Carlton Fisk: Jason Varitek Can Play Well Into His 40′s

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    Carlton Fisk: Jason Varitek Can Play Well Into His 40′s

    Do You agree with Pudge's assessment of Varitek? I would think that a player of Fisk's stature would have a better understanding of the position's demand than any casual fan.

    Hall of Fame catcher Carlton Fisk played the most physically demanding position in baseball until he was 45 years old.

    Jason Varitek is still catching regularly for the Red Sox at age 39, and Fisk sees no reason why the veteran can’t continue to play well into his 40′s.

    “He might not have the body to be able to catch 100+ games, but if you catch three out of six, there’s no reason in the world why he can’t play for quite a few years.”

    Fisk believes that Varitek’s longevity is contingent upon the development of Jarrod Saltalamacchia, whose first 40 games in a Red Sox jersey have been far from impressive.

    “Varitek’s not your reason for concern. It’s the number one guy that’s the reason for concern, so if you can’t get him going, then it’s going to be really difficult.”

    Varitek has started 40% (17 of 42) of Boston’s games this season behind the plate.

    Boston’s catching duo is hitting just over .200 this year with one home run, nine extra-base hits, and 15 RBI.

    Saltalamacchia picked up the first game-winning hit of his Red Sox career with a double in the eighth inning on Wednesday night against the Tigers.

    Varitek is batting just .183 with no homers and three doubles in 60 at-bats in 2011.

    Alastair Ingram is the lead Boston Red Sox writer for the Rant Sports Network. For daily updates, follow Fenway Faithful Report on Twitter at @FenwayReport and join the fan page on Facebook.

    http://network.yardbarker.com/mlb/article_external/carlton_fisk_jason_varitek_can_play_well_into_his_40s/4755499

     
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    Re: Carlton Fisk: Jason Varitek Can Play Well Into His 40′s

       THIS IS HIS LAST YEAR AS A RED SOXER !!!!
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from --The--Babe--1. Show --The--Babe--1's posts

    Re: Carlton Fisk: Jason Varitek Can Play Well Into His 40′s

    He may be able to play....it's the play well part that I doubt.
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from southpaw777. Show southpaw777's posts

    Re: Carlton Fisk: Jason Varitek Can Play Well Into His 40′s

    I dont know about well into his 40's...Id say another year or 2 at the very most and I think he'll be lucky to do that..
     
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    Re: Carlton Fisk: Jason Varitek Can Play Well Into His 40′s

    why not use him as a back up?  Salty can use the mentor. as long as Lowrie hits from short, we can carry a defensive position with occasional pop.

     
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    Re: Carlton Fisk: Jason Varitek Can Play Well Into His 40′s

    In Response to Re: Carlton Fisk: Jason Varitek Can Play Well Into His 40′s:
    He may be able to play....it's the play well part that I doubt.
    Posted by --The--Babe--1


    That's a good point. I don't think that the writer meant that V-Tek would "Play Well" but rather play "WELL INTO HIS 40's". Fisk never stated that V-Tek could/would play well nor did he make any reference to production level. I guess if there is no setting of the bar then any of us could probably "play".
     
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    Re: Carlton Fisk: Jason Varitek Can Play Well Into His 40′s

    I think he's proven that offensively he can't take the physical grind anymore. It's early in the season and his bat is already quiet. He used to start out hitting fairly well and then tail off as the season progressed.

    The only way I could see him staying is if Salty proves he can handle the position both offensively and behind the plate as the everyday catcher.

    I wish we had a guy like the Orioles Matt Wieters, a solid .260-.270 hitter with a little power, who is throwing out close to 50% of baserunners (12 for 26) and has no passed balls. He was over 50%, but has fallen a little below that the last few days. Tek is 3 for 24 in throwing runners out.
     
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    Re: Carlton Fisk: Jason Varitek Can Play Well Into His 40′s

    AndrewMitch, if you're out there ... you still want Fisk as your manager?
     
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    Re: Carlton Fisk: Jason Varitek Can Play Well Into His 40′s

    Fisk may have played until age 45 but during the last 2 seasons of his career he appeared in less than 90 games between the 2 seasons and some of those were at 1st base and DH. The player was simply attempting to hold on and wasn't much of a contributor either offensively or defensively toward the end.
     
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    Re: Carlton Fisk: Jason Varitek Can Play Well Into His 40′s

    If Varitek is the backup playing about 50 to 60 games and you look at the state of catching, I think that's fine for a backup. Let's see how he finishes up. Yes, he's batting .181 but he did have a slow start. When you're not playing every day and start slow, it's going to take awhile to get back up to respectability.

    The key is who is the No. 1. Salty is starting to hit and is doing a decent job handling the pitching and defensively. If at the end of the year, Salty finishes with respectable numbers and is doing the job in the field and plays about 100 to 110 games, then I could see Varitek as the backup playing 50 to 60 games. It's not like there are a glut of great catchers trying to get their chance.

    I'd rather have a veteran as the backup than a young prospect who needs to play regularly.

    Everyone gets caught up with throwing out runners, but that's low on the list of priorities on how catchers should be evaluated  because of how the Red Sox pitchers hold runners. All analysts and pundits will tell you that stolen bases are bout 80 to 85 percent on the pitcher yet critics on this board will put it 100 percent on the catcher.
     
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    Re: Carlton Fisk: Jason Varitek Can Play Well Into His 40′s

    Varitek is already washed up, even though he can play a small number of games a backup. The reason is that he's a stiff behind the plate who can't move well enough to catch and block pitches that aren't almost right in the target, his arm is shot, and despite a few excuse me chip shot singles the other way, he can't give hardly any quality PA anymore.

    If Varitek isn't off the active Red Sox roster and playing for the Rays with Wakefield, Theo nees his head examined (probably needs it anyway).
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from SleeStack1. Show SleeStack1's posts

    Re: Carlton Fisk: Jason Varitek Can Play Well Into His 40′s

    I interpret Fisk's statement as 'well into his forties' also.  There is no performance qualifier implied.
     
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    Re: Carlton Fisk: Jason Varitek Can Play Well Into His 40′s

    I could see how this could play out.  In another year or so, he will obviously be an automatic out.  So, since he still is of some value as a game caller and of great value as a clubhouse leader and veteran presence and heart of team etc., they could just chalk the out up, skip his turns at bat altogether, or let him just stand still up there if the rules commitee won't budge on the whole having nine guys in your lineup thing.  That will decrease the wear and tear and thus allowing him to catch full time.  Come to think of it, when a guy reaches first, they can just let him take second, thus saving Tek's throw and delaying physical erosion even further.  I like it.
     
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    Re: Carlton Fisk: Jason Varitek Can Play Well Into His 40′s

    Funny....I don't see his tek's name on these lists......

    Posada among greatest catchers ever
    May, 19, 2011

    By David Schoenfield
    The Jorge Posada situation is interesting on many levels, but to me it's clear what's going on: Much like the Ken Griffey Jr. situation last season in Seattle, a franchise icon is struggling and appears at the end of his career. The organization doesn't want to look bad by releasing a beloved player, so it attempts to turn public opinion against the player. (Remember the whole "Griffey falling asleep in the clubhouse" story from last year?)

    Posada
    Now, my take is this: the Yankees have paid Posada more than $100 million in his career. He's been a valuable (and underrated) player to the franchise and has been well-compensated for providing such production. What, exactly, do they owe him? They gave him an over-market and over-long four-year contract as he was entering his age-36 season, not the wisest investment to begin with. They've been lucky to get the years out of him that they did, including a terrific 2009 when he helped them win the World Series.

    The club wants to call up top prospect Jesus Montero. He can DH, he can spell Russell Martin behind the plate once or twice or week (allowing Alex Rodriguez or another position a player a day off in the field) and the Yankees would be a better ballclub for it. Just tell that to the fans and release Posada. The fans will understand. I'm pretty sure they care more about winning than sentiment.

    And for those who believe this would look bad to other major leaguers, who may then be reluctant to sign with the Yankees, I say: Really? You think a future free agent would turn down more money from the Yankees because they once released Jorge Posada? Please.

    * * * *

    I've always felt Posada has been vastly underappreciated during this 15-year run of Yankee greatness. Switch-hitting catchers with power and plate discipline don't grow on trees. I recently ranked Posada the eighth-greatest Yankee of all time ... ahead of Mariano Rivera. Pretty much everyone disagrees with that, but employing one of the best catchers of all time is more valuable in my opinion than employing the greatest closer ever.

    Where does Posada rank all time? Let's run some numbers. If you're not familiar with WAR, it stands for wins above a replacement level player for that position. OPS+ is a players on-base percentage plus slugging percentage, adjusted for home park and era, and scaled to where 100 is a league average hitter. Anyway, here are the top 10 catches via WAR from Baseball-Reference.com, plus Posada and Roy Campanella.
    Player Years G HR RBI Runs AVG OBP SLG OPS+ WAR
    Johnny Bench 1967-83 2158 389 1376 1091 .267 .342 .476 126 71.3
    Ivan Rodriguez 1991-11 2518 311 1327 1350 .297 .334 .465 107 67.9
    Carlton Fisk 1969-93 2499 376 1330 1276 .269 .341 .457 117 67.3
    Gary Carter 1974-92 2295 324 1225 1025 .262 .335 .439 115 66.3
    Yogi Berra 1946-65 2120 358 1430 1175 .285 .348 .482 125 61.9
    Mike Piazza 1992-07 1912 427 1335 1048 .308 .377 .545 142 59.1
    Bill Dickey 1928-46 1789 202 1209 930 .313 .382 .486 127 54.4
    Mickey Cochrane 1925-37 1482 119 832 1041 .320 .419 .478 128 51.2
    Ted Simmons 1968-88 2456 248 1389 1074 .285 .348 .437 117 50.4
    Gabby Hartnett 1922-41 1991 236 1179 867 .297 .370 .489 126 50.3
    Jorge Posada 1995-11 1995 267 1036 878 .274 .376 .476 122 45.8
    Roy Campanella 1948-57 1215 242 856 627 .276 .360 .500 123 36.2



    Posada spent his first year in the minor league as a second baseman. But 20 errors in 64 games at Oneonta necessitated a position change and he moved to catcher. He was never a top prospect coming through the minors; although he displayed good patience and moderate power, he hit just .258 in six minor league seasons, including three years at Triple-A learning the catching craft.

    As a rookie in 1997, Joe Girardi earned the majority of the playing time. Posada turned 26 that year and hit .250. Nobody was predicting he'd turn into a star at that point.

    Because of that late start, Posada falls just short of the top-10 catchers on the career WAR value list above. But what about peak value? I like to look at a player's best eight consecutive seasons as another way to assess his value, more of a "Did he dominate when he was at his best?" kind of question. Obviously, not every player has his best eight seasons consecutively, but it's just another to break down a player's career.

    1. Johnny Bench (1968-1975), 49.2 WAR (43.4 offense, 5.8 defense)
    2. Gary Carter (1978-1985), 49.2 WAR (38.5, 10.7)
    3. Mike Piazza (1993-2000), 48.4 WAR (50.6, -2.2)
    4. Yogi Berra (1950-1957), 41.9 WAR (40.3, 1.6)
    5. Mickey Cochrane (1928-1935), 40.9 WAR (41.0, -0.1)
    6. Ivan Rodriguez (1997-2004), 40.2 WAR (32.8, 7.4)
    7. Ted Simmons (1973-1980), 38.0 WAR (39.4, -1.4)
    8. Jorge Posada (2000-2007), 37.1 WAR (37.8, -0.7)
    9. Bill Dickey (1932-1939), 36.1 WAR (35.7, 0.4)
    10. Roy Campanella (1948-1955), 34.4 WAR (33.0, 1.4)
    11. Carlton Fisk (1972-1979), 33.8 WAR (31.4, 2.4)
    12. Gabby Hartnett (1930-1937), 28.5 WAR (27.4, 1.1)

    Anyway, not a bad career for an error-prone minor league second baseman. Even though he has a solid case as one of the 10-12 most valuable catchers ever, it seems to fall a little short of Hall of Fame standards in my book, even with extra credit for World Series rings.

    Posada wasn't in the lineup Wednesday night (Derek Jeter got a night at DH) and I get the feeling we won't be seeing him much there in the coming weeks. I suppose if he's forced out he'll end up leaving the majors like he came in -- very quietly.

     
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    Re: Carlton Fisk: Jason Varitek Can Play Well Into His 40′s

    Ballgirl=Varitek

    Salty had his coming out, last night. He handled the shutout under tough conditions, and hammered the game winning double as it was the only run.

    Salty is still a major work in progress, but he is in fact making progress. They should have signed VMart and they'd have a really nice combo. Varitek needs to go, and I expect this will be his final season with the Red Sox. The Rays might pick him up, which is fine by me.

     
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    Re: Carlton Fisk: Jason Varitek Can Play Well Into His 40′s

    bump
     
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    Re: Carlton Fisk: Jason Varitek Can Play Well Into His 40′s

    m
     
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    Re: Carlton Fisk: Jason Varitek Can Play Well Into His 40′s

    m
     
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