Josh Beckett has a message: Jason Varitek is great, but stop with the personal catcher talk
|04.16.11 at 11:40 am ET|
Besides Josh Beckett’s utter dominance of the Yankees a week ago, another story-line emanating from the eight innings of shutout ball was the question regarding Jason Varitek’s importance in the equation.
With Beckett pitching at another level from what he showed in his first start of the season, which was caught by Jarrod Saltalamacchia, some were jumping to the conclusion that Varitek’s presence was a big reason for the pitcher’s success.
Beckett’s take …
“It’s not a big deal. Who wouldn’t want Jason Varitek catching? But it doesn’t mean I don’t want Salty, and I don’t ever want it to seem like that,” Beckett said. “When Salty is back there I have the same drive and I still feel the same way.
“If you go around the league there isn’t a [expletive] out there that wouldn’t want Jason Varitek catching. That doesn’t mean they wouldn’t want Jarrod Saltalamacchia catching. When there are questions like there always asked of me, it’s almost like they’re trying to stir something up, but there’s nothing to stir up.”
Beckett has thrown 112regular season games to Varitek, 76 more than any other catcher (with Paul Lo Duca coming in No. 2). Conversely, he has had Saltamacchia as a battery-mate just two occasions, once last season (7 IP, 3 R) and the game in Cleveland.
And while Beckett’s career ERA with Varitek behind the plate (3.95) is hard to ignore, he is adamant that the same sort of success can be had with Saltalamacchia catching.
“I don’t want to take credit away from Jason either. There are bunch of papers in that newspaper, and that has to say something in it,” Beckett said. “But you go around the league and there isn’t anybody who would say, ‘No’ to Jason Varitek catching. That doesn’t mean they don’t want Jarrod Saltalamacchia catching, but nobody is going to say no to Jason Varitek catching. The guy is a Hall of Famer. It’s all good.
“It’s always asked, ‘Do you like it when Jason Varitek catches?’ [Expletive] yeah I like it. He’s an [expletive] Hall of Famer. Then they write, ‘He would rather have Jason Varitek catching.’ I never said that. It’s crazy.”
For Beckett, who pitches Saturday against the Blue Jays, the bottom line isn’t difficult to decipher.
“We make the decisions,” he said. “They throw down suggestions and then we throw what we want to throw.”
Latest from Bleacher Report
- Boston Red Sox: Final Predictions for Each Key Spring Position Battle
- Boston Red Sox: The 5 Most Disappointing Players in Spring Training So...
- David Price Likely to Start Season on DL as He Recovers from Arm Injury
- Boston Red Sox: 5 Players Who Are in Serious Danger of Being Cut or...
- David Price Reportedly Won't Need Elbow Surgery, Will Be Out 7-10 Days
- David Price's Elbow Could Make or Break Red Sox's World Series Dreams
- David Price Underwent MRI on Elbow Injury, Scratched from Spring Training...
- Fort Report: New scouting reports, Meyers motivational WBC experience
- Ockimey making adjustments after second-half swoon
- Notes from the Field: Mata, Anderson, Dalbec, Hill and more from Day Three
- Meyers' big WBC moment now his motivation in camp
- Fort Report: Staff spends the weekend at camp
- Notes from the Field: Devers, Tobias, Garcia and more from Days One and Two
- Fort Report: Owens, Johnson highlight first round of cuts
- Podcast Ep. #113: It's Hard to Develop Baseball Players
- Podcast Ep. #112: If He Dies, He Dies
- Fort Report: Benintendi to bat third in Boston?