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Makes it easy..

November 13, 2008

Comments like this make it easy to understand, from an athletes standpoint, why and how the media, no matter how good, can never fully grasp what you do, and how hard what you do is for a living.

“Please, spare me the Dr. Phil nonsense that Varitek’s 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.”

In talking about Jason, much has obviously been said and he has a pretty passionate group of supporters on the staff. But to imply the above is a borderline admission of ignorance. To say that there is little to no connection with your mental state of mind, and your physical performance, tells me the person talking has never been asked to, or able to, perform a physical activity at a level few others in the world can.

Jason would be the last, and likely never would, to make any excuses for the poor offensive year and a half he has had. I will tell you that what he had to endure physically and mentally absolutely impacted him in a negative way performance wise. People don’t know that he twice last year had a serious viral sickness. He was completely wiped out on two different occasions. Both times he lost significant weight and strength and he did so in the midst of playing. Back on the field in a time frame I would guess was NOT in his best health interest. The other ‘stuff’ are a very big deal here because regardless of what tabloid journalism might have said this guy lived for his children and was and always will be the best father he can be, of that I have no doubt. I’ve lockered next to him for 5 years, he’s as good a man and human as I’ve known. Sure that paints severe bias into the picture but that doesn’t make it false either.

The more important piece to this, and one that was in full view for the pitchers, was the fact that never once did he allow his offensive woes to follow him behind the plate or affect his pre-game preparation, and planning, two crucial elements we as ‘his staff’ valued so highly. The reason I make that statement is that over 20 years of playing at this level that makes him incredibly rare at his position. Few catchers, well none really, that I ever played with put the initial time and effort into game prep he did, but fewer still ever had the ability to separate their offensive woes from their defensive responsibility. As their average went, so did their defensive commitment.

I know the ‘anti’ Tek camp is big, and that’s fine, but at the end of the day his value is far beyond a measurable statistic and I think that’s what rubs so many wrong. You’ll know it when it’s gone, it will be a visibly absent thing.

Do you pay him 15 a year for 4 years, I don’t know but who gives a 36 year old catcher a 4 year deal? If there was ever a guy to get that deal you could argue this was the guy because you know beyond a shadow of a doubt he’ll be in better shape than any catcher in the game for however many years he gets. It really comes down to someone understanding how much of his contract is being paid for those ‘intangibles’ so many argue for, or against.

This guy is the consummate team first, play the game right 24/7 pro. Many don’t care about that aspect, and that’s fine too, there are a ton of utility players that play the same way, but they aren’t worth 15×4 or whatever. But those things matter inside a clubhouse where you inherit a family for 9 months a year. Those things, when absent, can wear a team down fast, but when present they are the things that help a team over the hump as well. This clubhouse has gained, in addition to immense young talent, an incredibly good and deep roster of players with many of those same traits. That bodes well for the coming years, and I would argue Jason is a huge part of that.

I am not saying sign him regardless, or let him walk at a certain price, what I am saying is that there is value here beyond AVG/OPS/HR/RBI that writers like the one quoted above will never comprehend, appreciate or acknowledge.

70 Comments leave one →
  1. soxsweepagain permalink
    November 13, 2008 4:03 pm

    Thanks for the inside perspective. I want Tek back in some capacity; that is certain.

  2. davidgabrielsen permalink
    November 13, 2008 4:38 pm

    You’re a great teammate and a great friend…….and you have to be kidding.

  3. November 13, 2008 4:43 pm

    I think it goes without saying that it just wouldn’t be the same without Tek. Wouldn’t you’d say he helps pitchers become better just by the overall preparation that he does.

    I’m guessing the anti-Tek fans are also the ones who want Youkilis to move to shortstop.

  4. November 13, 2008 4:45 pm

    Right on Curt. Tek’s value for the Red Sox does not come down to his offensive performance, but to his leadership, heart, and class. I’d love to have him back with a C on his shoulder in the spring because I know he will play hard and be a leader on the field and in the clubhouse. There aren’t many players that you could say that about these days.

  5. leah433 permalink
    November 13, 2008 4:45 pm

    You will not find an anti-tek camper here–i think he’s great for the team. Yeah, he had a bad year, but from the sounds of it anyone’s job would have suffered if they had half the year he did. I hope they work something out soon with him–i do understand that its hard to give a 36-year-old catcher a 4-year deal, but this isnt just any catcher either.

    Oh and congrats to you, curt, for officially being removed from the 60-day DL. At least thats what mlb.com told me the other day :)

    Take care.
    Go Sox. I can’t wait until march!

  6. heldo permalink
    November 13, 2008 5:12 pm

    Thank you Curt for saying this! Ever since the season ended everyone’s been talking crap about Varitek, and I have hated it. I don’t know, and frankly it’s none of my business, what goes on in the guy’s life but I *do* know he went through a divorce; as has been often stated, he’s a family man. This undoubtedly affected him terribly! How else do you explain a guy that’s been solid suddenly having a really rough year? Do the math people! Like it or not REAL LIFE takes over; even with all the money moved around in this game/business, it is still just a game.

    STRONG KEEP for Varitek.

  7. soxoct27 permalink
    November 13, 2008 6:33 pm

    though this may be nit picking on my part i feel when u say the anti tek camp it paints the picture that those who don’t want him to resign with the team don’t love him as a player for all he has done. i for one would have my ideal situation be we trade for a young catcher to groom under Jason for two yrs, with Jason at a lower price tag then his previous four. that being said i know with Boras as his agent he won’t be signing(unless out of options) for less then the ten per yr he was getting. i also don’t think though its per speculation that he would be interested in splitting more time with a younger catcher then he does currently with Cash. If speculation is true(which is a dangerous assumption) he didnt appreciate being pinch hit for late in the season, which is understandable as you wouldn’t want any of your players enjoy being pulled from a game, that being said would the unhappiness increase into an issue if he was catching 4-5 days a week?
    As a fan i couldn’t ask more from a player who always gives 110% on the field and supposedly prepares like no other. Though i don’t doubt his impact to the staff its unfortunately one of those unmeasurable that is impossible to put a # on is it not? you always hear during the gems pitched by sox pitchers what a great game he called. you never hear after a poor performance that wow i dont think jason called a great game there tonight and i felt uncomfortable on the mound as a result. (obviously no teammate who has any worth throws another teammate under the bus, but i think you get my point). i don’t think its unfair to question if it’s intelligent to spend north of ten million a yr on a player who may or may not hit more then .250 and whose real production is something that can’t be measured. This doesn’t mean i don’t love Jason and all he has done for us, but at some point i think the patriots have showed brilliantly we have to move on. i’d be interested to hear your thoughts. thank you

  8. sforange permalink
    November 13, 2008 8:21 pm

    “Lives” for his children Curt. LIVES.

    He’s not dead.

  9. November 13, 2008 9:05 pm

    Curt, I’m glad you can attest to Tek’s illness. I watch most games through my camera lens, and it really seemed to me that he looked far too thin a lot of the time; for weeks on end he was coughing pretty seriously running the bases.

    It’s funny to me that most of us understand “teammates” when it comes to our own work situations–how the good qualities of your co-workers can make a team so much more than the sum of its members, how bad qualities can infect a team and make everyone involved less productive and frustrated, how even the most impossible and difficult situations can seem like reasonable challenges with the right people alongside you, and not least of all how an outsider won’t necessarily see all of this the same way. I don’t know why some fans (and media) are so quick to discard all of that when they look at baseball.

  10. dcarn211 permalink
    November 13, 2008 11:43 pm

    Good post, Curt.

    Chad Finn is a clown.

    That article he wrote was full of vindictiveness, which he tries to defend by pointing to the fact that Boras’ initial contract demand was so high…gimme a break

    Teks not getting a Posada deal… He knows that. Boras knows that. Posada was coming off a career year. It’s just a starting point that Boras set. Thats what he does. He’s trying to get the best deal possible for his client….You’d think that someone who writes for the Globe would understand the process.

    Instead, Finn writes his garbage and starts to turn the not-so-small sect of ignorant, miserabel Sox fans against Tek even more. What strikes me is that the Globe featured it so prominently on their site…

    At the end of the day the Sox want Tek back and he wants to come back…Id guess something like 2 years for 20 million with some incentives and an option year thrown in

    Sox then trade a young pitcher for Saltalamacchia…Tek grooms Salty for a few years then hands the job offer full-time ala Girardi and Posada back in the day

    And Curt, if you pitch somewhere else next year, youll always be a Red Sox!

  11. November 14, 2008 1:17 am

    Thank you for this, Curt. I’ve always loved Tek and admired him as captain of the Sox, with his beautiful family. It is always sad to see people going through tough times, but I believe your rating of character. We all have tough times and fall short of God; nobody is perfect. I hope people don’t judge Jason and his friends like you continue to support him during this time.

  12. allboston4 permalink
    November 14, 2008 2:38 am

    This sums up why Tek is, and always will be… my favorite player of all time. I see life lessons in watching Tek play. I can’t wait to tell my kids all about the great Jason Varitek. They must bring him back in some capacity. However.. with all his wonderful attributes, Curt… why oh why is this great man a client of Scott Boras? It makes my stomach churn.

  13. jonnyjbones permalink
    November 14, 2008 9:05 am

    I knew many of the Boston fans would turn on him. They turn on anybody the media tells them to. They are mostly sheep.

  14. redsoxlady permalink
    November 14, 2008 10:20 am

    Thank you so much for this post. I have argued this many times and some just do not get it. We want him back and I hope he is. He’s still an asset. Can’t wait to have my 14yr old son read your post so he can “Get it”.

  15. lisa1216 permalink
    November 14, 2008 10:39 am

    Thank you Curt for “sticking up ” for Tek. I truly believe that Jason is the most important member of the team. It drives me crazy reading these articles like Finn’s, blasting him for his offensive decline. I keep thinking that these sports writers must know the value of what he does for this team, his work with the pitching staff alone and how significant he is to the team overall. There is not a doubt in my mind that this team would not have been able to achieve what they have without Tek. I just don’t understand all the anti-Varitek commentary. I am keeping my fingers crossed that Theo and ownership understands his value to the team and will offer him a respectable contract. Also Happy Birthday Curt!

  16. curtfansincephilly permalink
    November 14, 2008 10:42 am

    It will be a HUGE loss if we lose Tek — I honestly don’t know how or why all these “fans” can go on berating him and his contribution to the Sox.
    There is simple NO ONE out there who is at his level in catching. Haven’t these fans paid attention to the comments made by Curt and the other Sox pitchers over the past years?? THEY are the ones who truly know his value. And, as for his personal life, I was not thrilled to hear the stories, but “who among us can throw the first stone”? Please. it’s not easy or pleasant but these things happen and it’s REALLY no one’s business but his and his family — everybody has something in their life – how would each of us feel if that “something” was blasted and plastered all over the media. Just leave the guy alone and let him do the GREAT job he has always done for the team (and the fans!)

  17. pieretti permalink
    November 14, 2008 10:45 am

    Hey Kurt, we hope you know we feel the same way about you. Come on back next year. Your contribution the Sox has been immeasurable. We love to see you up on the mound and would love a proper goodbye for all of your hard work.

  18. bceagless permalink
    November 14, 2008 10:49 am

    Hey Schill, why don’t you mind your own business for once.

  19. jas62 permalink
    November 14, 2008 11:21 am

    All we are saying….is give Tek a chance.

  20. tdmtown permalink
    November 14, 2008 11:39 am

    Comments like yours, make it easy , from the standpoint of someone with an actual intellect, to realize why you overpaid athletes should just keep your pie-holes shut.

    What you of course, fail to include in your little rant, is that the whole concept of signing Jason Varitek is skewed because he has chosen to have Scott Boras represent him.

    The real Sox fans have been around the block enough to know(enough) of what Scott Boras is about. Of course YOU probably admire him and think he’s “the top of his game” and he’s “Just doing the best he can for his clients”.
    People on the outside, with an ability to be objective, can clearly see that Scott Boras is completely EGO driven, and that the “side effect” is getting his clients big money. He’s right out of a psychology textbook. “Type A”, “Ego driven”, “Egomaniacal”, it all applies. Maybe you can see that, maybe you can’t.
    When Scott Boras sits in front of a gaggle of reporters and says
    “Jason Varitek is looking for Posada type money”, it’s not gamesmanship,
    look in his eyes, he’s serious. THAT takes just a special, special sort of douche-bag.

    That being said, while it is Scott Boras who is the devil, if the athlete choses to
    lie with the devil, he must accept any backlash that comes with it. Period.
    EVERY SINGLE Tek fan i’ve talked to would feel different about signing Tek if they had ANY confidence that the negotiations would be reasonable and fair.
    But when was the last time that happened with a Scott Boras signing?
    ………………………………………………………………………..(awkward silence)………………………………………………………………………..Exactly.

    Under no circumstances does Jason Varitek deserve a 4 year 50+million dollar contract. There are NO “intangibles” that are worth that much and you know it.
    As a “small businessman” just how much “extra” are YOU paying YOUR employees for their “intangibles”???…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….(awkward silence)………………………………………………………………………..Exactly.

    Personally i would love to see him back(in an adjusted role) and i’d love to see him get a fair deal that paid him for the services he will offer for the life of the NEW contract.
    (NOT for the past) I would love to see him retire a lifelong Sox, and would love to have him help his successor(s) be every bit the professional he is.
    Unfortunately Jason’s 3 year splits are .238 .336 .393 .729.,
    Thats barely above “backup” catcher stats. That line is what it is.
    3 years, not just one.

    Take what a typical catcher with those offensive stats would make, and for the sake of the “intangibles” double or triple it,
    and you are still talking UNDER 10 Mil a year, and that catcher isn’t getting a 4 year deal. It’s unfortunate, but it’s true. Tek deserves every bit of respect you mention, i’m sure, as a human and a player, but as “the most knowledgeable fans in BBall” we are also acutely aware of the dollars and cents(or sense, if you will)
    and don’t want “our team” throwing money away just because Scott Boras is an egomaniacal douche-bag, and/or his clients choose to lie down with the devil.
    (and YES, it is “our team”, we were here LONG before you or Jason were here, and we will be here, LONG after you both have moved on)

    Maybe Jason will take a cue from Arod and tell Boras to go F himself.
    Until then, the chips will fall where they may. Lets just make sure we are aware of the WHOLE picture.

  21. jack0329 permalink
    November 14, 2008 12:57 pm

    I find it interesting that for years now Sox fans have scoffed at the intangibles that Jeter brings to the table for the NYY. Now when it comes to Tek they are all about intangibles. Yes he calls a good game and prepares well. But he barely hits his weight his bat is slow and there are huge holes in it not to mention his defense has suffered. So given this is Theo supposed to put aside all that is wrong with Tek and sign him to a fat contract? I don’t think so. Don’t get me wrong I think there is still value for what Tek brings to the table. But if another team wants to overpay for him I say let him go. There is no way Theo should overpay for an aging catcher who is struggling at the plate. If the Sox can bring back Tek at a contract that works for both sides, great. But for what Boras is asking in term and $$ I for one say let Tek go and say thank you for all that he has brought to the team and fans over the years.

  22. ajmarshall permalink
    November 14, 2008 1:25 pm

    Curt, I loved your article.

    I am a huge ‘Tek fan and have been pretty blown away by the ‘anti-Tek’ campaign that is going on.

    I actually read a comment from someone during the playoffs when they thought that Papi had been boo-d to remember that they couldn’t have won either World Series with out him.

    Um, hello? Without ‘Tek, you wouldn’t have been there either. And you boo’d him too.

    He’s had a rough year, and I know it affects people. Heck, I have a pretty low profile job, and I know a fight with my husband can affect me at work! I can’t imagine going through a divorce and then walking out onto the field in front of thousands of people to do my job.

    On a side note, any time ANY ONE has asked him about anything to do with his performance or the team, he ALWAYS turns it back onto others. That is why he is the Captain and the ultimate professional.

  23. kfish25 permalink
    November 14, 2008 3:09 pm

    Curt,

    I absolutely love what you wrote. I also know that you say exactly what you mean. If you’re doling out high praise, then I can believe it. I’m glad to hear it. Tek is one of my all-time favorite players and I’ve always believed he is tough as nails and one of the best and smartest guys in the game.

    This past year’s team has got to be one of the toughest I’ve ever seen. After the season ended, we found out about all types of injuries (Beckett, Lowrie, Papelbon, etc.) and got a glimpse of what some of the guys played through. I’m sure there were others dealing with emotional, mental and additional physical issues no one outside the organization knew about. Tek playing through both illness and personal difficulties is no surprise, but impressive nonetheless. Tough guy, tough team.

    I do agree, as well, that it is completely ignorant to believe that a person’s mental state does not affect their physical performance. I don’t care how tough you are. Things can affect you no matter how much you wish they didn’t. That’s part of being a person.

    That being said, I do believe Jason was a still firm “cornerstone” and example for all the tough, dedicated guys on the team. He’s the captain, right? It also takes a strong person to not make excuses in the face of wide and varied criticism; yet another example of a complete and dedicated guy.

    In addition, there were so many guys on the team who went out and played so hard, every single day. Again, I think Tek led the way. They really seemed to love playing baseball. That’s one of the big things that made this a great season and made every game so fun to watch. You never knew who was going to step up and do something spectacular. Everyone was tough (almost…Manny?) and everyone was capable. So many reasons to cheer this team this year. I really miss watching them everyday.

    If you do communicate with Jason, let him know that those who support him may not necessarily be the loudest, but we are out here and we do want him back with the Sox. We also wish him good health and strength in dealing with all life has handed to him this past year. May 2009 be kind to him.

    Again, I really enjoyed your words today. Thanks for writing.

  24. fruitgirl permalink
    November 14, 2008 3:54 pm

    Thank you for your thoughtful expression of faith in the Sox resident Guru Jason Varitek. He deserves respect from the media, not to be abandoned by people who are supposed to be Red Sox fans. He led our team to within a breathe of a third World Series in 4 years !! Name another team that has done that recently. Hummmm, none, that’s right !! I am very aware of Jason’s influence and dedication to the perfection of Red Sox pitching, he has been incredibly successful. I am so proud to have him on our team. We need him to remain, he is just too valuable to consider the alternative. I spoke to Justin Masterson and Jonathan Papelbon 2 weeks ago, and they refuse to even consider having a different catcher behind the plate. How many World Series did the Red Sox win before Jason Varitek ? None. How many will they win without him….none. We will take a nose dive so low if we have to continue without his direction and efforts, and his planning & research on each opposing player. We may never reach the pinnacles of the sport again. Changing the team players constantly is going to cost us dearly…..these guys are being thrown together & being told to go get a ring in October. Do people think that is easy ? It takes conditioning (mental & physical), training, planning, practice……and the glue that holds the Red Sox together – Jason Varitek. (Still doubt me, ask Tito.) Well, I am exhausted !! I am going to go pop some more Rolaids and try to ignore this Hot Stove crap, it sounds like a bunch of old ladies complaining !!! Thank you, Curt. Jason may never know how we feel & about our efforts to inform, but hopefully he will sign soon with the Sox, and will see the benefits from our faith and loyalty. No one talks bad about my SOX !!!

  25. hrteecher permalink
    November 14, 2008 4:26 pm

    Having been a coach at the high school level and played in amateur leagues for a for 9 years, I learned that the game is about managing stress and that this is the job of coaches. Sometimes you use a jackhammer and sometimes you use a feather. Varitek had a great year working his pitchers defensively. Much credit for the strong Red Sox pitching goes to him. The Phillies won it all with a very good defensive catcher who hit just about his weight.
    I love to watch both the Phillies and the Red Sox because both teams’ coaching staffs have a great feel for the psychological aspects of the game. Charlie Manual was masterful in steering the Phils through some deep troughs of despair. Terry Francona picked through a minefield with Ramirez’ attitudes and almost got to my dream- the Sox and Phils in the series.
    So, to reinforce your lesson, players play when they feel good whether they are physically injured or not. When the stress of the game is too much, it is no longer play and the joy of performing is gone. Conversely, when the game is just an exercise of individual talent, the deeper meanings of it are lost and the team is made up of Manny’s being Manny. No fun with that either. The coaches keep it together, that is why they have their job.

  26. schillingsdivagirl permalink
    November 14, 2008 4:28 pm

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY CURT! 11-14-08
    Hope you enjoy your day today and enjoy lots of nice surpirises!
    hope to see you next season pitching again,
    Sha Sha

  27. theotherm permalink
    November 14, 2008 4:53 pm

    I love Jason and would hate to see him behind another team’s home plate! I hope he’s still a member of the Red Sox next year, it certainly wouldn’t be the same without him. Thanks for showing him that kind of support.

  28. tracylynn88 permalink
    November 14, 2008 5:33 pm

    once again a great story varitek must stay happy birthday curt you don’t look a day over 40 hope i made you smile

  29. November 14, 2008 6:17 pm

    Thank you. :)
    Of course, I don’t want to see him go. At the same time, as much as I am only an enthusiast of the sport – I get the intangibles that he brings. And when I try to convey that to those who don’t — I don’t express it nearly the right way.

    It isn’t always about the stats on a given year. And I don’t understand why people can’t see that. It’s pretty much common sense to me.

  30. mannyramirez1 permalink
    November 14, 2008 8:35 pm

    I read that piece too. Chad Finn has gone from a sports blogger to a hired gun for the suckage that is “Boston Sports Media” They’re all frustrated whining sissy’s. It’s getting to the point where I don’t know where to go for decent sports coverage.

    Great blog as usual, Curt.

    PS Sorry for the nick, I’m deeply embarrassed. I chose it before manboy quit on his team.

    Peace

  31. joef252525 permalink
    November 14, 2008 11:06 pm

    These reporters are getting too full of themselves. It used to be that the they would tell you what happens in the game. Nowadays with the Jay Marrioti’s, Woody Page’s, and Jim Rome’s of the world they are trying to be famous. I live in NJ, but I watch this show Daily News live and the reporters on there always criticize the coaches decisions. At least once a month Bill Conlin replies to an e-mail like he is the almighty God of baseball. It’s kinda laughable because I can’t picture any of them being remotely athletic, and when they went to college I highly doubt they took a class “Baseball 101″.

    Jason Varitek could not survive in Major League baseball if he could not hit an 87mph fastball. The JC team I played on prob had a couple of guys who threw that hard. Negative articles sell more papers.

    With the Economy the way it is, Scott Boras is going to hurt a lot of his clients with bad press. I wish players wouldn’t sign with him. This is going to blow up in his face like A-rod. Who needs a catcher that bad that they are going to give him a Posada deal? Who can afford it? The Mets? They got Schneider. Even though I’m a Phillies fan he should just try to get year’s from the Sox for whatever dollar amount and be a backup.

  32. FireDannyAinge permalink
    November 15, 2008 1:34 am

    I hope Tek stays but I for one don’t think he is worth ten million a year. There is no anti Tek camp. Most Red Sox fans appreciate what he did for us but this team player BS is just that, bs.

    Varitek has a choice. He can take fair market value for a 36 year old catcher that can’t hit anymore (and Posada is not the bench mark. He is the reason why 36 plus year old catchers should not be given 4 year deals at over 11 million) and stay or he can be just like Manny and go to the highest bidder. One scenerio is a “team” player and the other is Manny being Manny.

    The point is to win.

    Varitek’s bat does matter. He came up in the playoffs no less then 10 times with men in scoring position and did nothing those ten times. That can’t happen. As bad as the injuries were the lack of hitting was pathetic. The team makes too much money to not hit when it matters. Varitek would swing and hit into double plays at key moments. It literally killed this team and was the reason we lost in the ALCS. How many times did he leave the bases loaded? It happened A LOT.

    Boston loves Tek but over paying him to make fans happy is what we did last year to Mike Lowell and he was hurt, old and useless this year.

  33. womlet permalink
    November 15, 2008 1:36 am

    Real catchers don’t use batting gloves!

  34. mysttickl permalink
    November 15, 2008 2:22 am

    FINALLY!!!! Something nice about Tek! I am so tired of all the crap posted about him. Curt, bias opinion or not, I think you are right on with this!

    Varitek is one of a kind and imho can NOT be replaced!

    I rememeber Varitek being quite sick, not once but twice. And noticing that he had lost quite a bit of weight and was playing even though he was obviously fatigued. He took time off, but very little. Certainly not enough to fully recover.

    As for his personal life, ENOUGH ALREADY! (Not you Curt)!! Just because he is in a public profession does not mean that his name/personal life has to be painted all over the internet, newspapers, etc. (Especially with rumors). To all the “Sox Fans” … We’ve called this man Captain for years, then he goes thru a hard time and every one is right in the front to kick him to the curb??? Sorry, I dont see that as a fan!

    I get that he had a tough time with his bat, but his skills behind the plate are amazing! He’ll find his bat and be the Captain the true Sox fans know and love! I’ve no doubt about that. This is of course providing Tek & The Sox come to an agreement, which with the current “catcher market” and Varitek’s love for this team, Im rather positive that something will be worked out.

    Much respect to you Curt!! As always!

  35. mysttickl permalink
    November 15, 2008 2:24 am

    PS: HAPPY BIRTHDAY CURT!!!!

  36. mannydabutler permalink
    November 15, 2008 3:19 am

    HEY MR.SCHILLING HOW ARE YOU AND YOUR FAMILY DOING IT’S ME MANNY FROM PUERTO RICO..YOUR RIGHT THEY SHOULD RE SIGHN TEK-HE IS ONE HELL OF A TEAM LEADER!! RED SOX MUST BRING HIM BACK!!..BYE THE WAY MR.WILL SAY’S HELLO ..

  37. theskiguy permalink
    November 15, 2008 6:38 am

    Compensation especially in MLB has gone way of the deep end. Why? Because employers all toofrequently don’t get what they pay for.

    My wife has developed a simple theory – pay for performence. It is a model that is used every day in world business.

    Get a hit? Make some money. Strike out? No money.

    It is not quite as simple as that, but I won’t take up the bandwidth here to go into the entire model.

    Curt may or may not like thi model, we this year he was handsomely paid to bounce one pitch into the dirt way in front of the plate.

    Jason deserves to remain with the Sox. An incentive laiden agreement seems logical, especially due to this numbers in the last season. It is unfortunate that his “contract year” (a stupid term assuming that fools will pay big because someone had one especially big year – let’s get some Maniacal One stats on how frequently a big contract year means four more big years).

    Pay for performence…that is a model that we shoudl look to adapt !

    What happens when someone offers you 100x more than your employer, to NOT perform. This is a lame and outdated argument, blaming the employee for their salary? How does that make an ounce of sense to you. Players make EXACTLY what the owners will spend. You could argue about arbitration skewing everything, and to some extent you’d have an argument, but the fact of the matter is players are paid what owners can afford

  38. suesunswim permalink
    November 15, 2008 4:07 pm

    Thank you, thank you for responding to that idiotic writer.

    It burns me when they act like that know everything and can just write a bunch of crap about an athlete, like what they are saying is absolute gospel and we all had better believe THEM. And most of them are out of shape and unathletic and would probably croak if they ran around the bases or squatted behind the plate.

    In the age of the blog, I feel like the CHB is multiplying in this town.

  39. November 15, 2008 6:48 pm

    I couldn’t agree with you more, Curt. The guy wheres a C on his uniform for a reason, and I don’t think the reason was ever for his offensive performance.

    And yes there is a huge anti-Tek group. The egotistical know it alls at SOSH are the 1st to come to mind, who had a “what’s wrong with Tek” thread going after 2 games in Japan.

    Any intelligent baseball fan knows that Tek brings great importance to the team, other than his offense or lack thereof. Sure we need a future replacement for him and I’d love him back for 2 years with a club option for a 3rd where he can work with whomever is going to take his place.

  40. fivekatz permalink
    November 15, 2008 8:14 pm

    Finn’s article had a sharp edge, no doubt about it. But honestly that sharp edge probably was inspired by the fact that Jason of his own free will has employed an agent who set Jason’s value at $44M for 4 years.

    That factor turned at least one writer to harshly pointed out that Jason did not perform like one of the three best catchers in baseball the last 2 years but took the paycheck of one. Some of it got personal, some of it was stupid, some ill informed but in total he has a point.

    If from the RS perspective and needs Damon asked too much, if Petey asked too much, if Manny was asking too much too have his two options picked up at the start of this year and or an extension, than Boras and Tek are trying to hold up the bank.

    And that’s all good, that’s the business side of this. But he asking for 4 more years of premier player salary when he is a guy who is intangible at this stage of his career.

    38 that tends to get the some of the mediots who already have jock and W-2 envy to point out a players weaknesses and while that almost never happened in Boston because of the very many good things about Tek, the stupidity of asking for $44M got at least on sharp penned scribe to say things unkind but not all untrue.

    You are right about Tek being special. You are right about knowing what it was that Tek had once he isn’t here. We have seen part of that (the offense part already disappear).

    In my mind as a total package, he is the RS signature catcher not Carlton Fisk.

    But I have said good bye to Pedro and Manny (HOF players) and Damon and Millar (characters a legendary scope with game) because their need for money was greater than the RS FO felt served the long term future of the team. I am equally prepared to say good bye to Tek.

    Nobody should begrudge Jason Varitek trying to make every $$$ he can during the short ride that is the career of a professional athlete.

    When you hire Boras to make a stupid case about your value in town like Boston, somebody is going to point out that you ask too much for too little left in the tank.

    Just my take

  41. jaxfan permalink
    November 16, 2008 10:06 am

    Tek will continue to earn that “C” on his jersey! What a shame it would be if it didn’t also say Red Sox!

  42. elc24 permalink
    November 16, 2008 12:26 pm

    Funny it’s “tabloid journalist” when Schilling’s buddy Varitek is getting bashed by the press but hard truth when the press, and Schilling, were bashing Manny Ramirez. Hypocrit Schilling. And to think to me you used to be as close to a “hero” as I ever felt about any professional athlete (I say close to because I don’t believe athletes are heroes, that term should be reserved for soldiers, policemen, firemen). Now you repulse me. I this comment is no slam on Varitek whom I have always liked. It’s just a slam on you big boy. I least Manny actually played to earn his $20 million…you did NOTHING for your $8.

  43. vthockeydad permalink
    November 16, 2008 4:26 pm

    I think Tek is a very valuable player on the Sox, especially for his leadership and game calling. Unfortunately, his offense has become a huge liability. I love the way he went about his business and never complained and I am sorry to see him going thru a tough divorce.
    The idea of paying a 36 year old catcher the type of money Boras is asking is crazy. I hope the Sox keep him but there has to be fiscal sanity. I would offer him a couple years at the $10 million he made over the past four years with incentives, if necessary, and if he thinks he is worth more, and more importantly, the Sox get a good replacement, let him go.
    Also, will his personal problems affect him this year ? I sure hope not for his and his kid’s sake.

  44. varitekgirl33 permalink
    November 16, 2008 5:57 pm

    Curt Schilling I am soooo happy that a fellow team mate has finally shown support for Captain Varitek. I, as a fan, wholeheartedly agree with EVERY word you have written. I felt Chad Finn’s column was a ‘cheap’ shot at Captain Varitek.

  45. suesunswim permalink
    November 16, 2008 9:32 pm

    Oh great, you changed your i.d. NOW you are elc24. Did you like stalk Manny in real life when he was here??

    You really need to get a life, besides going on every article’s message board and spewing your Manny suck-up crap. You are getting scary, or are you just an internet troll?

  46. kgiotto permalink
    November 17, 2008 12:32 am

    Great knowledge Curt!! Your insight is very welcome.
    How important is a catcher’s defense compared to offense to you?
    I believe that Tek is worth whatever Boras is asking based on the Red Sox pitching staff’s performance.
    What would be more important to you as a pitcher?

  47. savorybeans permalink
    November 17, 2008 12:36 am

    I don’t think the anti-tek camp is big-they’re just loud and obnoxious and get too much attention paid to them. I think if you polled ALL Sox fans, a huge majority would be Pro-Tek. Sox fans are passionate, sure, but they are not stupid and while it was painful watching his at bats this year, it was a pleasure to watch what he brought to the game we love, especially in comparison to Manny. Manny may have been a pleasure to watch at the plate for the most part, but he was sometimes a disgrace to the game. No one can now nor will they ever be able to say that about Jason.
    I imagine once the couple became separated, she took the kids back to GA. It was probably always hard being away from them when he traveled, but not having them there when he came home was probably very painful.

  48. savorybeans permalink
    November 17, 2008 12:39 am

    I will add that I could never quite reconcile Jason having Boras as an agent. While he gets his players money, he is such an ass that being assoicated with him reflects poorly on his clients.

  49. kathyinct permalink
    November 17, 2008 5:59 am

    Hey Curt, hope you are still checkin in on this blog title! First, before I comment on this latest title blog, please give this person elc24 some of your comments for this person is sooo wrong to a person that wanted surgery asap and not as last resort. Please, Manny shouldve had a demotion for the crap he put everybody through. Can Manny be bipolar? I know you probably wont want to answer, but shoot that is my conclusion on his personality and how he has been all these past few years! I hope I at least made you laugh on that thought, for even though is sounds serious, it can be in a total funny demeanor too! And to think I always defended his ways! on that note….

    I have to say, from my last time on, I am trying to face the fact that McCain isnt in. The only comfort I have with that is, the world is moving in a direction that I think The Lord couldnt see him or Palin suffer dealing with the evil that is down the pike. Call me nuts with what I said, but from one Christian to another I feel that Christ’s return is in the works faster than ever for what is going on economically and people wanting God out of everything, trying to make rules over His rules, etc, and the outcome of this race which I cant help but feel that hard and ugly times are now to come. Now I know this sounds depressing, but I know we have to deal with this in order for the path for The Lord to return. So on that note, I would rather have McCain and Palin not have to deal with the new world order that I bet will come to start next summit. Also, the ugliness of nonsupporters of prop 8 that passed, is just another sign of the evil that is starting to escalate in this country that I dont know how long the Lord can take if people dont repent and heed His law. So with all of this I am optimistic that this is a sign that His return is within the next 10 years. On the pessimistic: With what is going on, the outcome of the election especially, it is very hard for me to even be psyched to buy tix for the 09 season. Will games even go on the way the world is goin? Do I buy now and hopefully get refunded if something does happen, or decide to wait and buy on a vendor site when I know for sure the season will go on? Paranoia? Nope, just the way I feel and hope I can feel better, and try to look at it, that even though the world is going the way it is, still go to games to help me get through this time period. Baseball got people through the wars, so I will now say it, along with The Lord will get me through my feelings on this country. Wow, if I never typed this, I never wouldve had that thought. I am feeling better with that revelation!

    So with that leads into TEK the reason, believe it or not I am typing after all that intro! Ok, I want him back 100%. I am glad you finally mentioned him for I didnt know if I should bring what he has gone through this season up. I will say that I am hoping that whatever we do hear isnt true on how his marriage ended, for believe it or not fans, I am praying for a reconciliation of it for God hates divorce and He can do miracles. At the same time maybe the damage has been done (and I wont make judgements on who’s part, but I am very sad of this situation, as my mom and many others are for we really have spoken highly of him professionally and especially look up and speak on him as a man that a woman deserves for a husband; an upright, Christian man, just like you Curt!!!.). So from that I can just say my thoughts finally for I have been holding them in all these months. My heart really goes out to his daughters. It was obvious besides him being sick, that his personal life took the toll and he played the best he could through it and I can commend him on that bigtime. Welp, may a miracle occur on this situation. I

    For his future on the Sox, I will say I have seen him cough on many occasions in the bullpen and I have to say I was worried for him , for it seemed like it was something he couldnt shake, so I am glad it was just viral, unless you meant viral as in stomachachelike. Then , maybe the coughin was just from another ordeal of sickness. Who knows, but I hope it was the viral thing for it will give me piece of mind for it was scary seeing it was very prevalent and I was worried.

    With that, I was thinking through these weeks; like a 12 mil or even 12.5 2 year deal with a 3rd year option. I will be curious on if I come close. I mean shoot, he was part of the 07 achievement so why not give him a bonus for that and to keep him in the salaries of other catchers. Posada, please, OVERPAID. YANKS, doin it again going for spending even more than TONS of money for some pitchers that I say, big woop; Sab, weve beaten and he has been injured and is a big dude who can break down easily! I aint scared one bit. Is this how the yanks are: BABIES! Willing to mess with their farm system for that one win NOW, which uuh, as Ive said, curse reversed…they have to now wait 81-82 years til they hope to have any shot of a title again! Well, The Lord will be back by then , so I say they no longer will have a title! My 12 year old nephew, who I have to name Jonathan!!!….says they are done too! Kid has a prospectus to boot! Gotta love it, right! Hey if The Lord tarries, you may be coachin him down the pike, how neat would that be!

    Ok so on that note: I always wondered, cant players as they get older be happy with offers of 2 or 3 years with the next year option? like 2 with 3rd year option and 3 with 4th year option For, if they are still lookin good that option they know will be exercised vs. trying for 4 years all together? I felt if Pedro went for something like that we wouldve had him, as Theo showed he was risky signing him for a long one! Theo has been great, cant complain. Hey Theo, KEEP COCO! Ok, Ive typed enough again and sorry, but again I love to speak my mind, sound familiar? And, I would love to be on talk radio, can you tell! Be well, again, hope you come back/they take you back for at least a year etc and you and your family be safe in these times. Faith, not only what weve had in the Sox, but is what we continually need to get us through these years to come! And to be optomisitic, GO SOX and sign Tek, keep Coco and Yanks, yeah whatever! p.s. liked how you said Never to Hannity on joining that team that loves that dollar sign, yep the evil empire.

  50. wally97 permalink
    November 17, 2008 1:40 pm

    Beautifully put! Thanks.

  51. earache702 permalink
    November 17, 2008 2:56 pm

    Is Tek a great catcher? Yes. Is he a dead bat in the lineup? Yes. This isn’t a one-season drought. His productivity has been on a steady decline. The bigger question is what are the alternatives? If the Sox let Tek go, who steps in? Will the replacement actually be an improvement? That remains to be seen.

    Frankly, I would like to see Tek stick around to groom others for the full-time catcher role. If Kevin Cash was given more playing time, more at-bats, I think we’d all see what he can do. Right now, catching one game a week is not proving anything for Kevin.

    The bottom-third of the Red Sox lineup was tremendously inconsistent, in 2008. One writer stated that the bottom-third was the “perfect time to walk my dog”, because he knew he would miss nothing. How sad.

    We were one decent batter away from going to another world series. We needed every at-bat to be a decent one, not a wasted opportunity. And, you can’t get there with a .220 batting average.

    Tek is a leader. He is a baseball savant, with very few rivals. He will make a great manager, one day. I hope he remains if the Sox family, for years to come. But, at what cost?

    Whatever is decided, let there be no more excuses. Leave your personal problems at home, and do your job. If Tek comes back next year, I hope he’s prepared to serve his many detractors a huge crap sandwich. If not, take a seat, and give someone else a chance.

  52. str33tsp1r1t permalink
    November 17, 2008 3:22 pm

    Tek may have lost a step at the plate due to playing one of the most physically taxing positions in sports, age, illnesses, personal issues (Huge Impact IMO) etc, but he is also a real leader, pitcher’s binky, and general regulating force in the clubhouse.

    All of these “Get rid of Tek” people are not thinking this through in my opinion. I think we all ought to reserve judgement on players like Tek, Lowell, and Ortiz. I think it must be a very hard thing to play at the level these guys have been playing the last few seasons and not get banged up in the process. Watching Mike lowell’s face during his playoff at-bats told me everything I need to know about that guy. He has the heart of a lion, and played through what must have been excrutiating discomfort (like another fellow I know).

    Eveyone gave Alex Gonzales a free pass on offense because he brought other things to the table that helped the team “WIN”. No fair observer could state Jason doesn’t do the same. Doesn’t he deserve a chance to rebound at the dish? If the issue is bat speed, maybe he needs to hit from the right side only and pull the ball like Mike Lowell does? I’m not saying you pay him to be a nice team guy, but he has real value over the next four years beyond RBI, average, and HR’s. The Sox need to aquire/develop a replacement that can be brought along by Tek over the next four seasons. Varitek should retire a Red Sox period.

  53. November 18, 2008 8:38 am

    “The other ’stuff’ are a very big deal here because regardless of what tabloid journalism might have said this guy lived for his children and was and always will be the best father he can be, of that I have no doubt.”

    I’ve never read anyone question what kind of father he is. But if the rumors are true, and you make no mention that indicates they aren’t, he willing chose to put himself in a position that he knew would put a focus on him that would contribute to stress, pressure and probably affect his playing.

    I hope the rumors aren’t true. I hope his issues were health-related and stress due to the break-up of a marriage – and not based on what the gossip mongers are writing. But if they are, he contributed to the reasons he had such a poor season and what’s to prevent that from happening in 2009?

  54. browns83 permalink
    November 18, 2008 10:44 am

    Is there really a large anti-Varitek camp?? That’s like a yankees fan hating Jeter. I rarely talk to a Red Sox fan that doesn’t appreciate what Varitek brings behind the plate. He makes life much easier on pitchers, all they have to do is nod and execute the pitch.

  55. pbokeefe permalink
    November 18, 2008 2:10 pm

    Schill, I am about to go work for a sports media outlet right after Thanksgiving. I am a sales guy by profession, but my hobby has been sports writing for the past couple years. I am in the midst of launching a site with some friends dedicated to Boston sports, similar to Barstool but with a little more class. Anyway, I have also been writing for a site called Examiner.com. My focus is analyzing sports media. I want to thank you for doing what you have done for years and open up to the media and fans. You will go down as one of my favorite Red Sox for both your on field contributions, your candidness, and your charitable contributions. If you feel like reading my article on you released today here it is:

    http://www.examiner.com/x-1133-Boston-Sports-Media-Examiner~y2008m11d18-Appreciate-What-Schilling-is-Doing

    Thanks again Curt. All the best!

  56. sdl1 permalink
    November 19, 2008 2:34 am

    Great post, Curt.

    To me, Varitek is the heart and soul of this team; to not retain him is tantamount to stupidity. The C on his jersey…reasons enough to keep him. He IS the Red Sox a far as I am concerned. By that I mean, a player who is there everyday (except when Wakefield is on the mound) and can serve as the on-field “manager.”

    If Boras wasn’t in the picture, I know ‘Tek would have already been signed.

    Why is it when I read this guy Finn, I feel like I’m reading those two crap stains Clif Keane and Larry Claflin? (aka Syph & Clap–oops–Clif & Claf)

    To pbokeefe…great article as well. Until recently I was writing for one of the Tampa Bay area correspondents. Small world or what?

  57. fruitgirl permalink
    November 19, 2008 10:22 am

    I wish the dark, cold awful months of winter were over and it was end of February 2009….and I wake up to get on a plane to Ft.Myers to watch my boys play in the warm Florida sun. When I arrive in the land of palm trees amd oranges, I see the big strong symbol of our great team going through the drills at City Of Palms Park as he waves to the onlookers…..we can all have a big sigh of relief that our Captain is back. That is all I want for Christmas. We don’t need more than that. We have a spectacular team with these boys in Boston, and we should all be so proud that they represent us in the glorious game of baseball. So many of them were playing hurt and tired last year, many without public knowledge – because they are not Babies ! Hurt, Tired, and slightly older (on average) and yet they still came within a single game of reaching the 3rd World Series Games in 4 Years !! That is amazing. Everyone needs to stop complaining and see how fortunate we are to have this great bunch of scrappers working so hard to please us. Cheer on Boston, our team is the Pinnacle of the sport, unmatched anywhere today. Bring back our Captain, Theo. Jason is our Guru, our Soldier, Our Glue, Our team leader & we love him. That’s all.

  58. pbokeefe permalink
    November 19, 2008 2:02 pm

    Thanks sdl1, I appreciate it. Curt you continue entertain Boston fans and I am glad that you use your professional athlete ego in a good way. I am always amazed when a guy like you gets bashed for speaking out on politics, opposing players, teammates, coaches, and charities. You are labeled as a blowhard and a loudmouth. Meanwhile people can laugh off guys like Chad Johnson’s antics, Shaq’s stupid egomaniacal rants, and the thousands of players who hold out and pout when they are under contract. All I have to say is, at least you’re not at strip clubs in Vegas on NBA All Star Weekend flashing thousands of dollars of cash with a group of your criminal buddies. Or at least you’re not in the news for getting caught trying to sneak a gun onto an airplane. Or at least you’re not sleeping around with that dish rag Madonna. Keep it up Schill!

  59. fens1533 permalink
    November 24, 2008 8:51 pm

    Curt, thank you for writing this.

    I’m amazed how many both in the media and among the fans are ready to dismiss anything but raw statistics in evaluating players performances. Even more, I’m amazed how many assume their own knowledge of what it takes to make a team is better than that of the actual players.

    How odd, too, that people who limit themselves to statistics, claiming nothing else ‘counts’ and no other factors could influence a player’s season, think their own view is clearest, and least biased. That suggests to me that not only have these people never performed difficult physical tasks at the highest level (as you wrote), but they also aren’t very skilled observers of human nature!

    I’d been thinking about this for a little while, but reading your piece actually inspired me to write a bit on the topic myself, over at Bleacher Report :
    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/85279-my-vote-for-jason-varitek-its-bias-but-in-a-good-way

    I don’t know if people will be swayed by what you wrote (much less by what I did), but it absolutely needed saying: baseball is NOT played by robots; why talk about the game as if it were?

    Much thanks, Curt, and here’s to another Red Sox season WITH the Captain back behind the plate.

  60. dash4 permalink
    November 25, 2008 9:43 pm

    I am a Varitek supporter and feel that it would be a hugh mistake if we did not re-sign him. I do not pretend to know what it is like to walk in his or any professional athletes shoes but I do not think we should only be as good as our last performance. Even thought he did not bat well he did so much for the fans and team. I was at Fenway for game 3 vs Tampa Bay and the place was miserable, I brought my two older sons (9&10) and made sure they stayed to the end and they learned a valuble lesson that day, that no matter how your team is doing you always need to support them, Game 4 the fans were miserable again, Varitek reached out to the fans through the media and asked them to support their team for Game 5 and the fans were amazing even when we did not think they would win. But they came back and I was fortunate to be at one of the best come backs ever. I do not want to take away from the other players because everyone contributes, but Variteks homerun and the runner he threw out at 2nd base during game 6 won the game and we advanced to Game 7.

    Varitek is a man of very few words who always has chosen to let his actions speak. I am a mother of 4 sons and like any parent I try to point out role models for them and Variteks work ethic, intensity and mental fierceness that has helped him achieve such greatness is referred to often. He is the only person throughout all the talk that has never made an excuse or tried to explain why his hitting suffered this year. He has taught me it is not what you say in life but how you “be”.

    I hope the Sox’s are smart enough to not let him get away!

  61. lclaflin permalink
    November 25, 2008 10:29 pm

    sdl1,
    My name is Larry Claflin Jr., the son of Larry Claflin, the sportwriter you defamed on this blog on Nov. 19 at 2:34 a.m. Please keep in mind that the people you write about have families that don’t appreciate reading nasty lies about their deceased relatives, especially in such a public forum. My e-mail address is larryclaflin@hotmail.com. If you would like to discuss this further, please contact me. Thanks for your time.

  62. lclaflin permalink
    November 26, 2008 11:45 am

    sdl1,
    After a little research, I found out your real name. You’re Scott Levison, a pony-tailed “freelance” writer from Tampa Bay via Newton, Mass. Over the years, you’ve had plenty to say about my father online, none of it nice. For anyone that cares, here’s the text of an e-mail I wrote to Mr. Levison, who refuses to call or e-mail me:

    “Mr. Levison,
    You seem to have a real hatred for my father, considering the things you have posted over the years, calling him a “hack writer” and plenty of other nasty names.

    Did you ever meet my father? Did he slight you somehow? I’ve noticed you’ve never posted anything about him under your real name, only under the handle sdl. My father wrote about Boston sports for more than 30 years, covering your beloved Red Sox most of the time. He may have had his faults, but he’s generally respected among Boston’s sports community, journalists and every ballplayer I’ve ever met. Are you aware that he and my mother we’re instrumental in raising money for the Jimmy Fund in its early days? Do you know he was good friends with Yaz, Bobby Orr and plenty of other Boston pro athletes? When I met Lius Tiant recently, he said my father was “one of the best.”

    My point, Scott, is that you have no right to defame my father, online or anywhere else. The man’s been dead for more than 27 years. Let it rest, Scott, please. Enough. My family and I would appreciate an apology, today.

    Larry Claflin Jr. Salem, Mass.”

    If anyone knows Mr. Levison, I’d like to talk to you. Please email me at larryclaflin@hotmail.com.

  63. November 27, 2008 6:19 pm

    Schill –

    Once again I have read through your blogs and find you eloquent and insightful. On “Makes it easy” (Tek’s Woes), I agree, there’s more to him than stats. Locker room presence is something some guys look forward to. I played ball, I was an inspirer and as well as the inspired. Tek is undoubtedly suffering in the offensive department, but he had baggage – so does Big Papi, but neither are expendable in the locker room, whether it’s a leader like Tek or a inspirational smile from Ortiz, both men are needed and destined to improve themselves and their fellow teammates . If not, I’ll eat my Red Sox hat on TV:-)

    Keep up the classy work. Thank you and your wife for helping strangers.

    Tim

  64. November 27, 2008 6:35 pm

    Schill –

    Once again I have read through your blogs and find you eloquent and insightful. On “Makes it easy” (Tek’s Woes), I agree, there’s more to him than stats. Locker room presence is something some guys look forward to. I played ball, I was an inspirer as well as the inspired. Tek is undoubtedly suffering in the offensive department, but he had baggage – so does Big Papi, but neither are expendable in the locker room, whether it’s a leader like Tek or a inspirational smile from Ortiz, both men are needed and destined to improve themselves and their fellow teammates . If not, I’ll eat my Red Sox hat on TV:-)

    Keep up the classy work. Thank you and your wife for helping strangers.

    Tim

  65. yankeesonshine permalink
    November 28, 2008 8:28 am

    I think the key to keeping Veratek is having an an able back-up. Maybe with a little more rest than just when Wakefield pitches could prove revitalizing. I look forward to see how the team deals with this situation. The Yankees had the very same dilema- you know our aging switch-hitting catcher. Well Posada is signed, let’s see if Veratek is.

  66. TheWacoKid permalink
    December 16, 2008 8:42 am

    To lclaflin

    Obssess much?

    If I was sdl1 i wouldn’t have responded to your e-mail either.

    To sdl1..great Bill Lee avatar!

  67. Judge6903 permalink
    January 20, 2009 10:34 am

    Although I can appreciate the obvious loyalty extended to Tek in this narrative….. There comes a point of balance where the 1-2 runs he may (Or may not) actually save us with his game calling skills, gets over shadowed by the 2-3 runs he costs us by r-e-g-u-l-a-r-l-y striking out with RISP. And to be honest, I sometimes pray for the K because it’s more endearing than the 4-6-3 option he otherwise seems so fond of.

  68. Paul J Papa permalink
    March 24, 2009 8:52 am

    I would like to thank Curt for a great career and all the great baseball memories. Mem says in 2004 when I seen the commercial he made hiching a ride in Arizona to Boston to help break an 86 year old curse, Curt was true to his word. I have seen many players over the years make that promise but, Curt delivered in fashion, both in 04 and 07 . Thanks Curt …

    Paul Papa
    Somerville Ma..

  69. bruins4glory permalink
    March 24, 2009 5:34 pm

    Curt,

  70. bruins4glory permalink
    March 24, 2009 5:36 pm

    Schill-

    Thank You for pitching for my hometown team. You brought long-lasting glory to the town of Boston, and you will forever be remembered here. I think that you will easily make the hall of fame, and your trademark bloody sock should be framed there. Thank you Curt.

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