Jason Varitek: The Captain at the Helm Makes a Difference

Lana BallardContributor IApril 23, 2010

ATLANTA - JUNE 26:  Catcher Jason Varitek #33 and starting pitcher Josh Beckett #18 of the Boston Red Sox against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field on June 26, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Is it me or does the game feel different when the Captain is behind the plate?

I will not argue with anyone that says Jason Varitek is near the end of his career.  I will not argue with anyone that says he needs to be the backup catcher. But after the start of this season, I must argue with anyone who doesn't agree that the game has a different tone when the Captain is at the Helm. 

The players feel at ease, the game has a fluid motion and it just seems to me the boat is sailing in the right direction.  Sorry about the play on words but when you are talking about Jason Varitek and his superb ability to lead, I can't help to refer to him as the captain of a great ship.

Watching the Red Sox start this season is definitely like watching a boat get tossed about in the mighty sea. A captain knows when the storms are beating at the hull you must tighten up the lines and ride out the storm.

The players confidence in Varitek is well-known around the league.  His preparation for games has always been above and beyond.  It is no secret that Josh Beckett has an incredible comfort level with Varitek.  Although Beckett has been slow starting up this season I have no doubt, with Tek behind the plate, Josh will find the rhythm of the game soon.

Terry Francona can deny all he wants but Tek will be Josh's catcher.  Understanding Francona's attitude about Beckett needing to be able to pitch to any catcher it is obvious that Tito knows it is best for Beckett and the team. 

Victor Martinez catches a different game. Pitchers and catchers must trust each other and I don't believe the trust is there between Beckett and Victor, yet.

There is no need to discuss the inability to throw out guys stealing bags.  To tell you the truth the word pathetic comes to my mind.  Victor and Varitek must be able to throw guys out that are stealing. This is major weakness and everyone in the league knows it. They will take full advantage of it as we saw in the series with the Rays.

Encouraged by Varitek's start offensively this season I trust his reduced role catching will enable him to keep his bat strong.  We certainly need another big bat on the bench. It is encouraging to know Tek will be productive offensively.

My last thought is hang on Red Sox Nation April is almost over.  Let's hope that May brings bigger bats and let's pray that the boys get their rythym on defense.  Something has got to give!