Saturday, January 31, 2009

Captain Tek Is Back!

Admit it, the whole Varitek Saga was starting to get a little annoying. Petulance and bad feelings seemed to be lingering on both sides of the negotiating abyss. But, deep down, you knew he had to come back. A bad market and a bad 2008 meant that no other team was going to cough up a 1st round pick for a 37-year old catcher.

But, of course, to us he is much more than just another old catcher. He is the Captain, he is the embodiment of what it is to be a Red Sox lifer. For God's sake, he literally went to battle with the Icon Of Evil—mano y diablo. And that watershed event kicked off 2004's miracle championship run. Sure, his handling of the pitching staff might be a little overstated—but not by much. Just listen to Papelbon and Timlin and Schilling. This is not just blind loyalty they're spouting. They talk about a battery partner that knows more about the opposing lineup than they do—and about their own strengths and weakness against that lineup.

His offensive skills may have diminished, but his leadership skills are as keen as they were 12 years ago when he arrived with Derek Lowe in one of the biggest swindles in MLB history (thank you, Dan Duquette). I, for one, am thrilled that Tek will be patrolling behind the plate for at least one more year. The stars are now properly re-aligned.

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