You can hear the sports talk radio callers now: "So THAT'S why he's been so bad!!!" It was revealed today by the Boston Globe that Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek filed for divorce at the end of last month.
His marriage to soon-to-be-rich ex-wife Karen began in 1997, and they have three kids. And to add onto things, Varitek's contract runs out at the end of this season, and the 37-year-old is hitting .216. Quite a year!
While the divorce situation probably hasn't helped the captain's on-field success, it also can't be entirely blamed as well. V-Tek plays at the most physically demanding position on the field and is just a few years shy of turning 40. His decline was bound to happen eventually.
However, the Varitek divorce is a reminder that off-the-field issues can play a part in a player's on-field performance. Two recent Sox examples include J.D. Drew in 2007, when dealing with his son's medical issues, and Daisuke Matsusaka, with moving to a new country and adapting to a new culture.
What will be interesting to see is exactly what the Sox do with Varitek next season. Fans have fallen in love with the notion of him "calling great games" and using the adoration of his handling of pitchers as an argument for having him stay.
But there is a growing movement by the negative Nation that it's time for V-Tek to go. My thought: Offer him a two-year contract worth $7 million per season, with a club option for a third. Then, go hard into getting him an apprentice that can learn on the job.
Since You've Been Drunk!!!: From Deadspin via Red Sox Monster, here's some video of Kelly Clarkson singing some "Sweet Caroline" at a Red Sox game recently. She's wearing the backwards hat and pops in and out of the shot at the bottom of the video.
A question: If you're a drunk Sox fan, can you tell the difference between Clarkson and another girl with a hat from Medford?
Double-barreled action: I'm glad someone picked up on this. As I watched Wednesday's Sox/Rangers game and listened to another dreamy Heidi Watney sideline report, I happened to notice a familiar err...face behind her: ESPN uber-hottie Erin Andrews.
Home Run Derby seems to have the only picture, but come on...there has to be some better fan shots out there, right? If so, email 'em to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I swear they're not for my personal use...maybe.
Josh Nason started Small White Ball in 2007 and is the main contributor of content for the site. A long-time writer, his work can also be read at sites like RopesRingandCage.com, EmailMarketingGuy.com and others. He also does radio appearances and was on TV once, albeit for a lame public television game show. He can be reached at email@example.com.