Tek Woes.......For Now
Yes, our captain Jason Varitek had troubles at the plate last year, and those troubles have continued this spring. He and hitting coach Dave Magadan have been tinkering with things, with iffy results. Read this, from the Courant, and I'll be back with a comment. Title click for the entire illuminating article.........great stuff!
"All that extra work - most notably helping assimilate Japanese pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka to the major leagues - is one of the sources of Varitek's hitting woes, according to manager Terry Francona.
"I think every other aspect of our ballclub weighs on him, especially with how conscientious he is," Francona said. "There's always going to be aspects of this game that are going to take away from him offensively. I would never change that in a million years, because of what he brings in all other areas, how he catches and how he cares and how he runs a game."
Mostly, Varitek's struggles are of his own doing. After a glute muscle strain early last season and a left knee injury in August, Varitek hit .213 over his final 18 games, lowering his overall average to a career-low .238.
Friday, Varitek had solid at-bats from both sides of the plate, homering off the left-handed Bedard from the right side, then popping up against righthander Chris Ray in the seventh.
"He's taken so many extra swings and he works so hard that when it clicks, we'll be thrilled."
Peter here. And if there's one person on this team who works hard at preparation, it is Jason. His knowlege of any opposing batter from any team in baseball is astounding. He knows what pitch to call and when to call it, and is a help to every pitcher on the team. Right now the communication between Daisuke and Tek is getting better and better. I expect amazing things from that particular battery. I expect amazing things for Tek and the entire rotation, including Jon Lester, who will be added by the end of April. And that's just my guess. If Tavarez, the 5th starter, who won't have to pitch much in the first couple weeks of the season because of the off days built into the schedule, falters in any way, Jon Lester will be there for the number five spot. He needs 3 or 4 starts in real game situations, and it looks like a short stop at Pawtucket is the smartest move. I can't wait for his first start at Fenway, as the crowd will stand, 35,000 hearts as one, and pour out their love. RSN love. OUR love. Gives me the shivers just to think about it.
Back to Tek. He'll come around at the plate. But with his mastery of quarterbacking the game and his handling of the pitchers, a .255 year with 12 homers and 75 RBI would be just fine. He is valuable to us in so many other ways. But he wouldn't be happy with those numbers, just as he is not happy with those of last year. So expect him to stay hard at work to bring those numbers from last year up. WAY up. He's that kind of guy. And that's why we call him Captain. Quite simply, HE IS.
Have a wonderful Sunday filled with health and happiness.