|Another photo I took of Tek back in 2005|
I fell asleep in the middle of writing an entry about Jason Varitek. That, pretty much, sums up how I feel about the entire situation. Normally, when people start arguing that baseball players should just be grateful for the obscene amounts of money they make, I argue that you can’t compare baseball to the “real world”. And I still believe that. But I have to admit to being bored with someone needing to take time to accept an offer that will guarantee him $5 million for one year – especially when there aren’t any other offers out there.
The most current rumor being floated is that Tek might sit out the beginning of the season until he gets an offer he likes. Or he’s going to retire. Or he’s going to Disneyland. No one is really sure. All we DO know is that his “deadline” to respond to the Sox is Friday. I sense many hits to the main page at WEEI.com in anticipation of the breaking news of what the hell Tek decides to do.
I wouldn’t hold it against Tek if he decides to retire. Why not? He’s had a long and successful career. Last year seemed to take a lot out of him physically and personally. He’s a legend with Major League pitchers and he’ll never have to pay for a drink in this town as long as he lives.
But if he decides to hang out and wait for a better offer? Waiting around through spring training to see if anyone gets hurt or under-performs so he can, finally, look like a good catch to a team that isn’t based in Boston? I’d be a bit pissed by that. I suppose the flip side is that maybe he doesn’t feel like he could play the beginning of the season? Maybe he’s feeling his age and thinking that, like Clemens did before him and Paul Byrd wants to do now, starting late in the season will benefit him more than starting up when everyone else does? Of course, he could just be waiting for the draft in June so that any team that signs him then wouldn’t have to give up a pick. (Shout out to KellyO for that bit of information.)
Honestly, I have no idea what to think or how to feel. I was thrilled when the Sox re-signed Tek and made him captain in 2004 – even though I thought they gave him a contract much better than he was probably worth. Although I’m not a huge believer in “intangibles”, I believed the pitchers when they said he made them better. I believed that he was worth more than people thought, even when he wasn’t exactly tearing up the field. So this whole situation just makes my head hurt.
I think the offer the Sox made was fair. And given how many other offers are out there (seemingly zero), I think it was good as well. The Sox want Tek back and even though no one else seems to want him, the Sox still made him an offer he wouldn’t be getting even if there ARE teams out there looking at him. I want Tek back with the team in 2009. But I also want to know that the team is going into spring training with a fullt-time catcher. If it isn’t Tek, I want to see the Sox take action and get the team a catcher. Which means I really hope this deadline business isn’t a load of bull and we find out what road the Sox need to take some time on Friday.