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Varitek deal not done yet and other Red Sox tidbits

Nov 11, 2009, 9:55 AM EST

Contrary to yesterday’s reports that he had already exercised his $3 million option, Jason Varitek held out yesterday, apparently trying to get the Red Sox to renegotiate its terms in an effort to make the incentives more attainable. That according to the Globe’s Pete Abraham, who reports that Scott Boras and Theo Epstein had a late meeting about it all last night. Pete notes, however, that Theo doesn’t sound all that enthused about renegotiating anything, saying that the existing option “seems like a straightforward thing.”  Varitek has until today to make his decision. I can’t feature him having any other prospects out there apart from minor league deals and non-roster invites, so if he doesn’t exercise it, it would suggest that he doesn’t want to play anymore.  I think he exercises.

In other Sox news Theo strongly hinted that Matt Holliday was a possibility for Boston, saying “Hopefully we’ll sign Jason Bay. But if we can’t, we’ll
have to get creative in left field. It could a big-money guy . . .”  The only bigger money guy in left field is clearly Holliday, and a move for him is totally consistent with what we heard yesterday about the Sox’ willingness to spend this winter.

Finally, Pete notes that Daisuke Matsuzaka is going to return to the U.S. relatively early in the offseason for the express purpose of embarking upon a conditioning program.  Remember over the summer Dice-K was saying that the Sox were full of it and that he was going to stick with his old Japanese conditioning habits? Yeah, forget that. Theo wins. Theo almost always wins.

  1. YankeesfanLen - Nov 11, 2009 at 10:50 AM

    Just when things couldn’t get any more goofy about what to do with the Mets- John Harper in the Daily News wants Varitek and Holliday brought into that merry brigade.
    And just to keep in this thought process, the DN had a poll with 500,000 voters (how oddly similiar to their circulation) and 18% want to dump the Steinbrenner family. I guess those readers will pony up $20,000 apiece to form some sort of cockamamie consortium that would produce…..wait, The New York Mets!

  2. Old Gator - Nov 11, 2009 at 11:11 AM

    Frankly, I think the Borg should sign Varitek. Nothing – with the possible exception of stepping on a timber rattlesnake while jogging in the Blue Hills – horrifies a Beanbag fan like watching one of their fading heroes made Borg, as Johnny Damon was. It replays an archetypal nightmare that’s been all but genetically encoded into Beanbag fan neurons (see Craig’s Scott Boras blog) since the Babe Ruth trade. It has nothing whatsoever to do with Varitek’s encroaching uselessness on the field; it’s just engrammatic at this point.
    On the positive side, the Borg can find many uses for Varitek. He probably wouldn’t play much – he could DH during interleague games at National League home fields – or, you could have him run for Jorge Posada in the late innings. Best of all, if you recall that famous picture of him shoving his glove in A-Rod’s face, you could make him A-Rod’s official pie-thrower, you know, the way Tim McCarver used to catch Steve Carlton. That would make riding the bench while A-Rod plays sufficiently bearable for poor Varitek that he wouldn’t need a lot of counselling intervention.
    Best of all, from a karmic standpoint, Varitek could burn off so much rotten karma from his current incarnation – and maybe one or two former ones as well – from having to sit and watch A-Rod heroics on the field next season that he wouldn’t have to come back as an annelid and start the whole process over again.

  3. Cru11 - Nov 11, 2009 at 12:35 PM

    Let me get his straight, Varitek is trying to negotiate more incentives even though hes scheduled to get paid 3 mil next year? Give me a break. Im a Sox fan but come on, Varitek is lucky he even gets a million dollars next year. I love the guy but hes just a shell of a ballplayer he used to be. He lets everyone under the sun steal on him (doesnt even attempt to throw it) and he couldnt hit sand if he fell off a camel. Take the dough and consider yourself lucky…especially with Martinez on the roster.

  4. stevethumb - Nov 11, 2009 at 12:48 PM

    hey ol gator .. how does varitek DH in interleague games at national league home fields ??!! there is no DH in those games…varitek is toast

  5. Fecteau - Nov 11, 2009 at 1:06 PM

    Hey Jacka$$… Its Bean TOWN, not bean bag. You must be a Spankee Fan (see I can screw up a name too!)
    First off, what the $#@! is the Borg? You suck; no one wants to hear your Dennis Miller impersonations… Heres a bit of advice; if you use big words, fill the rest in with meaningful words that help the sentence and make it coherent…
    You’re probably the type that loves the sound of his own voice and stares in the mirror for hours… Wearing nothing but a Yankee ball cap and a smile…
    How many no hitters did Yogi Berra catch? Thank you, now SHUT IT!

  6. Church of the Perpetually Outraged - Nov 11, 2009 at 1:23 PM

    First off, what the $#@! is the Borg?

    http://www.google.com I know it’s difficult to use, what with the internet being new and all…

    How many no hitters did Yogi Berra catch? Thank you, now SHUT IT!

    WS no-hitters caught by Berra: 1
    WS no-hitters caught by Varitek: 0
    Both are stupid arguments, as if the catcher is the major reason for the no-hitters.

  7. Fecteau - Nov 11, 2009 at 2:16 PM

    Wow… I checked out this internet thing, and I can now tell that you Spankee losers want Varitek to act in the next Star Trek movie? Because that’s the only think that came up when I ‘googled’ ‘The Borg’… See I can be condescending as well, but I’m more of a tennis player and serve it back…
    Here’s a tip, if you want to be an a$$, and say something completely disrespectful, you might want to check your facts before blindly stating it. Not to mention look like a total douche for quoting me as well. I wonder if that qualifies under slander…
    Oh, and about your World Series No Hitter… First of all there’s one argument, but you mention ‘both arguments’ in your response… Really smart… How are you Yankee fans reproducing? I find it hard to believe that you could figure out which hole to stick it in! And there’s been 1 WS no hitter/perfect game…ever. Wow… So he must be the greatest catcher because he caught Don Larsens one great game… Talk about being in the right place at the right time.
    (And for those who never played baseball, namely Mr Church of the Perpetually Outraged) I figured talking about a guy who caught and MANAGED the game; picked which pitches to throw the batter for 4 different pitchers; two of them being rookies; the consistency of managing a game; the nod could go to Varitek, not Berra. He’s made Derek Lowe, Clay Buccholz, and Jon Lester better players. He revived Hideo Nomo’s career, if for a short time, and he also made Pedro look too good to be true for most games (excluding playoffs, of course) And I’m sure if we sat up Tek’s #s to any Yankee catcher they’d be fairly comparable… No disrespect was ever meant for Berra regarding my argument(s), I merely used him since he’s considered to be the best catcher ever in a Yank outfit and most likely the best ever… Any man that takes time to serve his country deserves fair respect, Yankee or not. (Like Ted Williams did for TWO different wars)
    What’s most depressing is, I tell my friends that are true Yankee fans (fans since the day they watched baseball) the Sox and Yanks have a great rivalry. We have a great rivalry amongst friends BECAUSE our arguments and conversations stay humble. We’re adults that are respectful to each other, and logical in our thinking so we’re not just going to be a bunch of loser red necks and hash out which team bought which championship, and why one player sucks while our respective player on the opposing side is God’s gift to baseball and all its fans… But when someone acts like they know everything and want to make a stupid comment, they should be prepared to hear someone who HAS sense, sensibility, and knows that someone needs to bring them down a peg or two…
    Its sad that you poor Yankee fans stick together for comments that are completely inane. I didn’t go to blogs when the Yankees BOUGHT their 27th championship and disrespected them; I merely booed and wore my Yankees Suck T Shirt.
    Someone like you, that sees my comment, ‘Oh, its a BoSox fan, lets trash him’, rather than look at what the Spankee fan said logically say, ‘well I can understand if this person doesn’t live, breathe, eat, and sleep NY and might not understand some odd nickname for a player, GM, owner, or team. There isn’t enough money in the world for me to think I’m better than everyone else that breathes, like you losers. You could have also said, ‘wow that’s pretty disrespectful towards Varitek, who’s done nothing to you Yank fans other than help your main competition win two titles and shut you all up from talking about some darn curse’, or ‘that statement by Old Gator could be confusing, and this guy is trying to sound smarter than he is but doesn’t make any sense’…
    But NOOOOOO!!! And he’s just taking disrespectful pot shots at a guy whos pretty darn comparable to Jorge Posada as far as talent and stats… Yeah, way to take the high road, Church of the Perpetually Outraged.
    Oh, and lastly, that’s a pretty sacreligious name you chosen. If you get there first, warm up a seat for A Rod because you know he’s going to much warmer climates…

  8. JBerardi - Nov 11, 2009 at 2:24 PM

    Fecteau, as a fellow Boston fan, and on behalf of halfway intelligent Boston fans everywhere, could I ask you to maybe choose another team to root for? We’d appreciate it. Thanks.
    Oh yeah, and Jason Varitek is history’s greatest monster.

  9. Fecteau - Nov 11, 2009 at 3:05 PM

    J Berardi, (that sounds a lot like JGirardi… hmmmmm…)
    I have no idea why you’d want me to root for another team. What, are you looking for a few good men?
    I was standing up to Yankee fans for sending disrespect to first Varitek, then myself. Am I being charged WITH A CRIME!? To quote Colonal Jessup, You want me on that wall, YOU NEED ME ON THAT WALL!!!! (Green Monster that is)
    What, am I too ebrasive for you? Or do you agree with Old Gator and like the idea of disrespecting Varitek… Give me one good reason to root for another team, and although I won’t EVER consider it, I may be if nothing else enlightened…
    I love how you’re talking for all the Fenway Faithful, like you own some sort of power… A power to say all Red Sox fans don’t like Fecteau because he stands up for his team’s members and himself.(good luck, by the way, getting Mainers to hate me, since they’re mostly of Canadian descent as I am) Maybe I should start standing up for the YANKEES?!?!? That makes a lot of sense, Mr halfway intelligent Boston fan… When DID you become a fan, by the way,? late October of 2004? I’ve been a fan since I was 6 and am now 28. Good luck with all that.
    Jason Varitek is history’s greatest monster? That could mean anything. Not to mention that Adolf Hitler, Hirohito, Napolean Bonaparte, Atilla the Hun, or Vlad the Impaler could be considered History’s greatest monster…
    If you are truly a Boston Red Sox fan, watched games where Varitek came up clutch (like the Yankee game this year he hit a grand slam, I believe the ONLY one any Sox member hit this year) you should defend your team’s players too. Even if he isn’t clutch all the time; he the friggen catcher, his job is to catch and lead the pitcher… If you want to defend a Yankee, which is borderline sacreligious to the House of Fenway, go ahead. But don’t speak for the others that weren’t able to ‘pick up a weapon and stand a post’
    Peace

  10. Church of the Perpetually Outraged - Nov 11, 2009 at 3:15 PM

    @ Fecteau
    First, calm down, you took a light hearted comment way too seriously. I’m not breaking down everything you said, because I don’t have the time, but just a few notes:

    the borg

    It’s Old Gator’s way of saying that the Yanks sign all the best players to make themselves better than everyone else. it’s a really bad analogy, but his own unique way of commenting.

    both arguments

    This is simple. Your argument(#1) Varitek has caught 4 no hitters. My argument (#2) Berra has the only no-hitter in the WS. BOTH are idiotic ways to determine how good a catcher is as the catcher has barely more to do with the conclusion of the game as do the fans.

    And I’m sure if we sat up Tek’s #s to any Yankee catcher they’d be fairly comparable

    No, not even close. Varitek’s career OPS+ is 99, meaning as a hitter he’s worse than replacement level. Posada, who’s played in 160+ more games, has a career 124 OPS+. As Neyer notes (http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/292/pudge-vs-posada) Posada is probably the best hitting catcher of this decade.
    Actually my wife is a Sox fan, but nice straw man argument.
    The rest is just whining, except for:

    Yeah, way to take the high road, Church of the Perpetually Outraged

    The name is a reference to this article in slate (http://www.slate.com/id/2222246/) about how ridiculous people are in the indignation over Ramirez failing steroids.

  11. Fecteau - Nov 11, 2009 at 3:46 PM

    HEY, IS THERE ONE PERSON WHO AGREES WITH ME? With defending my own team? With not backing down from a (virtual) fight?? I hope you all realize that this article is no longer about Varitek…
    OK.. Thank you for clarifying the Borg, Church of the Perpetually Outraged. Was that so hard? It very rarely works out when someone has to try and throw zingers in someone’s stead… I’ve been a Sox fan for a while now and NEVER heard the Borg…
    I now understand the Both arguments comment. It wasn’t clear in your first response.
    Uh, as far as Tek’s numbers, yes they are! I can’t look at one sabermetric stat or whatever and presume that you’re astute. I won’t dispute Posada’s offensive #s are better, or that he’s had more games and AB’s, but take into consideration the better team Posada was on, he’ll have a better opportunity to hit when other players are on base (as far as RBI’s go). Tek grew with the team. Their batting average is like .020 pts apart, the home run totals are not all that far apart if you take into consideration the difference in games and AB’s.
    And looking SOLELY at hitting statistics is ridiculous when showing concern for who’s better, since that’s not his primary function. Its like saying your plumber is a better plumber than mine because he likes turtles.. It doesn’t show much dispute for his actual talent; I.E. PLUMBING! Tek was best at leading young pitchers and helping them ON the field, not showing power behind the plate. That’s an invaluable trait; but everyone that’s come out to take a swing at me today don’t care or don’t realize this…
    Why does it always have to be about OFFENSIVE PRODUCTION!!! You don’t say that Troy Polamalu is the best at his position because they get as many touchdowns as Michael Turner or DeAngelo Williams; sure he may contrubite on TD’s, but Troy is more interested in getting the ball to the offense and getting it or keeping it out of the opposing team’s offense. Polamalu is looked at by his DEFENSIVE stats. Why is it that football is more logical in regards to who’s best?

  12. (Not That) Tom - Nov 11, 2009 at 3:50 PM

    For the love of god, Fecteau, please quit while you’re behind. You’re giving us sane Sox fans even more reason to be ashamed.

  13. Fecteau - Nov 11, 2009 at 4:09 PM

    Yeah, that will work, Not That Tom! Why are you ashamed of someone defending a guy who helped wrap those two lovely gifts in 04 and 07 that we call those World Championships? Why should I back down? Because some gomer pyles in the world that CLAIM they’re BoSox fans are telling me to shut up? You’re the one who chose to read my responses, furthermore actually RESPOND to it yourself.
    What’s sad is I remember a game I went to; BoSox vs Yankees, in Fenway, I think it was July of 1996 where the Sox were up 9-2 in the seventh, blew the lead by allowing runs in each inning up until the ninth. It was 11-9 with 2 outs in the bottom half when they came from behind and scored 3 runs…
    Now no one saw me, and I will not get any credit from anyone or any book or standing or stat card….But I was the person that won the game… Not someone from Boston, MA, not someone with a bat in their hands, or even a glove on their hand. My big mouth as you all seem to hate now got the entire Boston crowd into a series of chants for each respective player once 2 outs were recorded. Everyone that got chants from my big mouth got on base, and Jeff Frye (wow if you don’t know who he is, just stop reading now cuz you’re not allowed to be a Red Sox fan anymore) got the game winner up the middle after being 0-5. John Wetteland got the blown save, who had at the time just set the record for consecutive saves w/o a blown save….
    So as this big mouth continues to refuse to let some punks tell me to shut it, you can go ahead and THANK me for what was referred to on ESPN classis during the 2004 ALCS against the Yanks, as the 2nd greatest Yankee vs. Red Sox game ever. (and I know that it since has changed, I’m sure Games 4-7 of that very ALCS now rank in the top 20)
    So I’ll go ahead take the W in the win column, thank you! And all you Sox fans that want me to root for someone else and tell me to shut up… GO F#$* Yourselves!!!!!
    PS anyone who agrees with me PLEASE RESPOND!!!

  14. Old Gator - Nov 11, 2009 at 6:12 PM

    What, no DH in the National League? Hmmmm….then that explains why Freddy Gonzalez keeps sending his pitchers up to bat! And here I thought he had exhausted his bench by the third inning. Well, thanks for the clarification, anyway.
    Seems like Varitek signed with the Beanbags today for good nostalgia money, so this entire discussion is moot. I guess with Schilling gone, he’s the team’s relict Neanderthal even if he lacks Schilling’s sophisticated ideological instincts. I suppose he’ll be made team captain as a palliative for losing his last chance to caddy for A-Rod, a sort of poor – if not impoverished – man’s Thurman Munson, if you will. Well, at least he probably won’t try to fly anything more complex than a kite.
    Fecteau, I think you can get Risperdal from Canada for a lot less than you seem to be paying for it now. If you can afford it more easily, chances are you won’t be as likely to skip your daily dose.

  15. Jberardi - Nov 11, 2009 at 7:47 PM

    Fecteau… does your doctor know that you’re mixing your meds?

  16. bt - Nov 11, 2009 at 9:22 PM

    I agree that it is foolish to rank plumbers primarily on their opinions of turtles.

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