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Proof of the Appeal to Authority fallacy: Varitek was named an All Star


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#1 The Napkin


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Posted 06 July 2008 - 01:53 PM

Jason Varitek. All-Star.
ummm. what?

Edited by The Napkin, 06 July 2008 - 01:54 PM.


#2 URI


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Posted 06 July 2008 - 01:57 PM

Unlike most, I like the All Star game, and think that it's selection should mean something. The best players being on display really do help the sport get fans...it should be stupid fun.

However, with the player's selecting Jason Varitek for the All Star game just shows that reputation, at least for a polarity of the players, superceded his awful season (in all aspects). It's impossible to justify.

Later today, I'll have a "Pick your All Star" team thread, but I am fully confident that the fans could pick better teams than the players do.

#3 mjswarner

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 01:59 PM

Mauer is the starting catcher. Does this mean that Francona picked Varitek as the reserve?

edit: oops. Uri already answered it--player selection.

Edited by mjswarner, 06 July 2008 - 02:01 PM.


#4 URI


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Posted 06 July 2008 - 02:00 PM

No, he was elected by the players.

#5 CaptainLaddie


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Posted 06 July 2008 - 02:00 PM

Maybe Tek will bow out and concede his spot. He probably should use those days to relax; he doesn't need more miles put on his body.

#6 Soxfan in Fla


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Posted 06 July 2008 - 02:02 PM

Navarro from Tampa deserved it a whole lot more based on his bat and also based on his decent performance behind the dish.

#7 mjswarner

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 02:03 PM

The players selected these reserves: Bradley; catcher Varitek and outfielder Drew; first baseman Justin Morneau of the Twins; second baseman Ian Kinsler and shortstop Michael Young of the Rangers; third baseman Joe Crede and outfielder Carlos Quentin of the White Sox and outfielder Grady Sizemore of the Indians.

Francona added infielder Carlos Guillen of the Tigers, catcher Dioner Navarro of the Rays and pitchers George Sherrill of the Orioles, Justin Duchscherer of the A's and Joe Nathan of the Twins.


MLB

So, JD Drew-- All Star.

#8 FelixMantilla


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Posted 06 July 2008 - 02:04 PM

Wow. Totally out of left field. The guy is a shell of his former self. And his former self was only a borderline all-star.

Embarrassing for the sport.

#9 Bowlerman9


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Posted 06 July 2008 - 02:04 PM

Navarro from Tampa deserved it a whole lot more based on his bat and also based on his decent performance behind the dish.


He made it too.

#10 Fratboy


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Posted 06 July 2008 - 02:05 PM

Official announcement from MLB.

They also have the fan's choice up there. For the AL, anybody but Giambi is fine; my choice is Longoria, in what should be the first of many, many ASGs for him.

#11 URI


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Posted 06 July 2008 - 02:06 PM

Navarro was selected though.

You can make an argument (by quick glance) of Pierzynski, Hernandez, IRodriguez, Suzuki, and John Buck over Varitek.

#12 TomRicardo


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Posted 06 July 2008 - 02:14 PM

MLB

So, JD Drew-- All Star.


Yea, I am not sure how you are surprised by this as he is probably a top three player in the AL this year.

#13 mjswarner

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 02:19 PM

Yea, I am not sure how you are surprised by this as he is probably a top three player in the AL this year.


I'm not surprised. I was doing that whole 'quoting for truth' thing. His selection by the players would cast doubt on Uri's above assertion that "the fans could pick better teams than the players do."

#14 E5 Yaz


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Posted 06 July 2008 - 02:22 PM

I'm sure Varitek is as embarrassed as anyone by this pick, but won't say so out of respect for the players, etc.

#15 URI


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Posted 06 July 2008 - 02:22 PM

I'm not surprised. I was doing that whole 'quoting for truth' thing. His selection by the players would cast doubt on Uri's above assertion that "the fans could pick better teams than the players do."


It does no such thing. Varitek being selected is much more embarrassing than Ichiro, Manny, and Hamilton being voted over Drew by the fans.

#16 Gene Conleys Plane Ticket

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 02:23 PM

I don't know -- there's a reason it's called the "All Star" game and not the "Best Players" game.

This is probably a reason why I'm not a big fan of the All Star Game. Baseball purists and semi-purists treat the game (the game as a whole as well as the ASG specifically) as a strict meritocracy. But for everyone else -- including it would seem, the players -- baseball is no different than the rest of the entertainment industry. Reputation and personality have as much to do with creating a "star" as do performance and ability.

I can then very well understand why his peers consider Jason Varitek a "star" catcher. There's no doubt that he's one of the most respected players in the game, for his work ethic, his stoic determination and his "player's player" personality. I think those factors are much more important to other baseball players than the fact of his declining performance.

Most other players, I would guess, look at his struggles and instead of saying, "He's done," or "He sucks," (as many hardcore fans would), they say, "There but for the grace of God go I." In their minds, it would therefore be unfair to hold his dropoff in skills against him. He's a star for other reasons, perhaps more important ones in the mind of a fellow player.

Edited by Gene Conleys Plane Ticket, 06 July 2008 - 02:24 PM.


#17 knucklecup


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Posted 06 July 2008 - 02:27 PM

These games now "count." There is no way it's fair for Varitek to make the team. What a flawed system the MLB has.

#18 mjswarner

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 02:30 PM

It does no such thing. Varitek being selected is much more embarrassing than Ichiro, Manny, and Hamilton being voted over Drew by the fans.


That's very much true, Ichiro over Drew is a less embarrasing selection than Varitek over "Pierzynski, Hernandez, IRodriguez, Suzuki, and John Buck." But looking over the non-Varitek player selections, they did pretty well wouldn't you agree? I would have had Longoria over Crede, but that's it.

#19 DannyHeep


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Posted 06 July 2008 - 02:35 PM

Francona should sack up and just have Tek ride the pine.

#20 E5 Yaz


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Posted 06 July 2008 - 02:36 PM

The vote totals for Varitek (and Lugo, and Cano, etc.) make it difficult for me to believe that the fans, given the authority to name the entire all-star team, would do so any better than the current system. If Tek were hitting .265, with associated increases in HRs and RBI, there's a good chance he would have won the fans vote over Mauer.

The beauty of the current system is everyone screws it up ... fans, players and the manager/commissioner's office.

#21 Smiling Joe Hesketh


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Posted 06 July 2008 - 02:37 PM

This is the same sort of thing we saw the year Palmiero won a Gold Glove while "playing" DH.

No one on this club needs a break more than Varitek, and his presence this year would be embarrassing to the process. He should decline to go and rest up for a few days.

#22 sfip


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Posted 06 July 2008 - 02:47 PM

Just what Scott Boras needs, another excuse to get the Red Sox to overvalue Varitek for his next contract. Posted Image

#23 Trautwein's Degree


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Posted 06 July 2008 - 02:51 PM

Watch Varitek go 3 for 3 and hit a walk off grand slam sparking him on to going JD Drew in the month of August.

#24 Ed Hillel


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Posted 06 July 2008 - 04:16 PM

It does no such thing. Varitek being selected is much more embarrassing than Ichiro, Manny, and Hamilton being voted over Drew by the fans.


When are the ballots given out to the players? It's hard to remember, but about a month ago Varitek was worthy of being an All-Star.

Just what Scott Boras needs, another excuse to get the Red Sox to overvalue Varitek for his next contract. Posted Image


I was thinking the same thing, but that's probably good news. It only decreases the chances that Tek comes back.

Edited by Ed Hillel, 06 July 2008 - 04:23 PM.


#25 Foulkey Reese


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Posted 06 July 2008 - 06:17 PM

From Keith Law...

Jason Varitek over various multicellular organisms capable of wearing a catcher's mitt
Is it more of an insult to the All-Star Game to put someone playing as horribly as Varitek is on the AL roster, or to Varitek himself by drawing even more presumably unwanted attention to his hitting woes?

Varitek has been so bad at the plate this year that he's below replacement level for catchers -- that theoretical player whom any team could grab from Triple-A to fill that roster spot. And it's not as if Varitek is a perennial All-Star whom fans would expect to see in the game; he hasn't made the squad at all since 2005 (and hasn't deserved to), and only appeared in one other All-Star Game before that, in 2003.

The obvious alternative here would be A.J. Pierzynski, who is hitting reasonably well and is having a season comparable to his 2006 season, the last year he made an All-Star team. The players could also have chosen Ivan Rodriguez, who is having a good enough year in a weak crop of AL catchers and has made 14 All-Star teams and is one of the most recognizable names in the game.

Totally agree with this too...

Putting six relievers on the roster is bad enough, but the players and AL manager Francona snubbed one of the majors' best pitchers this year and a member of his own staff in the process: Jon Lester. I'm not sure what more Lester would have to do to get everyone's attention. Throw a no-hitter? Oh, he did that. How about shutting out the Yankees in the Bronx? Um, he did that too. And his backstory is pretty good, too. He's an emerging star, the type of player MLB should want in the All-Star Game as they showcase the next generation of centerpiece players.


Edited by Foulkey Reese, 06 July 2008 - 06:19 PM.


#26 Chico Walker and the Man

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 06:31 PM

The beauty of the current system is everyone screws it up ... fans, players and the manager/commissioner's office.


And that this chronic failure and the ensuing arguments lead up to a flawed, messy, pagent that often turns into a very interesting game.

I love the All-Star game.

#27 sfip


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Posted 06 July 2008 - 06:33 PM

I was thinking the same thing, but that's probably good news. It only decreases the chances that Tek comes back.

When the Red Sox last re-signed Varitek, he reportedly told Boras to make sure Tek stays on the Red Sox. Also, Tek's '03 year was the last year of a multi-year deal (I forget if it was a player option year) on a year where he could have otherwise been a free agent. He's the only Boras player I can think of who didn't take full advantage of free agency the first year he could have. He'll likely do what he can (but still be overpaid) to stay on the team.

#28 Philip Jeff Frye


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Posted 06 July 2008 - 06:49 PM

I was thinking the same thing, but that's probably good news. It only decreases the chances that Tek comes back.

Because we're all smart enough to realize its kind of an embarassment that he got picked, but Joe GM of some big league franchise will think otherwise?

#29 gcapalbo

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 06:55 PM

I respect his contribution to the team during the last number of wonderous seasons, but quite sincerely, not an All-Star this year.

Rest and relax, and watch it at home.

Honestly, he needs the time off.

#30 Ed Hillel


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Posted 06 July 2008 - 07:10 PM

Because we're all smart enough to realize its kind of an embarassment that he got picked, but Joe GM of some big league franchise will think otherwise?


I was joking around. I doubt Tek will be back regardless of how Boras sells him.

#31 DieHard3


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Posted 06 July 2008 - 09:34 PM

When are the ballots given out to the players? It's hard to remember, but about a month ago Varitek was worthy of being an All-Star.


This was my thought, even through mid-June it was probably justifiable to vote for Varitek, especially given his noted prowess in game calling -- which is, after all, at least one of the most important aspects of the game for a catcher. That the players recognize that importance is an indictment not of Varitek, but of those who would reduce the game to spreadsheets and mathematical formulas.

Good for 'Tek; he's certainly had years where he should have made it and didn't.

#32 Trautwein's Degree


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Posted 06 July 2008 - 09:41 PM

This was my thought, even through mid-June it was probably justifiable to vote for Varitek, especially given his noted prowess in game calling -- which is, after all, at least one of the most important aspects of the game for a catcher. That the players recognize that importance is an indictment not of Varitek, but of those who would reduce the game to spreadsheets and mathematical formulas.

Good for 'Tek; he's certainly had years where he should have made it and didn't.


I fully agree on this point.

Look, Tek has struggled and by all measures ithat I can think of isn't an All-Star. Then again, I'm not a professional baseball player.

Dismissing the players opinions on Varitek is akin to legal commentators who dismiss Clarence Thomas' opinions on affirmative action because they disagree with his views.

Edited by Trautwein's Degree, 06 July 2008 - 09:43 PM.


#33 WayBackVazquez


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Posted 06 July 2008 - 11:49 PM

Wow. Totally out of left field. The guy is a shell of his former self. And his former self was only a borderline all-star.

Embarrassing for the sport.


Didn't he lead all MLB catchers in OPS for the 3-year period between 2003 and 2005? It's one thing to shit on him in his declining years, but lets not belittle the player he was.

#34 biollante


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Posted 07 July 2008 - 05:47 AM

Players knew it was his swan song ?

I would much rather see him resting than playing. He has carried a heavy load for a long time.

#35 RSN Diaspora


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Posted 07 July 2008 - 06:38 AM

This was my thought, even through mid-June it was probably justifiable to vote for Varitek, especially given his noted prowess in game calling -- which is, after all, at least one of the most important aspects of the game for a catcher. That the players recognize that importance is an indictment not of Varitek, but of those who would reduce the game to spreadsheets and mathematical formulas.

Good for 'Tek; he's certainly had years where he should have made it and didn't.


I don't think anyone is seeking an indictment of Tek, but rather the process. A 36-yr old catcher with a negative VORP, one who is dead last in batting average among his fellow position-mates, and whose defensive skills have even begun to decline somewhat defies the concept of an "all-star." To be sure, there is more to the position than what can be quantified on paper, perhaps moreso than any other position on the field. But whatever past injustices he may have received at the hands of all-star voters does not, IMO, justify having him on the team this year.

#36 John Marzano Olympic Hero


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Posted 07 July 2008 - 06:43 AM

Look, Tek has struggled and by all measures ithat I can think of isn't an All-Star. Then again, I'm not a professional baseball player.

Dismissing the players opinions on Varitek is akin to legal commentators who dismiss Clarence Thomas' opinions on affirmative action because they disagree with his views.


Shut the board down. Only \professional players can comment on the Red Sox now.

Mr. Schilling, the floor is all yours.

Seriously though, the All-Star game isn't an honor given to those who have been "jobbed" in the past or some sort of life-time achievement award. It's an award for players who have proven to be the best at their position for the beginning of the current season. Jason Varitek isn't even among the top 50% at his position. He's been woefully bad since the beginning of June. If you really think Varitek deserves this recognition, then you're a fan boy. Which is ok, but let's call a spade a spade.

#37 Mugsys Jock


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Posted 07 July 2008 - 06:44 AM

While I'd prefer all the Red Sox to be resting rather than playing, I wouldn't overstate the prospective strain on Varitek. Yeah, there will be a busy schedule of autograph signing and cocktail hours, but the game is in New York (no particular added travel to his schedule to speak of) and he's not doing anything more than catching the 9th inning unless the game goes into extras.

Manny, on the other hand, I wouldn't mind seeing spend a few days in Florida.

#38 amh03


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Posted 07 July 2008 - 07:17 AM

I think there's a chance Tek was voted on not for his hitting skills (which are obviously lacking right now), but for his game calling/pitch calling skills.

We've heard pitchers say they'd like to have Tek behind the plate when they're catching and he's been mentioned as a reason for at least a couple of pitchers coming to Boston.

I would say that around the game, he's viewed with great respect in that regard and perhaps that's what got him the vote amongst his peers.

#39 irinmike

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Posted 07 July 2008 - 07:28 AM

While I'd prefer all the Red Sox to be resting rather than playing, I wouldn't overstate the prospective strain on Varitek. Yeah, there will be a busy schedule of autograph signing and cocktail hours, but the game is in New York (no particular added travel to his schedule to speak of) and he's not doing anything more than catching the 9th inning unless the game goes into extras.

Manny, on the other hand, I wouldn't mind seeing spend a few days in Florida.



I am sure you are right in your assessment. However Varitek just does not belong in this year's all star game.

#40 genoasalami

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Posted 07 July 2008 - 07:29 AM

If it wasn't for the fact that the league winner gets home ice for the WS, the all-star game, like all the league all star games, would be a completely forgettable experience. Give me the 3 minutes of highlights the next morning on Sportscenter and I am good to go.

Varitek playing in the all star game is an absolute joke. If it wasn't for his long history in the league as a solid catcher he probably would not receive a single vote. Based solely on his numbers this year, he is actually more of a candidate to be DFA then to be named an all-star.

#41 Rudy Pemberton


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Posted 07 July 2008 - 07:52 AM

This is an embarrassment, and if Tek is the swell guy everyone says he is, he'll turn down the offer and let a more deserving player (which would be just about anyone) make the trip to NY.

Or, he'll show up and get the game winning hit.

Worst All-Star selection since Mike Williams?

#42 pk1627

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Posted 07 July 2008 - 09:05 AM

Seriously though, the All-Star game isn't an honor given to those who have been "jobbed" in the past or some sort of life-time achievement award. It's an award for players who have proven to be the best at their position for the beginning of the current season. Jason Varitek isn't even among the top 50% at his position. He's been woefully bad since the beginning of June. If you really think Varitek deserves this recognition, then you're a fan boy. Which is ok, but let's call a spade a spade.


When did the ASG become an award for who has the best first three months? I like seeing players who led their teams to playoff success last year, plus all-time greats.

If 3 month performance is the basis, where is the thread stating that Ortiz's inclusion is an embarassment?

#43 mt8thsw9th


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Posted 07 July 2008 - 09:14 AM

Worst All-Star selection since Mike Williams?


Likely, but Cal Ripken in 2001 comes to mind. I suppose he falls into the "all-time great" category, though. Watching him in 2001 was absolutely painfully, like a 162 day funeral procession.

#44 Bellhorn


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Posted 07 July 2008 - 09:27 AM

When did the ASG become an award for who has the best first three months? I like seeing players who led their teams to playoff success last year, plus all-time greats.

If 3 month performance is the basis, where is the thread stating that Ortiz's inclusion is an embarassment?


I think the point is that the goal should be (more or less) to select the players who are the best at their position at this point in time. Three months is an inadequate sample size for making this judgment - using it as the only source of data can lead to the selection of an inferior player who has a hot start to the season. But selecting a washed-up player on the basis of some kind of lifetime achievement consideration is equally silly (in my opinion.)

A much better case can be made for Ortiz being among the best DH in the league at this moment (apart from the injury) than can be made for Varitek being among the best C in the league.

#45 pk1627

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Posted 07 July 2008 - 09:42 AM

I think the point is that the goal should be (more or less) to select the players who are the best at their position at this point in time. Three months is an inadequate sample size for making this judgment - using it as the only source of data can lead to the selection of an inferior player who has a hot start to the season. But selecting a washed-up player on the basis of some kind of lifetime achievement consideration is equally silly (in my opinion.)

A much better case can be made for Ortiz being among the best DH in the league at this moment (apart from the injury) than can be made for Varitek being among the best C in the league.


I'm not saying that Tek is playing like an All-Star right now. I'm saying that his inclusion can be justified as being a key component on a WS champion (last year and this one, potentially). I can't see him being embarrassed about that.

#46 amh03


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Posted 07 July 2008 - 10:18 AM

I think the point is that the goal should be (more or less) to select the players who are the best at their position at this point in time.


Then why have a vote at all? Why not develop a formula for each position and calculate all MLB players and award All Star status to only those who achieve the top scores?

There are votes because it's not only tied to their performance in the first half of the year, but also their performances over their lifetimes, their popularity with the fans, the respect out there from their peers, etc.

Jeez...you guys are tough! Tek is one of 3 catchers and was voted in by the players. Even Schilling said this morning on EEI, while it's impossible to measure, Tek's skill at assessing the given batter & pitcher to determine a more favorable pitch selection is greatly respected, not just by him (Schill), but amongst players out there.

Edited by amh03, 07 July 2008 - 10:18 AM.


#47 Bellhorn


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Posted 07 July 2008 - 11:32 AM

Then why have a vote at all? Why not develop a formula for each position and calculate all MLB players and award All Star status to only those who achieve the top scores?

There are votes because it's not only tied to their performance in the first half of the year, but also their performances over their lifetimes, their popularity with the fans, the respect out there from their peers, etc.


I don't have a problem with the voting process, or the fact that it will sometimes result in selections that I disagree with. I just think that rational people should want to see the objectively best players play in the All-Star game, and this is one case where that didn't happen.

Anyway, my point was that disparaging Varitek's all-star status doesn't necessarily imply endorsement of the "this year only" school of all-star voting.

#48 Reardons Beard

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Posted 07 July 2008 - 12:37 PM

I'm not going to jump up and down to cry foul and eviscerate Jason Varitek, in the vein attempt to display my baseball shrewdness to everyone on the board and continue to demonstrate the (apparently rare) ability to read a box score. By distancing myself from this "horrendous" pick (by the players) I will be able to make it clear to everyone on the board that I do indeed "know better" and will tell all of you just that.

Obviously if you want to go by just the offensive numbers, fine, clearly something is amiss.

But if nothing else, it speaks volumes as to his reputation among players around the league. Clearly offense is not his forte, nor has it ever been as much as his other strengths. As someone correctly mentioned above, it reflects positively that players appreciate the time and preparation someone like Varitek puts into his duties and that it is much more of a mental game than most realize. It would be better for the league as a whole if young players who weren't selected strive to emulate Tek a little bit more.

I applaud Jason Varitek, the player and the person, because if nothing else we know he is heading down that path that older catchers go. He's helped bring you two world series and the best two years of a pitcher you will ever see in Pedro Martinez, nevermind the no hitters galore and fista cuffs with you know who.

Let's show a little support for the Captain instead of ripping it.

#49 TomRicardo


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Posted 07 July 2008 - 12:55 PM

I applaud Jason Varitek, the player and the person, because if nothing else we know he is heading down that path that older catchers go. He's helped bring you two world series and the best two years of a pitcher you will ever see in Pedro Martinez, nevermind the no hitters galore and fista cuffs with you know who.

Let's show a little support for the Captain instead of ripping it.


Yes, he was a great catcher. So was Fisk, should he be playing in the All Star game? Fact is the Captain is killing the team right now and because of this ridiculous reputation he is not being pulled at the right times. Respect for the captain has reached the point where it is hurting the team. No man should be bigger than the team.

All this nostalgia is the reason Varitek is not being benched right now. Sure Varitek should be remembered as a good catcher but he isn't one today.

#50 koufax32


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Posted 07 July 2008 - 12:58 PM

I'm not going to jump up and down to cry foul and eviscerate Jason Varitek, in the vein attempt to display my baseball shrewdness to everyone on the board and continue to demonstrate the (apparently rare) ability to read a box score. By distancing myself from this "horrendous" pick (by the players) I will be able to make it clear to everyone on the board that I do indeed "know better" and will tell all of you just that.

Obviously if you want to go by just the offensive numbers, fine, clearly something is amiss.

But if nothing else, it speaks volumes as to his reputation among players around the league. Clearly offense is not his forte, nor has it ever been as much as his other strengths. As someone correctly mentioned above, it reflects positively that players appreciate the time and preparation someone like Varitek puts into his duties and that it is much more of a mental game than most realize. It would be better for the league as a whole if young players who weren't selected strive to emulate Tek a little bit more.

I applaud Jason Varitek, the player and the person, because if nothing else we know he is heading down that path that older catchers go. He's helped bring you two world series and the best two years of a pitcher you will ever see in Pedro Martinez, nevermind the no hitters galore and fista cuffs with you know who.

Let's show a little support for the Captain instead of ripping it.

I feel all warm and fuzzy inside now.

Am I mistaken? Has Tek been nominated for a lifetime achievement award? Was he at the top of the list for the "person who you want your son to end up like" poll amongst the players?
Saying he doesn't deserve to be on the team is not not showing support. It's saying we love him, etc but he doesn't deserve to be on the team. We are not talking about a Cal Ripken or some HOFer who has one last appearance as a swan song. We're talking about a guy who has been a decent player who has stated he wants to play a few more years.
There is very little/no chance that Tek will turn this down. How much extra does his contract call for per all-star appearance?

Edited by koufax32, 07 July 2008 - 12:59 PM.