The Red Sox and Jason Varitek are discussing potential roles for him in the organization. But one of the roles they are not currently talking about is the manager's job -- at least not yet.
At present the more likely role for Varitek is special assistant. But he'll still be seen by some as future Red Sox manager.
There is a widely-held expectation around baseball that Boston will let go manager Bobby Valentine after one year, opening up one of the most prominent jobs in the game. Folks are bound to speculate on Varitek as the next Red Sox manager, partly because there isn't necessarily a strong belief Boston's higher-ups can come to an easy decision on a replacement. Last winter the team's ownership rejected first-year general manager Ben Cherington's choice of Dale Sveum, didn't seem to embrace his fallback candidates, such as Gene Lamont, and instead steered Cherington toward Valentine, who's now said by ownership to be safe only through the season.
Varitek, the former Red Sox captain, clearly is someone everyone in Boston's hierarchy admires. But while people close to Varitek say they could see him managing one day, they view him becoming Boston's manager as soon as next season as highly improbable.
Varitek played only for the Red Sox, from 1997 through 2011, and was the starting catcher for their two World Series champion teams. He lives in the Boston area, and no one could see him working elsewhere. WEEI.com and ESPNBoston first mentioned Varitek, and the Red Sox were again discussing a job for him.
The Red Sox have tried to lure Varitek back in some capacity since he retired this spring, and with some of the heroes from the 2004 championship team stumping for Varitek as manager during a celebration in Boston on Tuesday, Varitek manager speculation is only natural, especially considering the success of two first-year managers who lacked experience coming into the season, the White Sox's Robin Ventura and the Cardinals' Mike Matheny.
Boston's managing job brings higher expectations and many more difficulties, of course. But an even bigger issue at this point is that Varitek, who was remarried within the past couple years, isn't seen as being ready to dive back into the grind of a full 162-schedule and also take on all the other daily responsibilities that go with a managing job.
Some day, sure. Not now though.