Saturday, January 24, 2009

Varitek and Other Things

Totally missed this piece...thanks DBVader for mentioning it. Shaughnessy writes about Jason Varitek: Varitek needs a job; the Sox need a catcher and therefore they need to work this out. (Despite the bad blood with Boras). Actually, a decent piece though I take issue with this sentence:

Reward him for past contributions. Put together a deal that makes it look like something less than capitulation.

The whole "reward him" thing...first, Varitek has been paid handsomely enough already, has he not? Second, this is coming from Shaughnessy who has bitched and moaned about Schiling's contract from last year...a contract which I personally think had a "reward him for past contributions" aspect to it.

Totally different topic. I am reading the book "Juicing the Game" by Howard Bryant. He references a 1990's CHB special in which Shaughnessy declared that there was no relationship between steroids/performance enhancing drug use and a baseball player's performance. Shaughnessy was writing just after McGwire got caught by a reporter for having andro in his locker. Shaughnessy wrote

It's no wonder players loathe the media. In McGwire's case, it is misleading to write that he's using a performance enhancing drug. He's a baseball player, not an Olympic sprinter. There's nothing sold at drugstores that would help any of us hit a home run in the big leagues (unless that store has a book on hitting written by Ted Williams.) Facing Randy Johnson and hitting a ball over the fence requires bravery, timing, hand-eye coordination, reflexes, leverage, and strength. Most of all, it requires practice."

Sure, I admit it's very easy for me to criticize Shaughnessy with 20/20 hindsight. But I still would argue that this was lazy and shallow analysis, which is all too typical of Shank


Anonymous said...

It seems as though John Henry & the Bloodless Sox are out to save some face with the Nation.

Their new strategy is to “Reward (players) for past contributions”; and what better ways to trumpet the news than having the Village Idiot deliver it.

The Nation is being run by hypocrites!

How many ex-Sox players have wanted to be rewarded for “past contributions”? Didn’t Pedro and Manny ask for some of that R-E-S-P-E-C-T!!

Why is the Captain so special?

Dave, perhaps the Shank’s current article should’ve been titled “Juicing the Boss – only like a boyfriend can.”


Objectivebruce said...

Forget about all the Varitek silliness except this:

He is Tito's most logical successor.

They will reach a deal. His calcified bat will lead to retirement and a stint managing in the minors.

Guarantee: Jason Varitek will one day manage the local entry.

Unless someone else grabs him first, but I don't think we're talking about the sort of claptrap Lou Gorman used as a justification for sacking Joe Morgan in favor of Butch "other teams want him" Hobson.

But then again, what do I know.

Anonymous said...

OB, to answer your question....nothing

Chris said...

I take issue with the 'reward him for past accomplishments.' That presumes that he hasn't been rewarded already. I certainly can't go to my employer of record for 2005 and ask for more money today because of what I did them. What a warped and insular world people in the mainstream media live in. Happily, the economic wreckage is carpet-bombing them, too.

Anonymous said...


Varitek is a good talent evaluator and I don't think he has the fortitude to deal with diverse personalities.

He would just be a "yes" man and a "pretty" face for the Nation Media to display.

Managing a "team" is a little different.

Actually, a better position for Varitek would be as the GM. Tek has a "feel" for talent and can also help to develop it. Theo is just a lucky squirt that had Lucchino around to guide him.


Lou Gorman said...

"Varitek is a good talent evaluator"????????.......and just what are you judging THAT on?.....just what little league team has he been the GM for?.....good grief....

Anonymous said...

Lou G.,

Varitek has been "evaluating" plenty of talent while positioned behind the plate.

Not only has he worked with HOF pitcher but he has seen many pitchers develop.

In addition, he has gained real life experience of evaluating every batter that has stepped into the box. Varitek has a lot of management "intangibles".

My bet is that, if he chooses, with his skill-set he would be a valuable GM/Player Developer and not a game day general.


Little Ricky said...

"Sure, I admit it's very easy for me to criticize Shaughnessy with 20/20 hindsight."

jeeze, that's nothing to apologize for.....isn't that what Shank does for a living?....criticize and act like he knew all the answers, AFTER THE FACT?

Monkeesfan said...

Anonymous #1 - His Manniness forfeited respect by quitting on the team, slugging the clubhouse worker, and lying about all of it.

Anonymous said...

Monkeesfan ...

You got the facts wrong.

Manny never denied the confrontation with the clubhouse worker. He apologized. End of that story.

Quitting on the team? Seems like Manny has always been very productive and the teams he plays on usually win 60% of the time.

Perhaps you are referring to quitting on an employer. You know like when one owner promises a contract renegotiation and then the others ignore the gesture.

It seems to me that the owners quit on giving respect!

RESPECT = "The state of being regarded with honor or esteem."

Did the Sox Media give Manny respect or did they portray him as a buffoon


Monkeesfan said...

Anonymous #10, come off it.

What apology?

60% of the time? He fakes a knee injury, is caught blatantly lying about it, and he's a good teammate? After he spent the previous seven seasons quitting on the team at various points?

The Sox never promised a contract renegotiation to him. He and his agent made that up to justify quitting on the team.

Anonymous said...

Monkeesfan ...

I beg to differ.

Check the timelines and the newspaper accounts.

Spring training 2008 Lucchino offered to evaluate renegotiating Manny's remaining two option years and roll them into a 3-4 year extension.

Quitting on the team? I don't see it that way.

What I observe is that the "modern" player is control of his talents and knows best when to rest.

Manny is a prime example. He is accused of "quitting" in 2006. Recall that Schilling, Ortiz, and others were all on the mend. Manny had just gotten on base something like 22 0f 25 times against the Yanks and the Sox got no where.

By sitting out, Manny made a wise decision by forcing the Sox to test the younger players during the month of September.

It irks Theo & Sox that Manny thought of the idea first.

Similarly, you may recall that on the last day of 2003 Bill Mueller went 0-for-1. Mueller finished one point ahead of “teammate” Manny Ramirez, who didn’t play.

That, my amigo, is the essence of Manny. You call it quitting (a chance for a batting title), but Manny calls it balance!


Anonymous said...


Why is no one offering Manny a contract?

Your pal,


Anonymous said...


Timing is everything.

Given the economic flux, the owners now have leverage on the players.

John Henry has some pull within the "owners club" and perhaps they have all agreed to have Manny sweat a little.

However, I've stated before on this site that Manny would be just as happy retiring so I don't think anyone can "punish" Manny for not conforming.

The Manny Dilemma for the owners = "We need his bat, but how do keep him under our thumb?"

In the work force, “Manny type” personalities are an owner’s worst nightmare.


Anonymous said...

Just a quick comment on Shaughnessy's blindness on PEDs. He was typical of many sportswriters to immediately reach for the "no drug can make you hit a big-league fastball" rationale. So lazy-- no thought and no research on what steroids and HGH can do to improve bat speed, vision, stamina, etc. This ignorance also showed when Shaughnessy originally declared that pitchers had no reason to juice because PEDs were only good for bulking up for extra power. He didn't get it; he still doesn't; and the worst part is that he doesn't seem to care. Pathetic.