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Globe: Varitek to retire Thursday


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#51 Doctor G

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 12:10 AM

if there is a statue of Tek, it should be of him blocking the plate and sculpted out of granite.

#52 curly2

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 12:16 AM

Another very underrated Tek moment was his 10 pitch at bat against Lieber with two out in the fourth inning of Game 6, ending in a single to drive in Millar with the game's first run. Moments later he scored on Bellhorn's homer.


And it was more remarkable because one of the two-strike pitches he had to foul off, he tried to call time, didn't get it and had to get his hand back on the bat quickly to make contact.

#53 E5 Yaz


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Posted 28 February 2012 - 12:49 AM

Posted Image

#54 brs3


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Posted 28 February 2012 - 12:51 AM

Posted Image

Varitek & Wakefield on April 2nd, 1998. Tek's first start as catcher. Each player surely deserves their own day, but I wouldn't mind seeing this shot, 14 years later, at some point during the season for the sake of ceremonial celebrations.

Edited by brs3, 28 February 2012 - 12:52 AM.


#55 E5 Yaz


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Posted 28 February 2012 - 12:55 AM

Varitek & Wakefield on April 2nd, 1998. Tek's first start as catcher.


now THAT was a lineup

http://www.baseball-...199804020.shtml

#56 bosockboy


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Posted 28 February 2012 - 01:02 AM

Magadan pinch hit for the A's that day....

#57 BucketOBalls


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Posted 28 February 2012 - 01:59 AM

now THAT was a lineup

http://www.baseball-...199804020.shtml


They might have a better bullpen also. Including Eck's last year. :D Anyone else think that would make a great "come up with a caption" contest?

"What do you mean your worried? How hard can it be to catch something that slow? "
"You've been here 4 years? I hope I manage to stick around as long as you have".

Edited by BucketOBalls, 28 February 2012 - 03:07 AM.


#58 lexrageorge

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 10:32 AM

From some quarters in NY: "No guts on that Varitek. He should have said: 'Time out, Mr. 260 Hitter, I need a moment to remove my mask before we joust.'"

That line always slays and amuses me in equal parts.


Yes, one of the best parts of that incident is that Tim McCarver still gets his panties in a bunch over the fact that Varitek didn't remove his mask.

As it was with Wake, Varitek is retiring at just the right time. Sometimes it's easy to forget how quickly athletic careers end, even for long tenured players. The mid-1990's just don't seem all that long ago; I was working in my current field for several years prior, and I'm still working in my current field (hopefully for at least several more years). It's always easy for us fans to say "it's time for player X to hang 'em up", but it really can be a painful decision for some players. One day, suddenly, the game that the player has been in since tee ball is over.

Kudos to a great career and a key part of the 2 World Series titles; as someone who sat through 1975, 1978, 1986, et al, I'd never thought I would ever be able to say that about any Red Sox player.

#59 Smiling Joe Hesketh


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Posted 28 February 2012 - 10:34 AM

His struggles over the past few seasons have made it easy to forget how good he was back in '04. .390 OBP from the catcher's spot? Mercy.

He probably hung on a bit too long, as most players do, and it's time for him to retire. But damn in his prime he was excellent.

#60 someoneanywhere

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 10:35 AM

Tek is one of my favorite players of all time, maybe THE favorite. I have a signed picture of myself (at 8 years old) with him while he was at Georgia Tech, and still remember being excited a few years later when I found out he was with the Red Sox organization. Of course, the years since then have been pretty good too. Thanks for everything, Tek.
Edit: the famous picture of him with A-Rod hangs in my living room. A friend gave it to me and planned to get Varitek to sign it, but apparently he refuses to autograph that shot.


Give him a decade. In 10 years he'll be in the circuit and he'll sign that sucker, a la Mookie and Buck. Depend upon it.

Thanks be to you, Tek. The C was there for a reason.

#61 The Gray Eagle


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Posted 28 February 2012 - 10:55 AM

Since he was the captain of two World Championship teams, there will probably be sentiment from some quarters that Varitek's number should be retired. That's not going to happen, but a good way to honor him instead would be to retire that captain's C from the jerseys, and make it so that Varitek is the only Red Sox player to ever wear the C on his shirt.

He gets a nice honor that doesn't set a precedent for any other players, and we don't have the hockey-style C on anyone's shirt anymore. Win-win.

#62 ThePieholeOfDavidWells

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 01:05 PM

In the last few years I've taken to calling him "The Craptain" for the way he was playing, but nonetheless he had an amazing run. Caught 4 no-hitters, won 2 world series, a gold glove, silver slugger, 3 all star games, etc. He will be missed.

#63 ThePieholeOfDavidWells

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 01:14 PM

Since he was the captain of two World Championship teams, there will probably be sentiment from some quarters that Varitek's number should be retired. That's not going to happen....


I think it should happen. The list of the best Red Sox catchers is very short. Fisk, Varitek and then maybe Gedman as a distant third. His impact at a key position for the length of time he played the position means that he was one of the all-time greats at catcher for the Sox. Rock solid stability for a decade and a half at the 2nd most difficult defensive position on the diamond? Yeah, he should have his number retired.

#64 brs3


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Posted 28 February 2012 - 01:22 PM

I think it should happen. The list of the best Red Sox catchers is very short. Fisk, Varitek and then maybe Gedman as a distant third. His impact at a key position for the length of time he played the position means that he was one of the all-time greats at catcher for the Sox. Rock solid stability for a decade and a half at the 2nd most difficult defensive position on the diamond? Yeah, he should have his number retired.


Why not semi-retire his number? Perhaps a future Georgia Tech prospect could don Tek's number. Perhaps some future player who idolized Tek can ask him for permission. Tek is in a long line behind other players more deserving of the retired number honor.

#65 Van Everyman


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Posted 28 February 2012 - 01:26 PM

Thought the bolded part was somewhat interesting, via the Globe:

Francona, who managed Jason Varitek for eight years said, "I hope his decision to retire is something he really wants to do because he deserves to go out the way he wants to go out. He's earned that. I know what he meant to our team. He's one of the best players to ever put on a Red Sox uniform and I wish him the best in what ever he decided to do with the rest of his life."


Is Tito suggesting they should have kept offering Varitek a spot regardless of how he was playing until he wanted to retire? If so, that seems to be A) a ridiculous way to run a ball-club and B) evidence that the people who thought Tito played vets to the detriment of the team were right. I hope I'm just reading it wrong and that he's hoping for the sake of Tek's ego that he was ready.

#66 smastroyin


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Posted 28 February 2012 - 01:26 PM

I realize the same old people will trot out OPS+ but we should probably think about Bill Carrigan and Rick Ferrell before listing Gedman as third.

#67 curly2

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 01:37 PM

Posted Image

Varitek & Wakefield on April 2nd, 1998. Tek's first start as catcher. Each player surely deserves their own day, but I wouldn't mind seeing this shot, 14 years later, at some point during the season for the sake of ceremonial celebrations.


Great photo, and it just reminds me how much better the uniforms were with red numbers and letters and blue sleeves than the current road unis with the blue letters and numbers and red sleeves. I wish they'd go back to this look.

#68 mauidano


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Posted 28 February 2012 - 01:37 PM

His struggles over the past few seasons have made it easy to forget how good he was back in '04. .390 OBP from the catcher's spot? Mercy.

He probably hung on a bit too long, as most players do, and it's time for him to retire. But damn in his prime he was excellent.

A baseball player in every sense of the word. However, that being said, no one made that right turn towards the dugout quicker after meekly grounding out than Tek. He is missed already.

#69 HangingW/ScottCooper

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 02:35 PM

Pretty sure Youks was on the World Series roster, too.


I'm not positive, but I believe Youk was on the World Series roster but not the ALCS roster, as they dropped Ramiro Mendoza from the 25 man going into the World Series.

Neither Mendoza nor Youkilis has an appearance in the 2004 World Series. Also, Mendoza was listed as 6'2", 154 pounds on Baseball-Reference

Oh also - fantastic career for the Captain. He was a selfless leader and will forever be remembered as a Red Sox great.

#70 trekfan55


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Posted 28 February 2012 - 03:48 PM

I'm not positive, but I believe Youk was on the World Series roster but not the ALCS roster, as they dropped Ramiro Mendoza from the 25 man going into the World Series.

Neither Mendoza nor Youkilis has an appearance in the 2004 World Series. Also, Mendoza was listed as 6'2", 154 pounds on Baseball-Reference

Oh also - fantastic career for the Captain. He was a selfless leader and will forever be remembered as a Red Sox great.


Youks was in the ALDS and World Series roster.

He was left off the roster fir the 2004 ALCS in favor of Ramiro Mendoza.

Oh, and FTR, Varitek was the Captain of only one World Series Chamionship team (he was not Captain in 2004).

#71 Trlicek's Whip

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 04:16 PM

I was and still am bummed that he lost the 2001 season to a broken right elbow after making that web gem foul ball catch in the batter's circle against DET on 6/3 - though that really typified his style of play.

He only was in 51 games that year, and was on fire - he hit his 7 season-total HR's in those last 13 games, including one that very day and a 3 HR performance at Kansas City on 5/20.

#72 joyofsox


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Posted 28 February 2012 - 10:26 PM

Yes, one of the best parts of that incident is that Tim McCarver still gets his panties in a bunch over the fact that Varitek didn't remove his mask.

Yankee fans still won't shut up about it. But there was a YouTube video of Posada getting into a scuffle with an Oriole player years ago and -- GASP!! - not removing his mask. I think the MLB Police took it down.

#73 Hyde Park Factor


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Posted 28 February 2012 - 10:40 PM

Thought the bolded part was somewhat interesting, via the Globe:



Is Tito suggesting they should have kept offering Varitek a spot regardless of how he was playing until he wanted to retire? If so, that seems to be A) a ridiculous way to run a ball-club and B) evidence that the people who thought Tito played vets to the detriment of the team were right. I hope I'm just reading it wrong and that he's hoping for the sake of Tek's ego that he was ready.



I think it is the ego thing - deciding to retire because you didn't get any real offers probably doesn't feel too good.

#74 E5 Yaz


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Posted 28 February 2012 - 10:45 PM

Alex Speier with a GREAT remembrance of the Varitek-Lowe/Slocumb trade, including an important cameo by ARod

http://www.weei.com/...anged-franchise

#75 soxfan121


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Posted 28 February 2012 - 10:48 PM

(1)Since he was the captain of two World Championship teams, there will probably be sentiment from some quarters that Varitek's number should be retired. (2)That's not going to happen, but a good way to honor him instead would be to retire that captain's C from the jerseys, and make it so that Varitek is the only Red Sox player to ever wear the C on his shirt.

He gets a nice honor that doesn't set a precedent for any other players, and we don't have the hockey-style C on anyone's shirt anymore. Win-win.


1. Minor nitpick, but he was not officially the "captain" in 2004; the title was bestowed as part of the contract re-negotiation after that season.

2. This ownership group will likely never again authorize a "C" on the jersey during their stewardship of the franchise; some fans will view it the way you've described and some will suspect that ownership was burned by a captain who failed to put the team first in his last few seasons, culminating with the collapse. In any case, it will be a 'win-win' because the "C" on the shirt is something very few MLB teams use and, frankly, is more suited to other sports.

#76 donutogre

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 11:04 PM

...some will suspect that ownership was burned by a captain who failed to put the team first in his last few seasons, culminating with the collapse.


That's a little harsh. I feel like Varitek took the demotion to part-time catcher over the last few years about as well as we could expect. It's been a while since Martinez came to town, but aside from some "i don't view myself as a part-time player" type of commentary, I feel like he slide into the background without raising too much of a fuss.

#77 Van Everyman


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Posted 28 February 2012 - 11:24 PM

Alex Speier with a GREAT remembrance of the Varitek-Lowe/Slocumb trade, including an important cameo by ARod

http://www.weei.com/...anged-franchise

Agreed. Also, I kind of love how between showing up at Wake's retirement and his comments here Lowe is inching his way back into the hearts of Sox fans.

#78 bsj


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Posted 29 February 2012 - 06:41 AM

One of my own private memories of Tek...

Back in the Summer of 1998, I interned briefly at NESN. Far too briefly mind you, as a loved the gig, but only could afford do do it for a couple months before I needed a paying gig to pay for college expenses...but I loved he time there.

My first day, one of my first assignments was to go down to the field during practice with one of the reporters and assist with an interview. Now...I was giddy already...walking on the Fenway field for the first time ever. Walking amongst the team...it was very hard to maintain the level of "almost professionalism" an intern needs to carry himself with. But I did...

The interview? With a very young and extremely friendly Jason Varitek. Very smart...very open. Afterwards, we shook hands and I wished him a great season...

It was time. But I will miss the guy.

#79 TheoShmeo


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Posted 29 February 2012 - 08:42 AM

Here's another personal Tek story.

Tek used to live in the same small condo complex in Newton as my parents. My parents knew him from condo meetings and said he was a very nice guy.

One summer, my son and I stayed at their condo for several nights when Tek still lived there. I forget exactly which year it was but I'm guessing it was somewhere between 2005-7. There was a period when that unit was effectively Sox property, as Kapler and Mirabelli also lived there at different times.

In any event, I was playing catch in the parking lot with my son one morning when Tek and his daughters came outside. My mom, who had been on the porch, introduced me to him and we chatted for about five minutes. Mostly benign stuff and I resisted the urge to talk baseball until the end of the conversation.

The night before the Sox had won and a key play in the game , in my view, was Tek gunning down a runner who had wandered off third base. I forget the exact circumstances. But it got the Sox out of a tough inning late in the game and it was an excellent throw. So I told Tek that I thought that particular play was pivotal and was very impressive. I well admit that there might have been some fanboy in that, but I really did view that as a turning point play and I thought so the night before from my vantage point at Fenway.

Tek didn't skip a beat. He evenly said something along the lines of "there were a lot of key plays in that game and it takes a whole team to win." That sounds no different than what he routinely said when he had a NESN mike in his mouth, but he said it that monring with total sincerity and when no one else was listening. My take was that he meant it and that was just how he thought. No matter how big what he did was, it was just part of the larger picture.

#80 Rudy Pemberton


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Posted 29 February 2012 - 09:24 AM

Tek used to live in the same small condo complex in Newton as my parents. My parents knew him from condo meetings and said he was a very nice guy.


Great story, but this part made me chuckle...just trying to envision Tek at a condo board meeting. A true man of the people!

#81 Toe Nash

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 09:39 AM

That's a little harsh. I feel like Varitek took the demotion to part-time catcher over the last few years about as well as we could expect. It's been a while since Martinez came to town, but aside from some "i don't view myself as a part-time player" type of commentary, I feel like he slide into the background without raising too much of a fuss.

What did he do last September? If you believe that it wasn't just a lot of bad luck / injuries that doomed the season, you have to give Tek some blame.

My personal opinion is that the captaincy was stupid since baseball is such an individualistic sport. But I can see an argument that the Captain should have done more if you think that guys were coasting / letting themselves get out of shape.

#82 Batman Likes The Sox


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Posted 29 February 2012 - 12:49 PM

Alex Speier with a GREAT remembrance of the Varitek-Lowe/Slocumb trade, including an important cameo by ARod

http://www.weei.com/...anged-franchise


NM

#83 TheRooster

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 01:04 PM

I think it should happen. The list of the best Red Sox catchers is very short. Fisk, Varitek and then maybe Gedman as a distant third. His impact at a key position for the length of time he played the position means that he was one of the all-time greats at catcher for the Sox. Rock solid stability for a decade and a half at the 2nd most difficult defensive position on the diamond? Yeah, he should have his number retired.

By that logic (the two best players from each position) there'd be 10-15 more numbers up there, cheapening the honor. Sorry, but no.

#84 E5 Yaz


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Posted 29 February 2012 - 01:06 PM

"To be honest, half of my success in the big leagues is because of Jason Varitek," Martinez said by phone last night from Miami, where he has a home. "Whatever I say will fall short of how I feel about Jason and his career and how he goes about his business."




"I think it was his determination to sacrifice himself for the good of us," Martinez continued, echoing a sentiment that that has been expressed by many in recent days. "He was determined to better for the team than he was for himself. A lot of people take for granted what he did for us.
"For me, if he hit .220, it was like .320. He was worth .100 points to me," Martinez said. "If I had a 2.00 ERA, it would have been 3.00 without Jason."


http://www.boston.co...the_boston.html

#85 soxfan121


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Posted 29 February 2012 - 02:12 PM

No one, and I mean NO ONE, blows smoke the way Pedro blows smoke. Damn...he's still got it. He always had great stuff but it was the psychology that set him apart.

#86 trekfan55


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Posted 29 February 2012 - 03:34 PM

Nothing would be better than Pedro Martinez as a color guy in a baseball (preferrably a NESN Res Sox) broadcast.

#87 Al Zarilla


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Posted 29 February 2012 - 03:51 PM

Nothing would be better than Pedro Martinez as a color guy in a baseball (preferrably a NESN Res Sox) broadcast.

It'd be great if he would want to do it, but I think he'll find other ways to spend his time, as in charities, esp. helping his country.

#88 trekfan55


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Posted 29 February 2012 - 03:56 PM

It'd be great if he would want to do it, but I think he'll find other ways to spend his time, as in charities, esp. helping his country.


No doubt about that.

But the few times I've seen him talk baseball he seems like a very knowledgeable guy, plus he's fun to listen to, and he speaks incredible English, given his origins.

#89 Alternate34

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 05:19 PM

Nothing would be better than Pedro Martinez as a color guy in a baseball (preferrably a NESN Res Sox) broadcast.


Martinez as a color guy on NESN would be my version of baseball porn. I could not get enough of it. I would have it saved on my computer.

And while his words about Varitek might be exaggerated, they are exaggerated at the right time. Awesome.

#90 TheoShmeo


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Posted 01 March 2012 - 07:13 AM

Varitek and A-Rod had never been friendly and the fight only highlighted that. Years later, Arroyo received an unnecessary confirmation of Varitek’s reputation as a stubborn man of principle.

“Those two played together for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic in 2006 and I asked Jason what it was like to be on the same team as Alex,” Arroyo said. “Now probably 90 percent of guys in baseball would be able to brush it all under the rug. Not this time. Before Game 1, Jason was in the trainer’s room wrapping his wrist and Alex came in to tape his own wrist. No one else was in the room. And Jason told me, ‘Nobody spoke a word.’ ”


http://www.bostonher...stuffing_a-rod/

Loved this.

#91 reggiecleveland


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Posted 01 March 2012 - 03:05 PM

It's amazing that team USA went on to win gold.

#92 Hendu's Gait


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Posted 01 March 2012 - 05:01 PM

The ship has weathered every rack, the World Series or two we sought is won;
The port is near, the bells I hear, the Red Sox fans all exulting,

#93 amh03


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Posted 01 March 2012 - 05:44 PM

Tek is such a classy guy!

#94 Clemente38

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 05:46 PM

I wasn't sure he was going to make it through the first sentence.

#95 amh03


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Posted 01 March 2012 - 05:47 PM

I wasn't sure he was going to make it through the first sentence.

Agreed...it was a tough moment...

#96 amh03


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Posted 01 March 2012 - 05:49 PM

I think Tek will be a coach/manager one day...

Edited by amh03, 01 March 2012 - 05:50 PM.


#97 Clemente38

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 05:50 PM

"The hardest thing to do is to walk away from your teammates. And what they have meant to you, thank you."

Barely able to get it out.

#98 Clemente38

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 05:54 PM

This man did not want to quit, this was a very tough decision for him. It clearly tears him up. But he didn't want to play anywhere else either.

"Still working on trying to find a role for him with the Sox, and how to stay involved."

#99 amh03


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Posted 01 March 2012 - 05:55 PM

I thought there was something arranged for Tek's future...doesn't sound as if that's been pulled together yet...

#100 Foulkey Reese


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Posted 01 March 2012 - 05:56 PM

It's insane how many things have changed since September. We're definitely entering a new chapter in Red Sox history.