Friday, April 30, 2010

Can I Be Your Memory?

Sometimes I start to believe what they all say about Boston sports fans being the smartest sports fans in America. Then days like yesterday happen that remind me that they might, in fact be the dumbest sports fans in the entire world. The popular opinion on sports talk radio right now is that Jason Varitek needs MORE playing time. Tony Massarotti, who has been a Varitek suck-up for a long time, is leading this charge, and he gave a number: He thinks Varitek should be behind the plate ninety (90) times this year. These people must not have any kind of memory. As David Ortiz would say without crediting Jay-Z for coming up with it, "I think I better give you a reminder."

On April 29, 2009, Varitek was hitting .250 with an OPS of .881, four home runs, and only nine strikeouts through nineteen games. Through nine games in 2008 (he has played nine games this year), Varitek was hitting .290 with 2 home runs, an .882 OPS, and nine strikeouts. This was before Varitek started breaking down.

Today is April 30th and Red Sox fans, including their fanboy beat writers, are talking about how Varitek is not hobbling around the clubhouse. Varitek is not walking around with a hundred ice packs on his legs. They think it's because he's in better shape, because he's got something to prove, and they think it's an indicator that Varitek should be playing everyday again. Here's why he's not wearing ice packs.


Let's pick a number. Let's pick his 50th game. After Varitek's 50th game in 2008, he hit .189. He slugged .301. His OPS was literally .594, for those statheads out there. And this was after JUNE 5TH. In 2009, Varitek hit .195 with a strikeout more than 25% of the time after his 50th game. Oh, do you think it will get better if Varitek is not playing every single day, only playing every other day? I'm glad you asked. Varitek hit .134 after the trading deadline. His OPS was .437. He struck out 33 times in 97 at-bats.

These idiot Red Sox fans need to realize that Jason Varitek has had several Aprils just like this. And if he plays more than fifty games, he's going to become absolutely awful. Just like he did in 2009 and 2008. Do these people even remember the guy striking out three times a game on 40-foot sliders, then walking back to the dugout squinting at the jumbotron, trying to figure out what went wrong? I mean, Massarotti might not be capable of thinking because his Tufts degree would indicate he is smug and has an inferiority complex instead of indicating he is smart. But there are some Red Sox fans who have just completely lost their way.

Want to hate on Martinez's ability to throw guys out? Good. Because Varitek can't throw anyone out either. Want to prevent people from stealing second base? Maybe these run-preventing pitchers can just go ahead and not walk them in the first place. Or, once they steal second, they can just get the batter out.

Jason Varitek no longer is an everyday beer league softball player, nevermind a major league baseball player. If he plays everyday or even every other day, Red Sox fans will be seeing the ice packs by May 25th, and will be seeing the hideous, abominable numbers by June 15th.

They also need to realize that he is not a good game caller. Ask Josh Beckett how awesome his boy was his last two outings.

They are treating the use of this stiff like Sully from Medford treats Bud Lights at the bar. They have a little bit of him behind the plate and get a good feeling about how much they love the f***in' Sox kid. They want more and more and if they're not careful, they're going to be driving home at 1:30 AM with "Kryptonite" by Three Doors Down on full blast, not realizing that swerving down the wide lanes on Playstead Road is only fun until you wrap your car around a tree in the middle of the boulevard.


Anonymous said...


I think it's silly that Beckett requests Varitek as his catcher. Varitek wasn't with him in Florida. And even when Varitek has been with him since 2006, Beckett has been lit up more than his fair share. I'm sure that a catcher/pitcher relationship matters to some extent, but I wouldn't put a too much credence in it.

As for Varitek as a starting catcher the Sox need to continue using him as they have: Sparingly. It keeps him healthy, keeps his legs stronger, and prevents him from getting overexposed (especially from the left side). He can and will be a valuable back-up this year (I'm feeling like my Mirabelli in 2004 comparison is starting to look pretty good) but if he's anything more than that the Sox offense will pay dearly for it.

--the Gunn

the gm at work said...

Absolutely. If we reach 51 games, I will lose it.

PF said...

it really is amazing how people lose sight of the fact that just because someone is playing well under a certain set of circumstances (varitek playing 1-2 times per week) does not mean he will play well under all circumstances (varitek playing 3-4 times per week or more). this is especially true when their is a recent history of breaking down under he latter scenario as dv documented. i totally get wanting more when you see a guy producing. but sometimes you just have to understand that by going for more you'll end up with far less. so in reality you just need to be happy with what you're getting from the situation as it is, because it is probably close to as good as it gets.

the gm at work said...


Exactly. Gotta enjoy Varitek responsibly.