FanGraphs Baseball


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  1. 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).

    Comment by Mr Punch — February 28, 2012 @ 9:45 am

  2. You can’t use four outlier games produced by pitchers as evidence for anything.

    Comment by Jason — February 28, 2012 @ 10:09 am

  3. so varitek is done deciding between retiring and not having anywhere to sign?

    Comment by Pat — February 28, 2012 @ 10:11 am

  4. As a Mariners fan, most trades that team made make me cringe, but that was the most cringe worthy trade of them all.

    Comment by gu03alum — February 28, 2012 @ 10:35 am

  5. Maybe not, but some credit should be given to the catcher, especially if the catcher is calling pitches.

    Anyone know the most no-hitters ever caught by a single catcher?

    Comment by Ayuh — February 28, 2012 @ 10:38 am

  6. Calling the pitches is one very small part of the battle. The catcher can call the right pitch every single time, but the bottom line is the pitcher has to execute the pitch.

    Comment by Mike Axisa — February 28, 2012 @ 10:45 am

  7. He probably got a few offers to be a backup/ mentor, but decided it was the Red Sox or nothing. And why so snarky? He made it to 39 and had a solid career.

    Comment by Kevin — February 28, 2012 @ 11:14 am

  8. 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.

    Comment by Ayuh — February 28, 2012 @ 11:21 am

  9. Varitek’s glove in A-Rod’s face = + Fifteen hundred gigathousand bizmillion WAR.

    Comment by B. Arroyo — February 28, 2012 @ 11:31 am

  10. I think your figure is actually a little low.

    Comment by mcbrown — February 28, 2012 @ 11:34 am

  11. 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



    Comment by adohaj — February 28, 2012 @ 12:43 pm

  13. 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!

    Comment by Jason — February 28, 2012 @ 12:48 pm

  14. If you want to give him credit for no-hitters and one-hitters you’d better also give him credit for the countless 10-hitters he caught as well.

    Comment by Jason — February 28, 2012 @ 12:51 pm

  15. He should definitely get some kind of credit for being smart enough to make somebody else catch Wakefield most the time for all those years. Can that be put into numbers?

    Comment by Madoff Withurmoni — February 28, 2012 @ 4:44 pm

  16. I have to agree, and I do not like Alex Rodriguez as a person.

    I don’t know why people think otherwise, but A-Rod would destroy Varitek (and most other MLB players still) in a straight up fight. Dude is enormous.

    Comment by Ugh — February 28, 2012 @ 11:03 pm

  17. 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.

    Comment by pft — February 29, 2012 @ 1:49 am

  18. He was protecting his pitcher who may have weighed 160 lbs soaking wet.

    A catcher wears a mask like most of us wear pants, we don’t think about it, and he probably did not think either in the heat of the moment.

    Besides, all that juice should have allowed A-roid him to punch though steel.

    Comment by pft — February 29, 2012 @ 2:50 am

  19. Maybe this will be the end of those hockey jerseys on baseball players.

    Comment by blovy8 — February 29, 2012 @ 8:20 am

  20. 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.

    Comment by Jason — February 29, 2012 @ 10:27 am

  21. 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.

    Comment by Jon Anthony — March 1, 2012 @ 3:01 pm

  22. 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

  23. 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?

    Comment by Cidron — March 2, 2012 @ 12:25 am

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