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Jason Varitek: ‘Quit looking at their faults’ and ‘get behind’ Josh Beckett and Jon Lester

07.22.12 at 1:15 am ET


Jason Varitek doesn’t live in a vacuum. He knows full well that Jon Lester and Josh Beckett have been bearing the brunt of frustration from Red Sox fans.

The man who knows the two struggling Red Sox pitchers better than anyone in the current clubhouse has a message for the fans: Show the two pitchers love – not hate – and they will respond in kind.

“I’m just a believer that they need, they need Red Sox Nation to get behind them, quit looking at the faults,” Varitek said. “What hasn’t happened, hasn’t happened [yet]. They have a chance not only at the wild card but they’re still [9 1/2 games] out [behind the Yankees]. A lot of baseball left. They make a difference, and have made a difference, both positively and negatively. If they gear that toward the positive side, they can propel this team because this is a good team.

“I don’t think they’re that far off. Start before last, Josh had a great outing. You live in the moment, OK, he hasn’t had one of those in a quite a while, if I’ve been paying attention enough. But, to do that, and to live in that [bad] moment doesn’t allow them to get behind a Josh for his next outing because you live in his next outing because you can’t do anything about the one before.”

Varitek did not sound like someone concerned that the Red Sox are now 13-22 in the 35 games started by the two would-be aces of the staff.

“I think they’re fine,” Varitek said. “It’s just a matter of them executing what they can do. Sometimes, all of us face difficulty. There’s time. Lester has got probably another 10-plus starts left this year, same with Josh. I think they perform pretty well in a lot of outings. But to live with one or two outings, or one out of three or whatever it is … just get behind them.”

What was interesting Saturday night was the admission by Varitek that not being in the clubhouse on an every day basis has reduced his credibility to say something direct.

“My advice came most when I’m able to do what I do and see from a certain angle and do certain things,” Varitek said. “You’re not completely involved to allow yourself to give that same advice. You have to be in tact, more involved. You can always help with a personal relationship with people and what they’re going through. It’s about being real with people and the communication.”

Varitek believes this team is still a good team, capable of making a quality playoff run in the final two months of the season.

“I think this is a good Red Sox team,” Varitek said. “They’ve faced a lot. They’ve faced a lot of adversity, missing a lot of pieces, parts throughout everything. They’ve pitch well. They have the ability to do what they did the other night. They stayed in the game pitching and can win a game late. They’re going to have plenty of offense, especially when David gets back and it’s a good team.”

Read More: Boston Red Sox, Jason Varitek, MLB, Tek
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