5. I suppose it's intriguing to some degree that Varitek's time here will likely be up the same offseason that Joe Mauer is slated to be a free agent. But despite a Minneapolis-St. Paul Pioneer Press columnist's insightful suggestion that the Sox would be very interested in Mauer -- duh -- I have to believe that two other possibilities are much more likely: 1) The Twins, who are moving into a new ballpark, will sign the Minnesota native and franchise icon before he gets to free agency. 2) The Yankees, who need a catcher themselves, will make him an offer that blows everyone else's out of the water. That's the way of the world.
6. One major blessing in Varitek's decision not to pack up his mitt and go home: It prevents us from having to watch another popular Red Sox player leave under acrimonious circumstances. It's disappointing when players whose personalities and performances you enjoyed -- from Nomar to Pedro to Damon to Manny -- depart with bitterness and dented legacies. Of course, the difference in this case was that it would have been Varitek's doing entirely -- he should have no complaint about the way the Red Sox have treated him.
7. So in the end, which story dragged out longer: The Teixeira saga or the Varitek melodrama? Discuss. Man, Boras never makes things easy, does he?
8. I feel sort of bad for Josh Bard, who very well could end up getting a raw deal from the Sox again, assuming again that a quality young catcher is acquired sometime this spring. Remember, he has a non-guaranteed deal. He's probably a better all-around player than Varitek at this point, but his chances of making the team seemed to shrink today. I'm rooting for him.
9. As for today's Completely Random Baseball Card:
Until now, I've never actually seen a picture of this guy -- I was starting to think he's the Keyser Soze of the National League. So at least we now know he exists.
About Touching All The Bases
Irreverence and insight from Chad Finn, a Globe/Boston.com sports writer and media columnist. A winner of several national and regional writing awards, he is the founder and sole contributor to the TATB blog, which launched in December 2004. Yes, he realizes how lucky he is.