Victor Martinez # 1 Red Sox Catcher...Tim Wakefield Back For Two More Years...UCONN WOMEN WIN
The Boston Red Sox have picked up Victor Martinez' $7.1 miliion option and proclaimed him the number one, full time catcher for 2010. I think this is a tremendous decision that doesn't take anything away from the captain, Jason Varitek. Theo Epstein was asked about the club's smart decision and he responded thusly...
“We’re going to really look for Victor to be the everyday catcher next year,’’ Epstein said. “What puts us in the best position to win is for Victor catching as much as he can. The spot we’ll have available is for more of a traditional backup. We’ll see what Tek’s decision is before we move forward. He really sees himself as a catcher,’’ Epstein said. “We have to be smart about it. We can’t push him to the point where we have diminishing returns. He feels he can catch a bit more and prepare himself to do that. We haven’t put an exact number on it. A lot depends on the exact shape he’s in. We expect him to be in really good shape. He’s a really hard worker. We’ll have to figure that out as we go.
Epstein was then asked if Varitek would be comfortable in a back-up role, something he's not done in the past but one in which I think (know) he would excel. Here's Theo...
“Yeah, I think so. There’s a school of thought that says he’d perform better with a bit more rest.’’
V-Mart said before the season started that he could handle the behind-the-plate duties for 140 games or so. Guess what...he got his wish and Red Sox Nation should be very happy.
The other huge piece of Boston Red Sox news concerns a now healthy Tim Wakefield, who we all love. The Sox signed him just yesterday to a two year, $5 million deal which could reach double that figure with incentives. He has had his disc surgery (I still wonder how it was possible he could have made his last three 2009 starts while hobbling with excruciating leg pain...pain I know all too well). Needless to say, our Timmy was very happy. Here he is...
“For me, it was never about the money,” he said. “It was about being treated fairly and remaining a Red Sox for the rest of my career, and now I can say that’s going to happen. I was a little disheartened when I first heard the news they weren’t going to pick up the option and wanted to cut down the guarantee,” Wakefield said. “But after that was settled and we started negotiations on a two-year deal I thought, ‘OK, this is actually probably a better deal for me.’ It’s a performance-based contract, which I completely understand on their end, since I have not been healthy the last four years. I feel phenomenal,” he said. “As soon as I got the grogginess out of my system from the anesthesia, I was doing laps around the nurses’ station. I feel good. I’m not limping around. There’s no more pain shooting down my leg, calf, hamstring and hip. I’m working to regain the strength I lost in my leg.”
Wakefield is now positioned to challenge Roger Clemens and Cy Young, who share the Sox career record with 192 victories. Wakefield has 175 with the Red Sox. Good luck, Timmy. You pitch your heart out every time you toe the Fenway Park rubber and take command of the Fenway Park mound. WE LOVE YOU. He now has a great chance to break Cy Young and Roger Clemen's Red Sox victory record and I hope to God he gets it. I really do.
“He’s justifiably proud of where he ranks,” GM Theo Epstein said. “He wants to end his career in a Red Sox uniform, and that’s something we’d like to see as well. And for us, the finances made a lot of sense.”
Lastly, the University of Connecticut Women's Basketball team, in their last exhibition game before the regular season starts this weekend, ran to a 98-68 exhibition victory over Vanguard University. The full game wrap up from the Hartford Courant is available when you click on this post's title. As always, BE WELL and I'll see you soon. That's a promise.