Varitek was touted for his “handling of pitchers,” which is a statistically problematic concept. The evidence that does support it is the number of no-hitters he caught, four, by four different pitchers – and he carried a couple more into the ninth, including Schilling’s nearly perfect game (26 outs, one error in first 27 batters).
Again, I’ll agree that’s the bottom line, but there’s reason to believe that a good catcher makes a pitcher better. And since, as you’ve pointed out, the catcher can’t throw the ball for the pitcher, there must be something within the battery that the catcher influences and should receive credit for.
He caught 5 1-hitters. Pretty sure his 4 no-nos “received” are a record. I think he’ll rightfully be in the Sox HOF but WELL short of the MLB HOF, the same as Wakefield. I just hope that if he catches the first pitch on Opening Day from Wake he gets a break and a nice fastball instead of a knuckler.
Comment by Nilsilly — February 28, 2012 @ 12:30 pm
Perspective is funny. To me, that incident resulted in me losing all respect for Varitek. What a coward he looked, shoving his gloved hand in Arods face while wearing his catchers mask. He looked terrified of Arod. Arod!
It’s a forced retirement actually. Imagine losing your job to Kelly Shoppach who batted 176 despite pitchers having an ERA of 3.57 when Tek caught and the team going 44-22 in games he started, and after 14 years with the team, and 2 rings.
Nonsense, catchers toss their masks instinctively all the time. Ever see a popup behind the dish? Watch a hockey fight to see how it is done with honor. Varitek was a coward in that instance and it showed.
This guy has surely had many inspirational ‘warrior’ moments and will be forever linked to the greatest Red Sox successes, but he probably should have retired 4 yrs ago. He had quickly devolved into an automatic out/embarrassment at times – especially for a catcher…and I hate to say it, believe me.
You can credit most of the reasoning for the no hitters to “TEK” the man did his homework and studied every pitch to every batter on every roster in the American league.. And he however knew exactly what should be thrown under any giving circumstance. He was a true Athlete and in some eyes At the “cathedral” a god in an iron mask!!! He is no Fisk … That’s right he’s Just TEK .. maybe he won’t get into Cooperstown .. Maybe he won’t have his number retired … He played as hard and well as any other player that has ever been blessed with the skills that it takes to cut it in the major leagues !!! Thank you TEK !! Bring on coach TEK ?!
Comment by Josh KS nation — March 1, 2012 @ 8:00 pm
agreed. its not like he simply grabbed a glove and went out to the field and was able to stand, or run, or trot. no, he had to gear up, multiple times a game (as catchers didnt bat with gear on afterall).. grab his mitt, crouch down, get hit a few times by stray bats and/or tipped balls, all the while havin some large dude almost layin over him calling balls and strikes. Oh, and, you are expected to stand your ground and block the plate or tag the runner that is determined to NOT have you do that, maybe with the game on the line. Heck, he may outweight you by 50-75 lbs. Do you wanna do that for 14 yrs, 140ish games per year?