthless.

    Posted by bruce warner November 13, 08 06:17 PM
  1. Let Tek go. Trade Mike Lowell to the Giants and eat some of his contract for Benji Molina. The Giants need a 3B who can hit and have a young guy to replace Molina. Molina had over 90 rbis hitting in the weakest lineup and toughest park in the majors. Throw in a youngster and you have a deal.

    Posted by Raymond Park November 13, 08 06:20 PM
  1. It was only a few years ago that many were talking that Lowell was washed up. He was basically a throw in with the Beckett deal. He turned out pretty good, huh? I would not not be so quick to give up on the Captain, as I think he will rebound considerably from this past season.

    Get over the fact that Boras is his agent. He will not get (nor do I think he expects to) the money Boras is throwing out there. We can retain him for 2/3 years at 8-10M per.

    Posted by Dave from Wakefield November 13, 08 06:24 PM
  1. Oh, and another thing. Those of you who want to get rid of Wakefield, are you serious?! I don't mean to sound too harsh but you really need to have your head checked. Wake is a bargain at 4M per year. He had a good year last year and is a a versatile pitcher, not to mention a great teammate and club house presence. He gave the sox a lot of innings last year and had a good era. Look for more of the same next year.

    Posted by Dave from Wakefield November 13, 08 06:33 PM
  1. Amen, well said.
    Tek's past his prime. He has been a great soldier,but 52Mill over 4 years, are you coo coo?
    HIs skill set has diminished, he cannot hit, time to cut bait here I'm afraid.
    He is embarrassing himself now, sad to say.

    Posted by SeeYaTek! November 13, 08 06:47 PM
  1. YOU FREAKIN MORONS....If "Tekkie-Poo" was a real leader/captain, he would have punched Manny in the freakin chops. You people are f*****, who probably voted for Obama, so you could get a ****from your skanky wives.

    Posted by wbhickok November 13, 08 06:49 PM
  1. "You probably won't believe me by the time you arrive at the final syllables of this piece, but it is the truth as I know it: There's little satisfaction to be found in criticizing Jason Varitek."

    You're right, I don't believe you. You seem to be swimming in satisfaction in your criticism of Tek.

    And count me as one who does believe in the value of intangibles of the Captain.

    Posted by Dave from Wakefield November 13, 08 06:58 PM
  1. Excellent, well thought out, well written article....

    Posted by Hoge November 13, 08 07:03 PM
  1. Perhaps this has already been suggested, but why couldn't the Sox offer him a deal similar to Schillings PERFORMANCE-LADEN deal he signed last rs - right before dropping out of sight for the following 6 months! And I have to agree... if I hear ONE MORE PERSON say "BUT HE'S THE CAPTAIN, AND HE'S SO POPULAR!... Where's the loyalty?" All I can say to that is - that "loyalty" is sitting on the Yankees BENCH - RIGHT NEXT to JOHNNY DAMON!!! (Think Back- How many fans said the same thing? "HOW CAN THEY LET GO OF JOHNNY AFTER WINNING THE WORLD SERIES??!!??) See ya' next year Jason- in a DIFFERENT UNIFORM!!!

    Posted by michael kost November 13, 08 07:11 PM
  1. I agree Tek is not anywhere near 4 yr, $52 million. I also believe the guy that wrote this invective was getting his rocks off with each keystroke. No animosity, Chad? Sure thing.

    Posted by Chris in Saratoga November 13, 08 07:17 PM
  1. Nice article, I love Jason Varitek and will always remember his skills and toughness in his younger days. Thank you Jason.

    Posted by Anonymous November 13, 08 07:30 PM
  1. I think Varitek's time has finally come. He is a big part of the team and I think that everyone understands that. But he is not a reliable as he used to. He struggle with batting in the regular and the post season. At one point during the regular season he was batting somewhere in the .100's, not good. We had a low number of throws actually making the tag during steals too.

    Posted by Flaming November 13, 08 07:31 PM
  1. I agree with your idea that Varitek cannot hit as well as he use to and will never be able to again, but for you to say that his personal issues did not affect him i think is a little bit wild. Especially a year after JD Drew was in the middle of some family issues and everyone was calling for his head, but then came out and was a hero in the postseason, and had a very good season offensively and defensively this year. I also think that the catcher position is one of the positions where you sacrifice offense for defense, and for Variteks great game calling. Also i would like to say look at the list of players you said varitek has failed with. Scott Sauerbeck? Wade Miller? Sauerbeck was just a bad pitcher, and Wade Miller's favorite position on the team was DL, not SP. If your going to bring them up then bring up some of the pitchers who had succeeded under him who came from obscurity, like Kason Gabbard for example.

    Posted by Phil November 13, 08 07:41 PM
  1. 1/ Varitek was an integral part of this golden era in Sox history
    2/ The era can continue as long as GMs dont listen to fans and fall in love with players (as their hourglasses fill)
    3/Varitek deserves respect and affection at a Varitek Day when he's put into the Sox Hall of Fame.
    4/ Common sense dictates that if he catches many more games, he'll be walking down the street in that squat very soon.
    5/ So....without acrimony, just let him sign with someone, wish him the best, and honor him when it's over.

    Posted by Ike Delock November 13, 08 07:53 PM
  1. Thank you Chad. You hit it right on the head.

    Bye Jason.

    Posted by joe dirt November 13, 08 08:11 PM
  1. "dating to when he refused to sign with the Minnesota Twins out of Georgia Tech."

    Thank you. He should have received crap for that throughout his career, but he was given a pass. I wish the Red Sox would develop a no boras player policy as he has absolutely ruined the game with teams like the Yankees and Sox to blame as much as anybody else.

    Posted by DW November 13, 08 08:30 PM
  1. How do YOU know that Varitek cannot competently hit major league pitching now, and he never will again. What do you have a freakin crystal ball? I love it when writers so proudly proclaim that a player is all done. Weren't you guys saying that about Mikey Lowell a couple of years ago?? You guys make me sick with your pompous, know it all attitude about sports. All you do is WRITE, and that makes you an expert.

    Posted by Susan November 13, 08 08:34 PM
  1. Sorry , Jason but time to go, with your head held high, one of the greatest catcher, captain,and gentle men in the history of baseball. Your bat and knees have had it. i wish you well and will truly miss you. I think you would make one great coach.

    Posted by Mary Hefron November 13, 08 08:34 PM
  1. Tek has made great contributions to the Sox organization, but remember this is a business. I would encourage Theo to pay him Posada money if he had only put up Posada stats. (check out baseball-reference.com to compare the two side by side). The cold, hard truth is he's getting older, he's lost bat speed, he doesn't often throw players out at 2nd (unlike Dioner Navarro who was outstanding this season), and he's never been the fastest runner down the 1st base line. We all know Boras is as greedy as they come, the Sox brass will laugh at the contract ask, and they will counter with something like 2 years at $6 mil/year, take it or leave it. Other clubs may pony up equal or slightly better money to get him, but he's like Tom Beringer in Major League.

    I'd love to see him as a bench coach, as I think he is underrated in how he has guided Sox pitchers through the years. It's clear he's a great student of the game, reading hitters, and even learning Japanese to break the language barrier with Daisuke and Oki.

    I would hold off on putting him on a pedestal, though... guys who repeatedly cheat on their wives, and especially with a blonde media bimbo like Watney disqualify him from hero status. If you want to feel sorry for anyone, put yourself in Karen Varitek's shoes. Yes, it's likely she will get half of his net worth, but do you think money will really compensate for the disappointment and humiliation she has tolerated over the years?

    Posted by Irish Karen November 13, 08 08:40 PM
  1. That would be Carlos Ruiz and Dioner Navarro... and please do notice that Ruiz and the Philly pitchers did a much better job of handling Tampa than did Varitek and company. You can throw the sainted John Farrell under that same bus.
    Lots of variables here, Chad. You're wrong to turn Varitek into a villian. And he and Boras are asking for way more than he's worth at this point. Theo botched this when he traded Kelly Shoppach (catcher of the future: Cleveland) for Coco Crisp. His attempts to fortify the position have been failures to date: Mirabelli, Cash, Ross, Javier Lopez. And where is Kottaras?
    I do like your list of pitchers who failed here. If he can't hit anymore and does best making good pitchers better, can't catch Wakefield, it's time to find a young 'un and hope for the best.

    Posted by PhilliesFan November 13, 08 09:11 PM
  1. You are right, Boras is execrable and the Sox should not sign Varitek for Boras rates.

    Posted by rossmoyer@comcast.net November 13, 08 09:14 PM
  1. Great piece. I love Varitek, but he is no where close to being worth what he is asking. I am a Red Sox fan, first and foremost, and I cheer for the TEAM, not individual players. I lived in Atlanta and saw Salty play way back in A ball with the Rome Braves. There has always been a presence about this kid and we need to make the trade for him. True, experienced catchers develop young pitching, but experienced pitchers (Beckett, Wake, Daisuke) help develop young catchers.

    Posted by Keith Waters November 13, 08 09:27 PM
  1. We need a catcher its that simple and we aint gonna find anyone better so there !!

    Posted by bosoxyaz8 November 13, 08 09:50 PM

    Posted by John Gilligan November 13, 08 09:56 PM
  1. Start at $52 for 4 years......end at $15 for 2 years with incentives. Love ya Tek but the Sox have let many others go that were better than you

    Posted by Norm November 13, 08 10:00 PM
  1. If I were Teo the very moment I heard Boras compare Varitek to Posada asking for 52 million over 4 more years I would have called Jason and thanked him for his exemplary service to the Red Sox while also stating how interested we are in him as a potential manager in the future. Then I would have told Boras "No I'm all right., we're good...tell you what we'll call you back about other player options later, thanks buddy, have a good day, bye."

    Posted by Bill November 13, 08 10:06 PM
  1. for the kind of $$ his agent wants? bye-bye to the worst offensive player in MLB!!
    "But, he handles a pitching staff SO well!" I forgot, no other catcher is able to handle to catch a good game.

    Posted by bbBB November 13, 08 10:12 PM
  1. put a fork in him ... he's done

    Posted by Mark H November 13, 08 11:16 PM
  1. dude, the 4 yr, $52 million was Boras' idea, not tek's. that said, stop hating on the guy who has meant more to this team during his tenure here than anyone else

    Posted by Anonymous November 13, 08 11:53 PM
  1. I love V-Tek but its time for him to go. If you think otherwise you are way too nostalgic for our beloved captain. I love the guy, but after hearing about his INSANE salary demands I have to quote michael kay of the yankees and say- SEE YA!

    Posted by Greg November 14, 08 12:22 AM
  1. There is no way Tek should be back on this team next year, even if they got him for free. He is extremely overrated as a catcher, and his offense has been on the decline every year. He can't throw out runners anymore, and his "calling a great game" is crap. He works so well with the pitchers is all anyone keeps saying. It's BS!!! If that's the case, then why did Beckett have a bad first year, as well as this year. Why didn't Lester pitch well in his first year in the Big Leagues, as well as Buchholz. Why didn't Dice-K pitch well in his first year here? Why can't he catch when Wakefield pitches? Varitek doesn't call a great game, in fact I think he calls too many "wasted" pitches when the pitcher should just keep attacking the zone until the batter proves he can hit it. There's no need to waste a pitch when ur pitcher is on the whole game. If you want experience, go after Pudge Rodriguez who is a free agent. He knows how to handle pitchers, can throw runners out, and is a solid hitter and always has been. Varitek is greatly overrated, and Pudge is better than him in every category here, and you could get him for around the same price that the Sox have been paying Tek for all these years at 10 million.

    Posted by Dave November 14, 08 03:20 AM
  1. Chad,
    I think you are making it seem as though a salary negotiation at its starting point is somehow connected to reality. Boras is representing his client, and you know the very, very rich men in the Red Sox front office will place a value on 'Tek's services and stick within their range. I always wonder why fans and pundits are so harsh on the players (not that they don't often deserve it) when it comes to the question of greed, but not the owners who are raking in buttloads of money in Boston and who raise ticket price every year. Fenway is full of part-time fans now because they are the folks who can afford it. If on baseball grounds you think Varitek should go, fine, but the greed thing is a red herring.
    P.S. Varitek cannot be held responsible for most of the pitchers you mentioned who tanked in Boston who were either hurt (Clement, Miller) troubled (Kim) or toward the end of their tether (Ramirez).

    Posted by Marc Larrivee November 14, 08 03:22 AM

    Posted by SCOT VERGE MEDFORD MA. November 14, 08 03:57 AM
  1. I think Tek would be useful if he only caught 2 times a week and was willing to hand over the primary role to a young Saltalamachia...problem is, 1) he already can't catch Wake 2) he wouldn't be willing to do it anyway. Chad is right--Tek has always had a quiet, Ty Law-like, "you will pay me what I deserve" streak in him...but he also I fear has that feeling about playing. He isn't close to accepting how far he has declined, and he won't be close to accepting that he shouldn't be catching 120 games a year either. Sure, he might be very valuable to bring along some young guy but I don't think he'll do it. And for those that want to blame Boras--Tek hired him, and if Tek really wants to take less money, play less than full time and stay with the Sox, he will. I don't see it happening. I'll be sorry to see him go, but the time is now. Unless they can get him at 2 years, and half what he's making now AND trade for Teagarden or Salty...his terrible bat will kill them in the AL East...and all the same people whining about letting him go will be whining that Theo's to blame for not doing more. Cut the cord, people.

    Posted by Robert McTague November 14, 08 04:40 AM
  1. Tek sucks. Everyone who wants to keep him is dumb. If you keep him, you're doing it solely based on what you say is because "he handles the pitchers". Isn't that the primary purpose of a catcher, to "handle" the pitchers? You act as if he is the greatest catcher that ever lived. He can't hit and hasn't for years, and has declined every year. He can't throw runners out anymore and has been league average at doing so his career (look up the numbers). So why would we keep him? If he handles the pitchers so well, why hasn't Beckett had a good year this year, or Buchholz? So half the staff he catches pitched well and the other half didn't, and that makes him great at handling them?

    Overall, Lester, Beckett, and Dice-K are excellent pitchers. It's not as if Varitek is catching the 3 stooges out there and making them throw shutouts every time. He's catching very good and quality pitchers. He should handle them well because overall, they throw well. So you want to spend 10 million or more on a guy solely because he can catch our good pitchers, who are good to begin with and not because of him. Oh yeah, and he can't catch Wakefield, who is our worst pitcher we have. All the more reason to want to keep this clown around any longer. And let's not talk about how he caught 4 no hitters or how we wouldnt have won the World Series without him. Yeah, we would have won without him because his can't hit. And if he hit anything at all this year and this postseason then we would have won another one. He's useless. Sign someone else. I bet the Red Sox bat boy could hit better than Tek. At least he'd look a hell of a lot better trying.

    Posted by Tek sucks November 14, 08 05:16 AM
  1. With all do respect to Varitek, I don't believe he is worth 4yr $52 million player anymore. Does Varitek himself believe that he is worth the amount of contract his agent is putting out there? I mean... It's rediculous. I appreciate his hard work and dedication toward the Red Sox over the years but any GM who give what BorastheDevil is asking should be removed from baseball instantly.
    I want to thank Varitek for his royal service and wish him good luck.
    bye Varitek.

    Posted by RedSox4ever November 14, 08 05:49 AM
  1. Hey #218 (Dave from Wakefield)
    "Wake is a bargain at 4M per year. He had a good year last year and is a a versatile pitcher, not to mention a great teammate and club house presence. He gave the sox a lot of innings last year and had a good era. Look for more of the same next year."
    What the h--- does any of that lullaby have to do with WINNING ??? He's 15 games over .500 for his 15 years here. What's his record in big games ??This is professional sports - not a good citizens award !!!!

    Posted by tekasam November 14, 08 06:36 AM
  1. Unlike other athletes, Tek has kept his mouth shut. He hired an agent (who happens to be powerful, successful and loathed) to represent him. As much as I dislike Boras, he is acting on behalf of his client. Tek will make the final call. Give him some credit. He knows he was lousy at the plate last year. He never made an excuse. How about putting a little blame on the hitting coach for not finding the glitch in his mechanics. Let's offer Tek 4 years....2 behind the plate, and 2 as a coach/instructor. He doesn't deserve this attack....careful, you will be compared to the CHB if you keep this up

    Posted by paldog November 14, 08 07:01 AM
  1. I find it amazing that no one challenged Finn's assessment:
    Varitek cannot competently hit major league pitching now, and he never will again.

    Varitek did manage to hit .284 with an .863 OPS when batting right-handed against left-handed pitching in 2008 (111 PA). I wonder what would happen if he dropped switch-hitting and batted righty all the time.

    Posted by ottoc November 14, 08 08:40 AM
  1. Jason Varitek has a uh lost it

    Posted by Anonymous November 14, 08 08:45 AM
  1. Not too much to say except, crappy piece. I knew it wouldn't take you long to go from a fan with a great blog to another Boston media jerk. Lame

    Posted by Kim November 14, 08 08:57 AM
  1. You selected a bunch of pitchers that were here for what...half a season? Thats the best you can do to try to bring up all the pitchers that he hasnt been able to help? Please, that might be the most ridiculous arguement ever. Why not throw in Frank Castillo and John Burkett, Paxton Crawford and Blain Neal, Cla Meredith and JC Romero. The guy is not God, he cant fix every single pitcher out there.
    Lets not forget that Clement was an all-star and a good pitcher up until he took that comebacker off the head, after that he was pretty much done. Scott Sauerbeck and Jeff Suppan were classic NL pitchers that were overachieving while playing with no pressure for the Pirates. BK Kim was damaged goods long before being traded to the Sox. Wade Miller was a chance reclaimation project that didnt pan out.
    His success far outweighs his failures

    Posted by Trader Rob November 14, 08 09:19 AM
  1. Good article; good responses.

    Part of me thinks that maybe JV deserves one more shot to prove that his offensive skills are still present. So, a one- or two-year deal at decent money might make sense if the Sox also have another budding catcher to groom.

    But, I suspect JV's bat skills are diminished beyond recuperation. So, what do you do? He is defensively a so-so catcher - he's never had a great arm to second - although he is more than capable as a field general and pitch caller. There's really not a lot out there in terms of proven replacements, either.

    So...I say, give him a one-year deal with some kind of option, see how his bat looks in '09, and go from there. He's been great - and kudos to Dan Duquette for the best trade I've ever seen the Sox make to land JV and Derek Lowe (the 2004 championship was really Duquette's victory) - but, as we all know, ballplayers age and diminish.

    I agree that Boras is simply doing what he is paid to do: no harm in that, and ultimately, the deal JV gets will be reasonable (if baseball salaries can be described as reasonable).

    Posted by Anonymous November 14, 08 09:32 AM
  1. The fans in Vermont don't want Tek to go. Just because Boras gives an amount doesn't mean Jason is thinking that. Remeber last time he did his own deal. Don't forget all he has done for the team and the pitchers. The year he was out sick and hurt the team went totally down hill without his leadership and knowledge behind the plate. Last year Beckett said if he could he would split the MVP in half and give the other half to Jason. I am not saying give him 4 years but I would definitely keep him. KTF and Don't Forget!!

    Posted by A Vermont Fan!! November 14, 08 09:45 AM
  1. I would love seeing Salty or Laird behind the dish next season, and then watch the pitching staff tank! But most enjoybable will be reading all the trashing, complaints, rants and crying from ol' Chad and his loyalists about how bad Salty (or Laird) is!

    Posted by BillB. November 14, 08 10:12 AM
  1. no hablo ingles

    Posted by juan November 14, 08 10:39 AM
  1. Knowing the Sox, they'll dump him, then go looking for a replacement, like they did Lugo, and end up OVERPAYING for whoever they get. If they're smart, they'll make a trade for a catcher, THEN dump Tek. They'll get a better deal. Of course, Tek would make a great manager. When his playing days are over (1yr), he should be sent to the minors to learn the art of managing. I think that's his future in baseball. Considering Tito' health, it could be sooner rather than later.

    Posted by Costpet November 14, 08 11:50 AM
  1. No one, unless they're a complete imbecile, would sign Varitek for 4 years @ 52 million. I know it's his job, but Boras is shameless. He'll try to manufacture the idea that there's a real market out there for a thirty-six year old catcher with rapidly eroding skills by comparing him to Jorge Posada. I'd be absolutely shocked if there's a single GM in baseball who would buy it even for a second. He's a con man and a used-car salesman (with due apologies to used car salesmen). Varitek performed well and for that he was paid well for his services. He earned what he got. He certainly did not out-perform his previous contract. The most he should expect from the Red Sox is 3 years @ 18 million. Take it or leave it.

    Posted by pete22 November 14, 08 12:24 PM
  1. Great article! Jason, show some humility! Take a huge pay cut just for the priviledge of finishing your career with the Red Sox. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you. Given what I've heard and read thus far, you should be ashamed of yourself. Theo, it's time to move forward.

    Posted by Chet C November 14, 08 12:59 PM
  1. I AGREE..If the Sox sign Tek for 4 years and $52 -- will we not boo him when he hits 220/200/200/190 ? When the average to above average fastball is thrown by him in RBI situations ? One wrote a few days ago the Sox were closer to $10 per year for 2 years. BE SERIOUS !!! He will get booed at that level also. The only real hope is that he makes a MIRACULOUS comeback after visiting the Ponce De Leon fountain of youth and hits 265 with 22 homers. Yeah- sure - and the Sox are going to re-sign Manny. MAYBE we will welcome him back if he signs or two years at $5 per and a lifetime contract to stay in the organization and tutors Salty or new Catcher or Teagarden

    Posted by pja November 14, 08 01:01 PM
  1. Great article and mostly-great comments. I don't think a player of 'Tek's caliber is worth $8MM, but given what he has meant to the franchise, I would favor a 1-year $8MM deal (maybe with option that vests if he plays over 100 games, which I hope wouldn't happen). Get a decent (preferably left-handed hitting) catcher to handle about half the load, including Wakefield's starts and as many games against hard-throwing righties as possible. Given that there is talk of Boston considering making a bid for the incredibly-overrated Derek Lowe ($15MM/year for more than 3 years? Puh-LEEEZ!), I really wish the Sox would have the discipline to promise not to sign any Boras clients for the next couple of years, but that will never happen...

    Posted by Bob Shippee November 14, 08 01:57 PM
  1. I always find it hilarious when people say that he handles the pitching staff so well and calls a good game...then fail to cite the years where he wasn't blessed with a great pitching staff and led the league in CERA. He gets all the credit when the staff does well and none of the blame when they do poorly. It isn't his fault when Manny Delcarmen gets taken deep on a pitch Tek calls and Manny hits the spot perfectly. No blame goes his way.

    So we ditch any criticism for his uncanny ability to come up to bat with a runner on first and manages to bounce into a DP or force out each time. It's ok, he has intangibles. He gets the Derek Jeter teratment here, except Jeter actually has some talent. All the praise the fanboys give him here sounds no different than the girlish glee of adoration that we fry Tim McCarver for when the Yankees are on Fox.

    And when it comes to money how soon we forget that in the midst of the 2004 season, with the Sox floundering in mediocrity, Varitek talks about his contract and the respect he deserves in the offseason. Not a peep from anyone, but Pedro does the same thing and was absolutely hammered by the Pink Hats. His currently salary demand of 4/52 is insane...and coincidentally it is the same deal Tek/Boras wanted in the 2004-2005 offseason. Everyone wants to say, "Oh, well that's Boras" because Captain Flat Top would never be about money and obviously has no say in his own contract negotiations....

    He has had three plus seasons in his career with the Sox and was average to mediocre for the rest. He was a decent player that contributed so some great Sox teams. However, at this point in his career he is far from being that player and I'm glad someone else out there isn't looking at him through the rose colored glasses that the rest of the Pink Hats seem to prefer wearing.

    Posted by Ian November 14, 08 02:01 PM
  1. "D-Lowe went from ERA in Boston in 2003 of 4.47 and 2004 of 5.42 to 3.62, 3.63, 3.88 and 3.24 from 2005 through 2008. " To the person who wrote that, here is a hint: D-Lowe is pitching in the National League. I could pull down a Bob Gibson-like ERA if I pitched in the NL; they are lousy hitters for the most part. So much for that comment!

    Chad, you are harsh to say that 'Tek is as much to blame for the failures on the Sox pitching staff as the successes. That is like a business owner refusing you a raise because you were late for work one day despite exceeding all of your other goals. It's nickel & dime Charles Comiskey-era mentality. That being said, I don't think 'Tek is worth 13 mil for 4 years. But he's worth at least two at 12 mil. And don't hat e the player, hate the game. Scott Boras is the necessary foil for a bunch of greedy owners who act like the gun is pointed at their heads forcing them to overpay for Carl Pavano et al. If Scott Boras didn't exist, MLB owners would have created one. That being said, I despise the guy. He is a lying, money hungry and egotistical piece of drek. I wish 'Tek had another agent. But to call him "vile..." because of this is pretty outlandish. Manny Ramirez is VILE because he tanked his team and signed on with Boras with the expressed intention to do so. His intentions were never about anything but getting out of a contract he agreed to 8 years ago. 'Tek is just trying to get more mileage out of his diminished skills. So he's not worth $52 mil. But he's not Doug Mirabelli either. Hopefully he wakes up and tells Boras, "I'm staying put.....accept their deal."

    As for his personal life, funny how some take exception to that while harping for D-Lowe to return. I just don't get it.

    Posted by Pete G. a.k.a. "Sofachi" November 14, 08 02:14 PM
  1. 2 more years at the same terms as the current deal

    Posted by Gerald Rose and Matt Shumilla November 14, 08 02:35 PM
  1. This column is a ridiculous rant. Comparing a shortstop and a catcher is pretty much apples and oranges so I don't buy that Jeter is 'superior in talent and production.' Besides, as a captain Jeter is awful _ he leads by quiet example, which isn't really leadership at all. Everyone can see he quietly loathes A-Rod.

    And since when is handling pitchers an 'intangible?'

    'Tek and his agent clearly are angling for the best possible contract and there's no shame in that. Yes, it looks like he's on the down side of his career but that's not absolutely certain yet. You'd think someone at the Boston Globe would be careful about saying a player is definitely in the twilight of his career!

    Posted by Kevin November 14, 08 02:54 PM
  1. Hack. Hack. Hack. Hack. Hack. Set up the straw man and knock him down. Hack. Hack. Hack. Hack. Hack!

    Posted by 14TheClaw November 14, 08 02:57 PM
  1. His time has passed. During this past ALCS he reminded me (oh so painfully) of Nomar in the 2003 playoffs. I nearly bit my tongue off with cringing and praying for a hit everytime they came to bat...just one teensy weensy little hit. He is no longer capable of handling the job...the entire job. He can't throw out runners and he can't hit. As for the game calling, tell the very expensive pitching staff to "man up" and figure it out for themselves. Many of them had had the tutorial as provided by Jason. Enough!

    Posted by AB November 14, 08 03:51 PM
  1. You're wrong. He IS the team; He holds them togther. He lives and breathes the game and is by far the best team captain we could hope for. There is more to this whole picture than meets the eye. The Sox have a Heart and Soul and that is what makes them so fun to watch; Tek is very much entwined in that. If J leaves, I may have to leave too. He is my favorite player of all time. No wonder Sox fans are considered so "fairweather". You all probably miss Manny too.

    Posted by JTekfan November 14, 08 04:17 PM
  1. Although I generally agree with the overall point that Tek is not worth what he is asking, and that his playing days are certainly numbered, I would point out the following:

    1) Intangables: Aren't they the difference between David Ortiz and A-Rod, a much more gifted player who always seems to soil himself in "the big game".
    2) Matt Clement: Wasn't he a truly positive pitching surprise for the Sox, until he took that drive off the noggin, and then destroyed his shoulder pitching?
    3) Wade Miller: Wasn't his shoulder in pieces before the Sox picked him up as a low cost gamble. Like buying a lottery ticket, chances weren't good, but you can't win if you don't play.

    Posted by Randy November 14, 08 06:04 PM
  1. IF Varitek must go, it is because of his agent. You can't hit .225 and have Scott Boras asking for the moon and the stars. I would rather see the team work out a reasonable offer that lets him finish his career here. But if they have to deal with Boras and his fake offers, trying to get the Sox to bid against themselves, forget it.

    Posted by DC November 14, 08 06:47 PM
  1. you people are just Jason haters because he has a hot new girlfriend.He's not going anywhere.He wants to stay in Boston to be with her!

    Posted by Anonymous November 15, 08 01:39 AM
  1. The ONLY reason the Red Sox made Tek Captain starting in 2005 was because of his numbers he put up in 2004 and even 2003. He hit .273 in í03 and .296 in í04. At that time, Tek was among the best catchers in the game and the Sox were scared of losing him to another team (which they should have been). But that was 2005, this is 2008. He had a decent year in 2005 batting .281 but since then has declined every year. He hit .238 in 2006, .255 in 2007 and hit a paltry .220 this year. What does this tell us? This tells us that despite what all the commenters on here are inaccurately stating Ė Tek did not have ďone bad season.Ē He has had a terrible season for the last 3 years. He is only getting older, and has declined every year offensively. Why would there be any logical reason to believe he will hit any better next year (although it seems impossible to do much worse than this year)?

    I mean letís face it. The only praise that anyone gives him is that he ďhandlesĒ the pitchers so well. Iím sorry, I thought thatís what catchers are SUPPOSED to do. Isnít that their job? Every position player hits and fields, but only the catcher is supposed to work with the pitchers. We shouldnít give him credit for doing the job he is supposed to be doing, besides the fact that there is no way you can assess how much of an impact he has made on those pitchers. As I recall, Beckett didnít have a good year his 1st year with the Sox, and he didnít have a good year this year. Lester didnít have a good 1st year in the majors, and Buchholz didnít either this year. Dice-K didnít pitch well in his 1st year with the Sox either. So how can we credit Varitek for working with these pitchers so well? I know what youíre thinking, you canít expect anyone to be a Cy Young pitcher their first year in the big leagues or in a new league, but that is exactly my point. When everyone says he handles these pitchers so well, where is the evidence of that? He physically canít catch Wakefield and as I stated, those other pitchers havenít exactly had such great years. So what are you basing that on? Although Dice-K had a great ERA this year, he never seemed to make it to the 6th inning because he walked so many people. Isnít this something the catcher should be working on with him? If heís not locating his pitches, shouldnít the catcher be calling other pitches, or other locations, or mixing speeds?

    Iím sorry, I just donít see any evidence that he ďhandlesĒ the pitchers so well and I would like someone to give me their opinion on this and tell me where he has in fact, done this. As I said before, in 2004-2005 Tek was an excellent catcher, defensively and offensively. But since then, he has only regressed and declined every year, and heís only getting older. He is still a good defensive catcher, but he still canít throw anyone out with any regularity, and he never has been able to his whole career. The only thing I would give him praise over is that he knows how to block the plate with the best of them. Other than that, I just donít see any value in him.

    When you think of Hall of Fame great pitchers such as Sandy Koufax and Christy Mathewson and Bob Gibson and Whitey Ford, etc., no one ever asks themselves, ďI wonder who their catchers were because they must have been great to make these pitchers throw so well?Ē You canít give a catcher credit for how well a pitcher throws. Itís like managers, you canít really give them credit for the team winning. How good was Joe Torre before he came to the Yankees. He has a .471 winning percentage in 14 seasons before he came to the Yankees. Terry Francona had a .440 winning percentage in 4 seasons before managing the Red Sox. Doc Rivers didnít do well coaching the Celtics before they acquired KG and Allen. So are these managers/coaches really that good at their jobs? The only reason they won was because they came to a team that had excellent players. If they were such great managers then they would have won earlier in the careers with the bad teams. This is the same reason why you canít credit a catcher for how well a pitcher throws, itís the pitcher who is executing the pitches, not the catcher.

    He is not the ďheart and soulĒ of this team. I thought Kevin Millar meant more to the Sox in 2004 than Tek did, because of his attitude and charisma. When I think of the Sox, I just donít think of Tek as the glue that holds them together. The fact that he was upset that he was pinch hit for a few times in the postseason (although not enough) is ridiculous. I understand that every player wants to hit and itís in their nature, but when you suck that badly how can you be upset at anything other than that you are costing your team every at bat. Varitek cost us in numerous opportunities this year, and hasnít been a good hitter in years. I donít care how good a playerís attitude is or anything of the sort Ė when you are costing the team year after year because of your inability to hit and produce, then you donít belong on the team, no matter who you are or what youíve done 5 years ago when we won the World Series. The fact of the matter is that Tek hasnít been a good hitter in years and is only getting older, and there is ZERO evidence to show he ďhandlesĒ the pitchers well. Itís time the Sox got a new catcher and someone who can hit every once in a while.

    Posted by Dave November 15, 08 02:57 AM
  1. Jason is simply having hard years, but we need to look overall what the CAPTAIN has done for us. He stood up a lot of adversity, and he took the fall with it. CAPTAIN, is the best person, player, and catcher for the Red Sox. His number should be up at FENWAY without any doubt. Jason had been with the Sox longer than Fisk. I do love Carlton Fisk, but look what Jason had done. He fought hard and bleed hard for us against the evil empire. Jason showed the real reason why he is a TRUE RED SOX, by shoveling a-rod.

    It hurts to me that I see some of you not giving the CAPTAIN credit for what he has done with us. I want him back without any question, his agent boras is probably sickiest man alive right now with the evil empire. MONEY---MONEY--MONEY

    That man boras really want to ruin the imagine of Jason Varitek, Please do not look at this way. Just do tell and say how much we appreciate having Jason playing with us for 11 years.

    He will go to HALL OF FAME as a RED SOX .

    No body will replace JASON VARITEK

    Posted by joe fresolo November 15, 08 10:56 AM
  1. Matt Clement!
    So Matt was not an effective pitcher for the Sox? He was first an All-Star and the anchor of the rotation. Unfortunately a line drive to his head and additional injuries put him on the shelf. When he was healthy and on the mound he was simply awesome as a Sox starter. Check your facts!

    Posted by Frank November 15, 08 12:13 PM
  1. Finally a townie sportswriter actually has the gonads to speak the truth that the majority of knowledgeable sox fans have known for the better part of the new millenium. Lets face it. Tek might be able to postpone involuntary retirement if Luccino & Co lobbied MLB to change DH rules so you could let a DH or a pitcher hit for a catcher. No more of those classic Tek rally chilling, two out bases-loaded K's or 4-6-3 DP's we have been accustomed to from "intangibles-man".

    Posted by Arly November 15, 08 12:20 PM
  1. ludacris... ? He was good in "Crash", but does he really deserve his own word in the dictionary? I believe you were clutching for * ludicrous* ...you can look it up!

    Posted by Trust_probability November 15, 08 01:28 PM
  1. Keeping your mask on while having a fight doesn't constitute a smackdown.Why does every player in a Boston uniform get ripped on the way out of town?Finn joins the list of pathetic front runners in this town.Classless.

    Posted by bobmac November 15, 08 03:52 PM
  1. I think The Sox should Keep Varitek He has earned that He has been w/ the Sox long enough Granted He isn't a great Hitter But he is the Best Catcher they will ever have. And Sox need that. Every so ofteen Jason can shock people when he hits Homeruns But his Batting has gone down hill Nobody will pick him up more than 3 yrs He is up in there age. I say keep the Catptain HE HAS DESERVED IT He has been there a long time.

    Posted by Paula November 15, 08 07:30 PM
  1. Hey, don't hold it against Varitek. It's business, right? Chad, would you turn down a fat contract that paid you more than most readers thought your writing was worth? Probably not, and most of us would give you credit for negotiating a good deal for yourself, as long as it wasn't for the paper we read. (I'm talking about after your writing skills decline ...)

    Posted by Dan burke November 15, 08 07:55 PM
  1. You people are nuts.

    I'm not trading for any of a few minor league catching hopefuls when I have Varitek, who won't cost anything but cash. But no matter what it takes to sign him (and I assume it will be a hell of a lot less than 52 mil) , under no circumstances should be expected to play over 100 games. Though maintaining 3 catchers on your 40 has it pitfalls, as well.
    I would sign him and hope the farm delivers. Sooner rasther then later.

    Posted by Anonymous November 15, 08 10:52 PM
  1. Oh How I agree. STATS do not Lie. Mr BorASS needs to understand this: now that Steriods are out of the game you will not see that many 40 something year old ball players tear up MLB. I like The New York Yankees Retierment Team for Jason, this is where aging superstars can go for really big money on multi year contracts. I am so looking forward to see Pasada and Jason when they play in the 2012 All Star Game at Fenway. Why would anyone give Jason more than a one year deal is beyond me. I say you could give Kevin Cash the Job at 30 Years Old he will hit 250 Have 10 Home Runs and 50+ RBI's. Or you could pay Jason 54 Million for less production. I do not think you have to be a YALE GRAD. to figure this out.

    Posted by edrapos November 16, 08 06:26 AM
  1. Varitek is just doing what anybody would do - asking for whatever they can get salary-wise at their profession. From the performance perspective, cant the Sox ask him to stop hitting left-handed? He doesnt appear to be an automatic out from the right side. Dont kid yourselves, he's an important part of the team, he is getting old, but can also help groom the next set of catchers for the Sox.....

    Posted by soxfan November 16, 08 12:02 PM
  1. Tek does not have it anymore. I've never seen such a slow swing. And he doesn't throw out runners like he used to. Age is a bitch. Sign him at low $ for 2 years or not at all.

    Posted by Rick V November 16, 08 04:19 PM
  1. This is one embarassing article.

    Waaaaa...his agent is asking for way more than hes worth as a starting point in contract negotiations.

    Welcome to the world Chad, hope you didn't land on your head on the fall from the turnip truck. Though from how foolish this article is, I suspect you did.

    Well done

    Posted by Michael November 16, 08 06:09 PM
  1. You know what? Why didnt the Globe beat writers show some guts and write Chad's piece? Know why? None of them would have the sacks to face him day to day next year if he comes back. Can you imagine CHB writing this? No. It would crimp his ability to have his kids run around the clubhouse.

    Posted by Chris in Saratoga November 16, 08 07:28 PM
  1. Very good article. More honest articles like this one should be written. Unless Varitek has a massive change of heart and decides to accept a one year contract that pays him substantially less for his declining skills and production, the Sox should let him go and use the money elsewhere. Even if you buy into the ********* that Varitek has great intangibles, he isn't worth more then 4 million in a one year contract since he kills you in the batters box and isn't very good at throwing guys out. The Sox can do (much) better at the catch position then a declining Varitek who was a good not great catcer in his prime.

    Posted by dj November 17, 08 02:16 AM
  1. Being a huge Varitek fan I'm all about keeping him. I'm sure they are starting high asking for money, but who wouldn't start high. Mr. Finn what would you do??? I guess the biggest question is who would they get to replace him????? Any suggestions Mr. Finn?????

    Posted by Linda, Providence, RI November 17, 08 09:38 AM
  1. Has anyone thought about offering Tek a long term contract? I mean a REAL long term contract! Now.. the rest of the story... How about a 2 year players deal with an option for a third after which he would be retained in the coaching ranks as either a mentor for the new catcher or a pitching coach. Surely there's a fair amount of knowledge up there that the next generation could benefit from... AND it would keep Tek in Boston, where he belongs.. Possibly for life...

    Posted by Ed Bernier November 17, 08 10:30 AM
  1. Let's face facts, major league sports in America is big business today. There are hardly any owners or atheletes who participate truly for the love of the game. There's just too much money involved. Tek had a great run with the Sox and both sides have benefits, including the RSN who has enjoyed 2 WS and numerous history making moments. He has the right to ask for as much money as the market will bear. However, if he does have any loyalty to the fan base he should take less money. Although Tom Brady is one of the best QBs, if not the best, he is not the highest paid and accepts a lower salary because it will help THE TEAM be better. Whatever motives Tek has, its his right, but he must also accept what peole think of him and can say what they want. As this county allows him to make as much money as he wants, it also allows people to form their opinions of him. This just makes him look like another money grubing US professional athelete. I would love to see him retire as a Sox, but that's probably not going to be possible given his earlier move of hiring such a vile agent as Boras. Even A-Rod realized what a blow to his image was having Boras as an agent.

    Posted by Long Islander November 17, 08 11:07 AM
  1. Thanks for the memories Tek...........it's time to get younger. Let's not make catcher another shortstop........cut the ties before we make a huge $ mistake.

    Posted by Robert Tansley, November 17, 08 01:39 PM
  1. David Ross hits for more power, gets on base, and would come way cheaper. He's also in his early 30's and the Sox got him for nothing. Why are they not making him and offer to retain him and spending the cash elsewhere?

    Posted by Jeffery Lebowski November 17, 08 04:13 PM
  1. Sign another starting catcher and then see if Tek will play and get paid as a backup. Better yet, let Tek go and use Cash instead. It's hard to believe there isn't a better catcher than Tek available. Don't waste another 8 million or so on a fading veteran. That's how the Yankees came to grief.

    Posted by James Bachmann November 17, 08 09:06 PM
  1. That's the sad reality that no one wants to accept, you hit the nail right on the head, this is the best sport article by far, all the varitek lovers are just mad because you have done a great job exposing their washout fake model hero, they are so good and quick writing to defend their great white hope, but would the be so quick to see on the street and speak their mind. I dough it so go ahead and let it out on a blog, just like your fake hero

    Posted by RLTrujillo November 17, 08 09:28 PM
  1. SALTALAMACCHIA!! The kid is good, and the first time he stepped onto the field as a Brave, he tied an all-time ML record... most letters in his surname. The Sox should keep Tek for a year or two as a mentor to teach him some of those fabled intangibles, and then we all get to spend the next 10 years enjoying our next All Star catcher.

    Posted by TBills November 18, 08 12:01 PM
  1. I would like Jason Varitek a lot more if just ONCE he through his glove or a water cooler around after striking out in a key situation instead of going into that "high step" jog like he just hit a home run back into the dugout. I am mad...and sometimes I want him to be. Let him go!!

    Posted by Jim Normandin November 18, 08 12:56 PM
  1. BEFORE the WS started, the Phillies stated the Sox approach to TB batters was wrong. They then shut down the TB offence. What happened there? Who takes responsibility for the non-aggressive style of dice-K? Point...JV is not irreplaceable behind the dish. I hope he stays to mentor a young Texas catcher, but can accept if he leaves for more cash. He was a KEY member and CAPTAIN of great Redsox teams....let him leave with grace and appreciation.

    Posted by eddiesbarlovesthesox November 18, 08 01:10 PM
  1. When we signed him 4 years ago there was a massive song and dance that the sox would only offer 3 years. Looking at the history of this kind of player it was thought that his production would decline. Boras and Tek pushed hard for 4 years and he got it.
    Great, great Red Sox player. If he wants to play for us he can follow Wakefield and do a rolling contract.
    If he really wants all that money then he can go somewhere else.
    How the hell can Boras have come up with these numbers? It's a joke! Firstly Posada had a carerr season before signing his contract. Secondly that worked out real well.

    Posted by gc November 18, 08 03:54 PM
  1. AGREED - If Tek signs for 10 per and does not produce (VERY LIKELY) he will be shunned in Boston. Game calling and leadership only count for so much when you hit 220 or 200 and the average MLB fastball overwhelms you.However, if he signs for $5 per year and a Salty comes over from Texas and assumes a major role while Tek teaches and leads, he can elevate his Boston hero status. The mulitple articles that have appeared saying it is time for TEK to go -- do they mean managment has put out the word and is speaking through the media - a la - MANNY ? PS - he was worth the 10/yr the last 4 yrs--Sox were right trying to keep that contract shorter

    Posted by Anonymous November 19, 08 08:46 AM

    Posted by Anonymous November 19, 08 08:51 AM
  1. Hire him as a pitching coach!!!!

    Posted by Stephen November 19, 08 12:03 PM
  1. Well, now that you've written this, Chad, we will sign him for 6 years and $100M. Going on your history of predictions... Just sayin'.

    Posted by Catherine Johnston November 19, 08 02:46 PM
  1. The CAPTAIN will never be replace ... I do not want any other catcher out in the market to come in since the CAPTAIN knew our system. That I would be rather to handle pitchers for the Red Sox.

    Boras doesn't care about his reputation, or care about the Red Sox. Boras just want his money.



    that was the god one..

    Posted by joe fresolo November 19, 08 07:20 PM
  1. I have always said,Tek was the most over rated catcher in baseball,the poorest trowing,hitting and running catcher I have ever seen and I am 76 years old,way too much money for a has been.

    Posted by Sal Abbadessa November 21, 08 09:12 AM
  1. I am a Tek fan as well as a Red Sox fan, of all that has been great over the past 11 years with Tek on the roster. I do not claim to be the expert on the facts or statistics over these last 11 years, but I have found watching Tek and the Red Sox to be a completely enjoyable time (esp. in '04 and '07).

    With that said, I do not believe that any 37 year old guy can run with other guys in their 20's in any stat as a guide. I was in the military, and those organizations have the same significant guideline under the similar significant physical stress. If you are the best at what you do, they give you more rank/money and expect you to teach until retirement while decreasing the physical benchmarks slightly for the elder's age. This idea is exactly what sports writers (with whatever language arts degree they achieved in college) and typical fanatics bloggers tend to miss...

    Why can't the Red Sox, or any team in any sport, keep veterans that they have already significantly invested in around when those veterans truly are the experts with great resumes? What would be the effect if the Red Sox agreed to 4 year, $52 million contract for Tek's knowledge? What if this contract had stipulations, like you will play part time and teach most of the time? What if at the same time they re-signed this aging catcher who is considered one of the best in the history of catchers that they sign another younger catcher into the "bigs" with Tek-like potential to learn from Tek? What if the money the fans pay at the park were invested into keeping a fan favorite and great veteran for his teaching ability? While I believe Tek will make a great coach some day, I do not believe that 4 more years will hurt the Red Sox overall, do you??? (Not if the Red Sox find a follow-on catcher to learn from Tek.)

    Keep in mind when you answer these questions. Do we really think it is fair to count the failures of every kid with a dream to pitch in the majors against the guy calling the game? Here is an idea...How many bad pitches from average to below-average pitchers can you count against the catcher? Did the catcher throw the ball or have a say in signing the pitcher? Maybe a bit, but not most of those decisions made by coaches and owners. Why would anyone sign as a catcher if we could blame him for all the bad pitching over 11 years? There is a bit of separation from the team and the bloodless, know-it-all owners, and there should be...There is also a level of risk when playing baseball that on certain years the situation will be more competitive as others (don't let a 16-0 Pats year skew your idea of how a regular season should look). Remember, even hitting .225 and .220, the rest of the Red Sox backed Tek in a World Series sweep and almost another 3-1 ALCS comeback. That is exactly why a team is a team, for all its strengths and weaknesses in competition...

    Posted by JD November 22, 08 10:09 AM
  1. Well in my opinion, this article was pretty overexaggerated and the sox should sign tek to a one year (with an option?) contract. it's stupid for him or boras to expect a deal comparable to that of posada for obvious reason, but whether you like it or not, those 'intangibles' do exist. the 'calling a great game' is somewhat overexaggerated, but i think the point was, that with a good pitcher, he can make them better. the pitcher also has a say, if tek is calling a spot, and the pitcher doesn't hit it, it's the pitchers fault, not tek's. what i don't understand is that who else is there out ther that you'd want? i think they should invest in a promising minbor league catcher, (if they can find one) and use him and tek alternating. but for what its worth, i love tek and he will always be remembered as a great Red Sox player.

    Posted by Anonymous November 24, 08 03:15 PM
  1. Most of the opinions here would like to see Tek back for a year or two. Great, but who want to watch him coming to bat with men on base and then close your eyes and hope for the best. Not Me.

    Posted by alhouse December 11, 08 04:25 PM
  1. Finally someone with the guts to say what has needed to be said for several years. I am sorry, however, that you left out the fact that Tek was a poor clutch hitter even in his prime. Check it out: Tek is among the very few hitters whose batting avarage with the bases loaded is lower than his overall average. And when Miribelli or anyone other catcher was with the Sox, Tek had the second best arm. Check the stats on his throwing out base stealers, below average. I have been subjected to looks of disbelief when contending that Tek is among the most overrated players in the game. Yeah, I know his pitchers have always praised him, but I just never had any trust in their statements. With comprehensive scouting reports, it does not take a genius to know the weaknesses of hitters or to know what pitches are working for a pitcher on a given day. It seems that alot of people's perceptions of Tek are unduly influenced by his John Wayne-like personna and presence. I prefer to judge him on his performance. Thanks, Chad. You have said what your colleagues have feared to say about a guy who is just does not measure up to his reputation.

    Posted by Fred December 11, 08 04:59 PM
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