Jason Varitek: Can The Ship Sail Without a Captain?

Lana BallardContributor INovember 15, 2008

Decisions will be made soon whether or not Jason Varitek will remain in a Red Sox uniform.  The general question is, should we keep him? My question is, can we win without him?

We expect the clairvoyant Theo Epstein to look into the future and determine what crew is required to take this ship into battle.  I ask the seer, can we sail the ship without a Captain?

Let’s look at the Captains log.

Since 1997, the Captain has competed in 1,330 games with 4,401 at bats.  His career batting average is .263 with 654 RBIs.  He has successfully reached home 573 times.  His at bats included 1,156 hits, 266 were doubles and 13 triples.  He crushed 161 home runs in various ballparks and his on base percentage is an honorable .346.

I don’t think it’s a stretch by stating that Varitek’s offense has always been mediocre.  His batting average has never been above .300 and yet Red Sox have found it necessary to keep him for 12 years.

Do you see where I am going?  Yes, it’s what he brings behind the plate. He has been and remains to be, a great defensive player. His opponents know not to underestimate how prepared Varitek is for their at bat. 

For 1,330 games played, the total chances 9,080, Tek putout 8,555 with 463 assists and only 62 errors.  This calculates to be an excellent fielding percentage average of .993, an average that has not fallen below a .988, since 1998.

Did I mention he has caught four no-hitters?

So, it is understood for a ship to reach its destination, there are a few components that are required: a compass for direction, and a rudder for control, and a Captain for leadership.  Without a compass you could follow the stars praying for clear weather, without a rudder you will sail wherever the wind blows but without a Captain you have chaos.

Sign the Captain, his crew is waiting to sail.