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Why not have Jason Varitek manage the Red Sox?

Nov 14, 2011, 12:00 AM EDT

Jason Varitek Reuters

Hiring managers without managing experience is the new fad in baseball. The White Sox chose former third baseman Robin Ventura from way out of left field, and the Cardinals just picked their old catcher, Mike Matheny, over a two-time World Series champion manager who seemed like a pretty perfect fit for a veteran team.

So, why shouldn’t the Red Sox hand the reins over to Jason Varitek as they look to replace Terry Francona?

Many believe Varitek will be a manager someday. Boston’s captain since Dec. 2004, he’s well regarded throughout the game for his quiet leadership. It seems he’s mostly escaped the tarnish of Boston’s September collapse last season. To the outside world, he appears to command the respect of every player in the Red Sox clubhouse.

Choosing Varitek as a manager now would certainly be speeding up the timetable a bit. For one thing, there’s no indication that he’s finished playing. Of course, player-managers are still allowed by baseball, even if there hasn’t been one since Pete Rose retired after the 1986 season (he managed the Reds for 2 1/2 years as a player and then two more years after retiring). Realisitically, though, a player-manager probably isn’t going to work in this day and age. There’s too much media scrutiny and too many questions to be asked and answered.

As a retired player, Varitek would make more sense as a candidate. Of course, there’s still nothing to say that the Red Sox would see him as one. The fact that they’d be turning him from teammate to boss might be too problematic. Varitek’s relationship with the 20 or so veterans returning to the Red Sox next year could work against him even more than it would favor him. It’s not always easy dealing with a boss who used to be an equal.

So, it’s likely a fantasy anyway. The shame of it is that Varitek could very well be an excellent manager someday and that it probably won’t be with the Red Sox. While the concept of hiring him now is intriguing enough to at least be worthy of a discussion, his history with the Red Sox isn’t a good enough reason to favor him over experienced candidates.

  1. frankvzappa - Nov 14, 2011 at 12:13 AM

    Anything to prevent having to watch him hit.

    • lovesmesomeme - Nov 14, 2011 at 9:47 AM

      Or to watch him wear the ridiculous C on his jersey. OK he’s the captain we get it. This ain’t hockey.

    • rickinnh - Nov 14, 2011 at 11:35 AM

      Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls. Now managing the Boston RedSox, Jake Taylor! C’mon! Did they hire Matthew Pouliot from the National Inquirer? I loved him as a player but he should’ve hung em up a couple of years ago. As a captain he was a joke. Captains exhibit leadership. Did anyone see any leadership in that clubhouse last year?

  2. toosoxy - Nov 14, 2011 at 12:16 AM

    I like the way you think. YES. Let him do it. At the very least, he could replace Curt Young.

  3. derekjetersmansion - Nov 14, 2011 at 12:25 AM

    The lack of young managers is the real point here. The contracts in MLB has almost made it so that only terrible players would even want to manage. It’s a job to more players than ever.

  4. tekton8 - Nov 14, 2011 at 1:01 AM

    the fact that september/chicken-gate happened under his captaincy is hard to overlook… he’ll be a good manager some day, but for 2012 that clubhouse needs some new leadership.

  5. cupofjoe1962 - Nov 14, 2011 at 1:06 AM

    Last year they were drinking beer and eating fried chicken and the captain did not have the balls to say boo !

    Yeah make him the manager and while you are at it, make him the hitting coach too.

    Remember he was out with pappelbom
    Celebrating the night Francona got fired.

  6. clydeserra - Nov 14, 2011 at 2:49 AM

    “Quiet leadership?”

  7. mianfr - Nov 14, 2011 at 3:08 AM

    Are you aware that his wife divorced him after she became aware of Jason’s having an affair an affair with NESN reporter Heidi Watney?

  8. skinsman1 - Nov 14, 2011 at 7:32 AM

    Are you aware the subject is the possibility of Tek becoming a manager? Blaming one of the guys who played the game right his whole career for the collapse is just as stupid. All of MLB have spoiled primadonnas on the roster. Manny ring a bell? I’d like to see him coach at a lower level for a while before handing him the reins.

  9. paperlions - Nov 14, 2011 at 7:41 AM

    Two is a fad now? Weren’t the last 3 guys given vacant jobs Ozzie Guillen, Buck Schowalter, and Davey Johnson? I think those guys might have had a tad of experience.

  10. redbear18 - Nov 14, 2011 at 8:12 AM

    Need a new Red Sox manager? Why not Zoidberg?

  11. pellypell - Nov 14, 2011 at 9:03 AM

    The current Sox players who have played along side of him will not respond to Tek the manager. The Sox need someone hard-nosed, someone not afraid to hurt feelings, not someone who was considered their equal up until last year.

  12. xpensivewinos - Nov 14, 2011 at 9:04 AM

    Is this post a joke of some sort because it’s a slow news day? The “Captain” has proven to be an absolute douche bag with zero leadership qualities and an odd sense of entitlement. Who in their right mind thinks that on the heels of the historic 2011 Red Sox meltdown that Jason “The Captain of the Titanic” Varitek should be allowed any where near the ballpark even as a fan, let alone as manager of the team? What went down on his watch as a supposed leader of the team (he certainly wasn’t there because of his ability to play), could have irreparable damage on any hopes he ever had of being a manager.

    This is the dumbest post I’ve seen on this site.

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Nov 14, 2011 at 10:50 AM

      Blaming one man for his twenty-four teammates falling apart is outlandish. While I see your point that the collapse doesn’t look good to someone many consider a leader, there’s only so much one person can do. This whole chicken and beer thing is insanely overdrawn, and the injuries to that team were a large hindrance on their playing as well. We don’t know that Varitek didn’t do his damndest to keep everyone together. If he tried and it didn’t work, it doesn’t mean he’s a terrible leader. Some things are simply out of one person’s hands sometimes.

      I don’t know if Tek would be a wise choice, and I don’t even know if he’s any great leader. But blaming him heavily for the collapse isn’t sensible. He’s a captain, not a magician.

  13. lrak76 - Nov 14, 2011 at 10:30 PM

    If he’s a good leader and can still play, I wouldn’t mind him coming home to Michigan (Detroit) for a year or two and back up Avila.

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