Happy Halloween!

So, I’m not sure how many of your jobs include dressing up for Halloween, but ours certainly encourages such behavior…

steve-urkel.jpgSo far I’ve seen a prisoner, a winking, moose-hunting veep candidate, a little kid (complete with PJs and a Teddy bear), Carmen Sandiego, 3 contestants from Double Dare, a brace-wearing Tom Brady, Billy Madison, Mr. T, the Tin Man, Dorothy, the Queen of England, Steve Urkel, a non-licensed Plumber, and of course a grown man in a gorilla suit (not the one you’re thinking of…)

Anyhow, a very Happy Halloween to all!  And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention a belated congratulations to the Phillies and all their fans!

All the best from inside a very festive Front Office,

“The Voice of the Nation”

PS – On the baseball front, Tek filed for free agency today…what do you all think of the chances he’s in a Sox uniform next year?  And if you think he should stay, what kind of contract do you think we should offer him (dollar figures and number of years)?

PPS – We picked up Wakefield’s contract option for the 2009 season.  One decision down…quite a few to go!

15 Comments

I can’t stand the uncertainty of it all. I don’t know how the players do it. Jason is an incredibly valuable player. Before him, we had no recent Championships, he heavily contributed to the Championship success of our team. It is not just about hitting (which he did well until June/July), it is about mastering your position, contributing to the team’s
win-ability through support, planning & experience. TEK has
the ability to bring us another championship season, no other catcher in MLB can say that. Our pitchers revere him, Terry relies on him, which makes his job easier, and other teams envy and fear him. There is no ther match.
Jason is looking for years, not solely dollars. Years of play and stability in the Red Sox team through play & coaching are much more important to him than dollars. Also, he needs to be given the opportunity to back away from his deal with Boras (agent) and make a great deal that would work out for the SOX and for our wonderful Captain. Please tread easily & carefully, because the thought of a game without him is sickening and very upsetting to Sox nation.

I can’t imagine the Red Sox without Tek. He is a “Rock” behind the plate and I’m sure he’s the same way in the clubhouse. The pitchers trust him and so do the fans.
We all remember what happened to our season a couple of years ago when he got hurt and couldn’t play. I believe what happened to the Yankees this past year had something to do with Posada being injured. A good catcher is hard to come by and the Red Sox have a GREAT catcher.
I would love to see Tek retire as a Red Sox. I know baseball is a business but I believe the Red Sox have been so successful because it goes beyond that for them. They are a team of character and integrity and Tek is one of those players that brings those traits to the team. I agree with “fruitgirl”….the thought of a game without him behind the plate is sickening. We all know what happens to a ship without its Captain…..it sinks. So, please do whatever it takes to bring him back. Would it help if Red Sox Nation started a petition???? 🙂 Thanks for listening.
Nurse77

Please don’t let Varitek & Schilling get away! We need to keep Tek no matter what it costs. I know he didn’t hit real well this year but the entire team & coaches rely on him. I think Tek is a huge part of the reason we made it as far as we did this year.

redsoxkid
http://redsoxkid.mlblogs.com/

I think that if Tek would take a reasonable salary (based on the way his bat fell asleep the past two seasons) then we should lock him up for another 3. It’s not like the Sox don’t have the money, and if in two-three seasons we get a better option behind the plate (ie. Exposito) then he can still serve as a valuable veteran back-up and/or mentor. I really don’t think that 3 seasons is too much. Tek tends to be much more durable than most catchers and so age only factors in significantly with bat-speed and arm strength here. There’s no law saying that if we sign him he’s gotta be our #1 for the length of his contract.

I think the previous posts were spot-on in the feelings I have about Tek possibly leaving Boston next season. It’s truly hard for me to imagine what the Red Sox would be like without Jason behind the plate. The amount of respect that the other players in Boston, around the league, and all of Red Sox Nation has for this guy is absolutely irreplaceable. No amount of skill can substitute for what Tek has amassed in reputation and leadership abilities. Considering what he has accomplished in Boston over the last decade I don’t feel that one bad season should rule him out of being our leader again in 2009. Even though he may have struggled at the plate from inside the batters box this year he was as good as he’s ever been from behind the plate. He is always good for double-digit homeruns and 50 RBI’s each year, but in terms of his leadership skills and respect demanded you can not quantify it into a number. As for him being in a Boston uniform next year I feel like the front office will be leaning towards getting a younger catcher to groom for the coming years. A lot of people view Tek’s 2008 season as a sign that he’s begun his drop-off in the late stages of his career and I don’t think the front office will be much different (although I certainly hope that they obtain a bit of loyalty to the man who has stepped in the driver’s seat and led the Sox to two world championships this decade. )
Given the circumstances I think that the front office could reasonably offer Tek a 1 year contract worth $2-3 million and attach a club-option after that one year is over. The Red Sox tend to have more loyalty to younger players and it’s very obvious that Varitek isn’t getting any younger and the numbers he put up last season won’t give him much leverage either. But as I said before, you absolutely can not quantify the leadership abilities and respect that Tek demands.

I say offer him 2 years/$22 million, with a one-year option after that, and talk about (no commitment, necessarily) joining the coaching staff after he retires. Tek likely has a future as a manager, and the Red Sox coaching staff would be a great place to get started. [Tito’s not going anywhere, though (at least, I hope not), so once Tek’s ready to manage, it’ll likely be for someone else–hopefully in the NL. :-)]

And be ready to negotiate… 🙂 Tek is a must-keep for at least a few more years, as a source of stability, leadership and as a great example/mentor to the young players the Red Sox are developing. Bridge to the future and all that…

Here’s what I’d like to see, for what it’s worth… It’s safe to say we all love Tek, and realize what his value to the team is. Sign him, sure, but don’t get into a bidding war for him. His agent has already begun to float a story out there about the Tigers’ interest in him, in an attempt to drive up his value. Offer Tek the “Wakefield job,” and see about a younger catcher starting to take over the everyday job. Is Cash the guy, or is there someone else out there? By the way, if Tek does leave and we like having an older catcher on the roster, grab Brad Ausmus- a Connecticut native with an Ivy League degree.
As far as the rest of the lineup is concerned, try this on for size: Mark Teixeira. Sign him and put him at first base. Move Youkilis back at third and trade Lowell and Lugo as a package to whomever is willing to take them. Sure, we’ll end up eating half of their salaries, but for Gold Glovers in their mid 20’s at first and third? Heck yeah!
This one move would make Tito a very happy man: Jacoby/Coco leading off, Pedroia batting second, Ortiz, then Teixeira. Then at five-six-seven run Youk, Bay and Drew. Our new catcher at eight and Jed batting ninth. Wow, think of the McCarver-isms that this lineup could produce!
Those two moves, phasing in a new starting catcher and signing Mark Teixeira, would allow the front office to focus on the pitching, which already looks pretty solid as it stands. Forget Sabathia- go for Jake Peavy (another move with the Padres?!?) and a few fresh faces in the pen, and we’re ready to make the AL East ours again!

Dear Insider,
If it all comes down to money (signing Varitek), what if we all sent a dollar or two to Theo and contributed to his salary ? We need him and we don’t really care where the money comes from. If you have to cut other people’s salaries, or get rid of players….do it !!! With TEK, we win, without him, we lose. Do you want to lose, or win ? There is no one else quite like Jason Varitek in the MLB. Do not let him go. We (the fans) will go on strike !! Do not let that man get away, we need him. Pay.

Fruitgirl, I couldn’t agree more that Tek is unique in the league and that the Red Sox will be better with him than without him (as a player) for the next few years (and will better with him after that as a coach). But since this is a business, it will come down to money…and part of this will depend on Tek, and also, Boras, and how much Tek wants to stay…

Re-sign Tek! And, please: Re-sign, Tek! 🙂

I’ll echo most of the posters here: I can’t bear to think of Tek leaving the Sox next season, and only half of that is sentiment. Yes, I’m unapologetically biased when it comes to the Captain — who isn’t? — but I also hate the thought of losing all he brings defensively, quite apart from the whole ‘captain’ thing. And I really can’t see any better options out there, or even options nearly as good! Salty, Laird, and co. have loads of potential as catchers of the future, but none of the baby catcher crop is ready to take on the load in ’09. Leaning on one of them with no Tek around to show them the ropes could mean a very messy transition indeed.

Varitek is, as others have written, still a rock behind the plate. He’s still the best game caller around. He’s still one of the most consistent and reliable catchers in the game (tied for fewest passed balls in the majors, 3rd fewest errors, .996 fielding percentage). He’s still among the most durable, 4th in the AL in innings played. (The complaints about his ‘declining CS%’ are way off mark, too: he’s been within a percentage point of .23 for the last four seasons! No decline. That’s just how it goes.)

Even while struggling so painfully in the batter’s box in the post season, Varitek kept on making great defensive plays, tumbling head-over-heals as needed for the good of the team. He ran down Willits! That was one of the great momentum shifts in the ALDS. And the game six home run may have been his only hit of that series, but it was also the biggest hit of that series.

Defensively, I wouldn’t trade Tek for anyone in the league. For that, and for the leadership, the game-calling, the grit and the heart, I’d want him back even if he didn’t recover his offense. As it is, I’ll stay optimistic that when the off-field issues, contract year stress, etc. are gone, we’ll see something more like the old Tek at bat.

By all means, offer two years with an option. But if three years is what it takes to keep Tek with us, offer that. If he stays strong and gets his bat back, we’ll all be very, very glad you did. And if it turns out that this really was the start of a decline (which I don’t believe), he’ll still be Jason Varitek. He’ll contribute. The clubhouse will still be better with him in it. The team will still be better with him on it.

My sentimental side and my practical side both beg: keep Tek in Boston!

fenns1533: Very, very well said! “Voice,” take that posting to Theo and I think we know who our catcher is for a few more years! 🙂

So, fenns, you’re a Varitek (33) and Pedroia (15) fan? (Me, too!) And I could add a 58 and a 25 to my name, and a 34, and a 46 and a … 🙂

Will, you have penetrated my ‘secret code.’ Yes, I could well have added a 34, a 25, a 58, a 46, and definitely also a 49, and a 31, and then there’s 20… But sooner or later it would look like a credit card number instead of a screen name! So, the Captain and the Little Horse got the nod.

(And much thanks for the kind words. If you couldn’t tell, this off season has got me nervous as heck!)

I will sleep so much better when they sign TEK.
Now, if Theo signs Mark Texiera, will that be enough
of a good offense addition that the pressure can get off Tek ? I am still hoping that Jason will fire Scott Boras
and make the deal himself. The man has a Bachelor’s Degree, and who knows Jason, better than Jason ?
Anyway, if he fires Boras…..I will make his deal for him-for free. I don’t want to get down to Spring Training in 2009, and see ANYONE but Jason Varitek in a Red Sox uniform behind the plate !! Just the thought of it makes vomit come up my throat, and a tear come out of my tired ble eye !!

I think the topic of Jason staying or going should be a no brainer. Two years plus options. Time to find a younger prospect and groom him into the system… and have the Captain retire as a Red Sox.

Listen, we’re keeping Wake — and I thought for SURE this past year was his last. So why wouldn’t Jason be resigned? I wouldn’t understand the logic behind that.

How much? Well, one DOES have to take his bat into accountability, and truthfully – I don’t know what a fair number would be. I’ve got to believe that job satisfaction has to count for something….

http://supergoddessgirl.blogpspot.com
Rebecca

“Listen, we’re keeping Wake — and I thought for SURE this past year was his last.”

Actually, I thought that one was a no-brainer as well! 4 Million for a pitcher who was second on the staff for quality starts, second in innings pitched, got us double digit wins, and had his lowest ERA since 2003? The W-L record doesn’t reflect that well, what with lack of run support and all the times he left the game with a lead the Sox failed to keep. He seemed pretty worn out by October, but it was a good season for Wake.

In any case, I was delighted to see he’s coming back. He /is/ Tim Wakefield, after all!

http://eastbaydirtdog.blogspot.com/

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