** Jason Varitek Returns To Boston **
The captain is officially back. Jason Varitek and the Boston Red Sox agreed on a last minute deal Friday that will pay 'Tek five million dollars for his services in 2009. The Sox hold a $5 million option for 2010. If they decline, Varitek can exercise a $3 million player option that includes up to $2 million in performance bonuses. Those bonuses have to do with the number of games he will be able to play. If he catches four out of every five games, that would give him approximately 130 games played in 2009. I don't think the Boston powers-that-be want him to be out there for 80% of the games, however. He's going to need a couple days off every five days or so. Then maybe his hitting stroke will return to him. I sure hope so. Sox owner John Henry said this last night via email...
“I’m very happy that he chose to remain with us,” Red Sox owner John Henry wrote in an e-mail last night. “He’s the captain. He has done everything he could to help this team win championships each year - more than anyone asked."
I also am very happy he's coming back, and so is the entire Boston pitching staff. Few of us regular fans have any idea about the little things he does, the preparation with his pitcher of the day and his knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of that day's opposing club's hitters, to fully understand how important he is in the clubhouse and behind the plate. This move, however, does not mean that the Red Sox will not trade a young arm in return for a young catcher like Saltalamacchia. That remains to be seen. But the captain is back and the 2009 version of the Boston Red Sox seems to be complete. May success, good health and good luck follow them like bright shadows throughout this 2009 season.
I hope your weekend will be a great one. It's another frigid morning, but I think I'm slowly getting used to the cold weather. I'm sure I'll be fully adjusted to it by the time the first warm breezes of spring hit me in the face...I can't wait. I'll write a Super Bowl post first thing Sunday morning with my prediction included. Click on the title for more on 'Tek and the Sox and as always, BE WELL. L'chaim...to life. Hold on to it, it's all we have.