With the devastating loss to the Tampa Bay Rays last night in a crucial must win game seven, it just may have been Jason Varitek's last game in a Boston Red Sox uniform. The Boston great has been one of the greatest, if not the greatest, catcher to put on a Boston uniform.
This is not final yet, but when asked last night after the game if this was his final game...reality set in when he broke down, teared up, and ended the interview while placing a towel over his head.
This dominant catcher has caught and called three no hitters in his life time. That is more than any other catcher in history and he has also hit 12 post season home runs as a catcher which is also more than any other catcher in history. Most importantly he has enlightened Red Sox Nation as the Captain for the last three years.
If the captain had his way he would return in 2009 in a three starts per rotation schedule while batting ninth. The only problem to his needs is that he wanted, and I say wanted because his agent is Scott Boris, a two year contract with a player and team option for a third. The Red Sox do not have a credible replacement lined up and with an older free agent class of catchers coming out in the free agents. That leads me to believe there is a hint of chance to a possible return.
The 2009 free agent catchers include: Brad Ausmus, Greg Zaun, Paul Bako, Rod Barajas, Josh Bard, Michael Barrett, Henry Blanco, Johnny Estrada, Toby Hall, Jason LaRue, Paul Lo Duca, Miguel Olivo, Ivan Rodriguez, David Ross, Javier Valentin, and of course Jason Varitek
Whatever happens in the course of the next couple of months, whether he retires or looks for another team or maybe even returns, I feel that it is needed to respect the man that stood for a character of strength when we as fans have needed it most.