The “C” that means little…?

     This debate that I will start on my own blog, as it was criticized on another blog.  It is the debate of whether or not Jason Varitek should wear a "C" on his uniform, defining his status with the team as the captain.  I don’t condone a public displaying of rank necessarily as we are all human beings first, but when a player like Manny Ramirez sees a big "C" on the chest of Jason Varitek, he might think twice about questioning the valued catcher.  The fact that he displays this "C" on his uniform does not change what he does for this team, which is why I personally do not have a problem with it.  If Jeter had the same physical labeling visible to us, I would not think any differently of him.  And we all know how much respect I have for the Yankee captain. 

     Jason Varitek does a lot for this Red Sox team and the main part of his game that I admire so much, is his ability to work with the pitching staff.  Now I understand that he has to be able to hit to retain his spot in the starting lineup.  If he hit like Mirabelli he would not be the starter, or should not be, at least.  See:  Brad Ausmus.  But Varitek has done enough with the bat, even this season, to be an all around above average player in this league.  The two qualities that he seems to possess so much of:  intangibles and game calling skills, cannot be measured through statisitics, and therefore could be overrated or underrated.  In my opinion they are valued very highly though. 

     The Arizona Diamondbacks and Seattle Mariners seem to have showed us they are probably not as good as their record indicates over the two series that they recently played.  They cannot be judged by one series sweep, I completely understand this.  But I have not believed that either team is as good as their positions in the playoff race.  The Mariners are not average, and but they are definitely closer to average than they are to good.  They are sixth in runs scored and sixth in runs scored away from their "pitchers park."  They are ninth in team ERA, and 11th away from…again…their pitcher friendly ballpark.  Their seemingly strongest strength was their bullpen, and it is still good, but it has fallen to fifth in ERA, in the AL.  They are not a real threat to the better teams if they did in fact make the playoffs.  The only real scary things about them would be King Felix, and JJ Putz come playoff time.  But who knows how the young Hernandez would react to playoff pressure?

     As for the Diamondbacks?  They are young.  They just are not quite there yet.  And as I have stated before, run differential is not everything, but we must take into account that with their’s standing at -38, it is tough to ignore.  I believe that they will be more of a factor next season.  But neither of these teams are out of it.  They are very much in the race.  Both being tied for a playoff spot as I am speaking (Arizona would be in through the Wild Card).  But I feel that the both of them will slowly fade and fall just short of the playoffs.  Seattle may end up finishing around five games out of the race.  But there is the definite possibility that I am wrong and maybe the two teams will face each other for the chance to win a ring.  But I like my original theory more so. 

     For all the talk about Ortiz having such an "off-year" because of a lack of Home Runs/RBI’s, it is safe to say that he is still one of the five best hitters in the AL this season.  Meaning that, in respect to the rest of the league, he is still a great offensive force.  And power numbers do not appear to be "top-heavy" as they have in past years, but it isn’t as if all the great hitters have left, right?  He is still a force to be reckoned with.  And I mean that to a very high degree. 

     Ben Sheets has returned and now they have what they need back on the team…an ace.  Sheets doesn’t wal hitters and strikes out many of them.  If he stays healthy down the stretch, they could make a realistic push for a playoff spot.  I think they fall short by a small margin, but they won’t make it without, that is nearly certain. 

     I feel confident that Schilling will give the Red Sox a chance today.  He is a "Big Game" pitcher.  The problem is that he is an elderly man out there.  And at some point in a players career, it doesn’t matter how well they pitched in the most meaningful of games, they will not be able to get the job done.  But I just have some optimism about his start today I guess. 

3 Comments

I think BPS is trying to bait Sox fans with comments about Varitek wearing the “C” (which is o.k., I guess, but I can see how it could be construed as a little lame), and how Sox fans should be “embarrassed” by ‘Tek’s introducing his mitt to A-Rods face in the summer of ’04. I thought it was great and it did energize the fans and the team. Breaking through against Mo that night and the ensuing biggest choke in sports history that ensued that Fall was, and still is, a bitter pill for Yanks fans to swallow. I get tired of seeing Papi referred to as Big HGH as well. Schilling needs to step it up today, winning one of three is acceptable given the circumstances, but it would have been nice to have delivered a knockout blow…maybe in Fenway in September. GO Sox!

i guess it shows how important varitek is to the pitching staff when you think about what happened when he was on the DL last year. i don’t blame you a bit for getting steamed when folks rip on your guys, but remember they are doing it on a yankee blog. i would never come here to rip on your team.
hopefully you will do another live blog soon.

Mike’s right about their at least doing it about Varitek in their own backyard, so to speak. There’s nothing wrong with sticking up for your guys. My view is that Varitek is the captain and a leader. Once that those are acknowledged, as they long have been, there’s really no need for the “C.” For me, it’s not a personality or leadership thing; he can carry his weight and I’m sure he has everyone’s respect in that locker room whether or not he was captain, or whether or not he wore the “C.” My point is, it’s a very ham-handed way of anointing him captain and THE leader. It’s superfluous in a clumsy way. He’s their guy, their captain. Just name him so, that’s really sufficient. He’s long had everyone’s respect in that organization.

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