He is old. He is overrated. He is well beyond his prime.
His hitting is atrocious. His defense is lacking.
If any unsuspecting member of the Boston area community happens to turn on a radio, television, or read a Red Sox blog, they will quickly learn about a man named Jason Varitek.
According to the various media outlets, Jason Varitek is among the worst players in baseball. He apparently has an uncanny knack of combining a futile hitting approach and sub-par defense with not a terrible and cancerous club house personality.
Wait a minute. The Red Sox are still engaged in contract negotiations with a player this bad?
So who is this guy Varitek? A few minutes of researching takes me to Varitek's career statistics page at baseball-reference.com . Hmm...
His lifetime batting statistics are not glamorous for sure, but they are hardly terrible. What about his defense? Strange, his defensive numbers seem to contradict what has been repeated over the air waves.
And, hang on, does that say that he is only the third player since 1923 to be a captain of the Boston Red Sox?
And he made the All-Star team last year??
No, this can't be the same Jason Varitek that supposedly has skills that rival a little leaguer.
Surprisingly enough, it is. Jason Varitek has caught more flack from the media and fans this off-season than he has pitches during his 12 year career in Boston.
Varitek means so much to this Red Sox team, and it is represented by the fact that the Sox are still in contract negotiations with him. The Sox pitching rotation is based on many pitchers who have never thrown to anybody but no. 33.
Would that bullpen full of young arms be able to be consistently relied upon with someone else behind the plate? Would the team survive another Manny Ramirez-type clubhouse conflict and succeed with that kind of distraction?
Varitek was voted to the All-Star game in 2008 by the people who know his game and what he means to a team best: other players. There is no point in the Sox paying their pitchers without giving them someone reliable to throw to.