Friday, September 28, 2012

Return of the Captain

The Captain is returning to the Red Sox.  Not, as some fans hoped, as the new manager - or even as a coach (which is unsurprising if you pay attention, since Tek said multiple times over the course of his career that he wasn't interested in being on the coaching staff).  No, Jason Varitek will be a front office man, as a special assistant to the general manager.

Apparently this position will not require that Varitek be stationed in Boston, as it will include multiple responsibilities like "major league personnel decisions, evaluations, and mentorship and instruction of young players."

I've seen some irate Facebook statuses from fans who think Varitek would be better utilized as a bench coach, and I disagree entirely.  For one thing, if that's not something Tek wants, he would be absolutely MISERABLE doing it in such a high profile situation.  But more importantly, I'm not sold on his ability to retain his authority as a coach among so many players who were so recently his teammates.

I've asked this before, but where was Varitek's famous leadership when the ship was sinking last September?  The inmates were apparently running the asylum, and Varitek either could not or would not do anything to keep them respecting the manager?  I understand that it's difficult to rag on your teammates, but that's why Tek was awarded that "C" - because the fans and the office knew it was a difficult task, and they believed he was up to it.

We'll probably never know the full story of the collapse of 2011, and maybe that's for the best, but the fact of the matter is that Varitek couldn't right the ship any more than Tito, and I'm not sure he'd fair any better as a coach (at least with so many players who are essentially his peers - maybe we can revisit the idea in a decade or so).  I think this front office job will be great for Varitek and the Red Sox.  It sounds like it's flexible enough that they can essentially send him where he's needed, and since he's accepted the position it's obviously something he's embraced.

It will be nice to know that Jason Varitek is once again employed by the Boston Red Sox.  We all know that's where he belongs.

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