WHO CAN BLAME THEM ?
As the general managers meetings wrap up this week, bits and pieces of informaton trickle through as they set the stage for the upcoming Winter meetings. This year they hold the gathering in Indianapolis (a far cry from last year, Las Vegas). Anyway, I digress. The GMs, on the surface, didn’t get a whole lot done but you have to think that feelers were put out and there will soon be some action. On my “Santa” list- 1. Roy Halladay 2. Jason Bay 3. Adrian Gonzalez 4. Matt Holliday (if I don’t get #2). We did learn what members of the 2009 team will be back and which won’t. Victor Martinez, Tim Wakefield and now Jason Varitek will all be in the fold in 2010. Varitek and his greatly diminished skills will serve as a back-up to Martinez. Not good news for the likes of George Kottaras, Dusty Brown or Mark Wagner. Tek took the 3 million dollar option to remain a Red Sox captain. Think about it. 3 million dollars to catch once or twice a week. He will no doubt, continue to tutor the pitchers and anyone smart enough to listen. His preparation is legendary, both physically and mentally. Where else can you make three mill to hang out with your buddies, take some batting practice and sign some autographs? Let me know where I can enlist. To be fair, he has earned it. A two-time World Series champ, a gold glove, an All Star and the long-time “C” on his chest. Varitek has the respect of teammates and opponents. And I know I mentioned it before, but 3 million to catch a couple of games a week. Nice work if you can get it. Now I don’t think the Sox look at him as a charity case. Not by any means. They have proven (a la New England Patriots and their “Belichick-ian” style) that there is absolutely no room for sentiment. This is a business. Obviously the Red Sox feel that there is some value in bringing him back for another year. I think it’s a good move. You know exactly what you’re getting. The pitchers trust him. He is still solid defensively (the arm notwithstanding) and he has occasional power still. A very very solid (and a little expensive) reserve. Tek had to swallow his pride last year when he turned down ten million to go to arbitration and wound up making 5 million for the season., He is already used to being paid at or near this level (poor guy!) As I mentioned, the young catchers in the organization suffer and it postpones the inevitable passing of the baton to the man I am certain will be the next captain of the Red Sox, Dustin Pedroia. Other things will start happening and they will start soon. After all it is exactly two weeks before Thanksgiving. Anybody know where Theo Epstein is eating this year?