Boston Red Sox: Jason Varitek and 6 Recent Players Who Should Coach
The Boston Red Sox are currently looking for a new coaching staff and even though these aren't the most likely picks for next season, these are recent players who would make great coaches for the future.
Some of the Red Sox coaches over the past few years have earned manager jobs for other teams such as John Farrell and Brad Mills. It takes power, respect and intelligence to be a coach in the major leagues, and you can't just take anyone and throw them out there.
These six players have showed leadership on the field and in the clubhouse, which make them the ultimate Red Sox coaching staff.
Manager: Jason Varitek
Jason Varitek, the captain, has played his entire career in Boston and is one of the most beloved fan favorites in Red Sox history.
Even though his age has kept him from playing at peak level as of late, he is still the smartest player on the team. Catchers usually take the most time studying opposing players, trying to figure out how to call games and play against them.
Varitek has won two World Series titles, a Gold Glove, a Silver Slugger and has been named to three All-Star teams. In his 15 seasons, he as played 1,546 games with a career .256 average and 193 home runs. He owns the MLB record for most no-hitters caught in a career with four.
The next five players are only possible coaches for the future, but Varitek is different—he will be a major league manager.
Bench Coach: Mike Lowell
Mike Lowell has been one of more inspirational players in MLB history, beating testicular cancer during the 1999 season.
Lowell came to Boston in a package deal which also brought Josh Beckett to the Red Sox from the Florida Marlins (in exchange for Hanley Ramirez and Anibal Sanchez, among others). He proved to be worth his huge salary, for the most part, finishing the season with 20 home runs and tied for the league lead in fielding percentage among third basemen.
Lowell was named the 2007 World Series MVP after a remarkable four games against the Colorado Rockies. He only played in Boston for five seasons, but he still was one of the most respected players in the game.
Injuries to his hip and thumb plagued the latter part of his career, but after a two-month long disabled list trip, Lowell returned to Boston to a standing ovation, then proceeded to hit a two-run home run on the very first pitch he saw.
Red Sox Nation will always have a place in their heart for Mike Lowell.
Hitting Coach: Nomar Garciaparra
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
No matter what happened when he was traded to the Chicago Cubs, Nomar Garciaparra is still one of the best players in Red Sox history.
In his first season in Boston, he was voted onto the All-Star team and later won the American League Rookie of the Year Award. And don't forget that he also had a 30-game hitting streak during that year.
He then led the league in hitting in the 1999 and 2000 seasons. He finished his nine-year career in Boston with a .323 average, 178 home runs and 279 doubles.
He knows how to hit and would make a great hitting coach. In six of his nine seasons in Boston, he finished in the top 10 in hits six times. He received a standing ovation when returning to Boston as an Oakland Athletic in July of 2009.
He has one of the best names in Boston history, as well as one of the best swings.
Pitching Coach: Tim Wakefield
Jim Rogash/Getty Images
Tim Wakefield is one of the biggest baseball guys in the game. He loves to go out and play everyday.
Known for his knuckleball, Wakefield made it through 19 years throwing it, 17 of which came in a Red Sox uniform.
He ranks third on the all time franchise list with 186 team wins. I personally attended his 200th win this past season and it was one of the coolest things I have ever witnessed. He deserved every minute of the standing ovations he received during the game.
He has been nominated for the Roberto Clemente Award, an award given to the player "best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual's contribution to his team," nine times (last winning it in 2010).
Even though Jason Varitek wore the "C" on his jersey, it could have easily belong to Wakefield as well. He has won two World Series with the team and was named to the 2009 All-Star team.
He has clearly tried to pitch for as long as possible, and even though he wants to become the all-time leader in Red Sox wins, he may have to retire before that time comes.
He leads the Red Sox in plenty of all time pitching categories, and if his body allows, he would play until he dies. One of the most respected players in the game, it will be sad to see Wakefield leave.
Hopefully Boston will eventually have him back on the bench, teaching young pitchers how to play in this competitive league and division.
First Base Coach: Trot Nixon
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
I know that Trot Nixon was never much of a base stealer, but he still is one of the better Red Sox players in recent history.
He was another one of the guys who loved to play the game and Red Sox Nation always rewarded him for it. Nixon is most known for being on the team during the 2004 season when Boston broke the curse and won the World Series.
Nixon is labeled as one of the best teammates ever, even being ejected from a game after a home run call was reversed that wasn't even hit by him.
He has received countless ovations from the Fenway faithful and Boston would really gain a lot by having him on its coaching staff.
Third Base Coach: Dave Roberts
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
Dave Roberts only stole five bases for the Red Sox, but one of them is the biggest steal in franchise history.
After a Kevin Millar walk in Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS, Roberts took off against Yankees closer Mariano Rivera and beat the Jorge Posada throw, scoring the tying run on a Bill Mueller single.
Roberts is forever immortalized and praised for that one steal.
Roberts recently served as the first base coach for the San Diego Padres in 2011, but could earn the third base coaching job in the near future. He is a smart base runner, stealing 80 percent of his attempts during his career.
It would be great for Roberts to return as a coach in Boston someday; I know the fans would love it.