Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Time for Tek to bow out - gracefully

Bring on the haters, but I am seriously so tired of people saying that the Red Sox are treating Jason Varitek unfairly:

"it’s just not right for the Red Sox to treat him this way. He wants to finish his career in Boston. He will always be part of the Red Sox because he was the true first captain. You will be greatly missed Varitek, we love you." [Tumblr post]

First of all, the Red Sox do not owe Jason Varitek anything but respect. They do not owe him another year on the team, especially if there is a viable, cheaper, and possibly much more productive alternative.  He CAN finish his career in Boston if he really wants - the man will be FORTY YEARS OLD in April, and younger players than he have gracefully hung up their spikes after fulfilling careers.

Where were Tek's FANTABULOUS leadership skills last season when apparently the bulk of the team decided to ignore the manager and their work-out plan? I know he was in the bullpen or on the field for most games, but surely he knew about the clubhouse hijinks? Why didn't El Capitan SAY SOMETHING - and if he did, and was ignored, then his leadership certainly isn't reason enough to keep a man who hasn't broken .232 or fifteen homeruns in four years on the team.

I'm also extremely confused about the "true first captain" comment: I'm pretty sure these men would have something to say about that.

Let me be clear: I love Jason Varitek.  I practically have a shrine to him in my room:

I also attended his Celebrity Putt-Putt charity event this summer:
I had a fantastic time, and I truly believe that Tek is a genuinely awesome human being. But it's time to face the facts, Red Sox Nation.  His glory days are far behind him, and his greatest value comes from "game-calling skills" - something many teams leave to the manager on the bench, relayed to the pitcher with signs.  I will always look back on Tek's time with the team fondly - I came of age with him behind the plate, and he'll always hold a special place in my heart.

But baseball has no room for sentimentality, and it is Tek's time to bow out gracefully. I really hope that for his sake, and the sake of the organization, that he takes the practical path to retirement - maybe someday he'll return to us as a coach (though he has said he's uninterested in such a job).

No comments:

Post a Comment