Friday, April 22, 2011

Personal Preference

The question is back. Josh Beckett pitched poorly with Jarrod Saltalamacchia behind the plate. He has dominated with Jason Varitek back there. Daisuke Matsuzaka got lit up, and I mean lit up, with Salty calling the pitches. Dice-K mowed hitters down when Tek was calling the shots. So, the question has to be posed. Should Tek catch those two all the time?

Quick answer. Absolutely. A related question. Why not?

I’m pretty sure that the main purpose of the Red Sox is to win games. It’s not to prepare people for the future. It’s not to make pitchers non-wusses. It’s to win baseball games. So, if having Varitek behind the plate helps them win games, he should be back there. I don’t care that Beckett should be able to pitch to whomever is back there. I don’t care that Salty is a fine catcher who should be trusted. I really don’t care. If those two guys pitch better to Varitek, by all means let them. I don’t care if it’s trust. I don’t care if it’s comfort. I don’t care if they just prefer the color of the chest protector. If it works, go with it.

And, yes, I understand that Varitek is a back-up catcher for a reason. I know he’s getting older, and less effective. I understand that he can’t catch every game. But, really, two out of every five seems reasonable to me. At least to start. Once Salty has another half season under his belt with the rest of the staff, he may be able to be integrated into mix for Beckett and Matsuzaka. He may not. I’m OK either way.

It’s not like the Sox would be saying that Salty can’t catch. They’re not saying that Beckett and Dice-K think Salty can’t catch. There’s just a flow there that I see no reason to interrupt. Now, if that schedule starts hurting the team, that’s another issue. But, I don’t see a downside at this point.

Just put the team in the best position to win.

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