Red Sox News: Jason Varitek tests positive for COVID but doing well, per his Wife

Mar 8, 2019; Sarasota, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox guest instructor Jason Varitek (33) prior to the game at Ed Smith Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 8, 2019; Sarasota, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox guest instructor Jason Varitek (33) prior to the game at Ed Smith Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

Red Sox coach Jason Varitek tests positive for COVID-19

Later last night I saw some news hit the wire that really felt like it belonged in 2020 considering how this year has progressed. Former Boston Red Sox catcher and newly appointed Game-Planning Coordinator Jason Varitek has tested positive for COVID-19, per his wife Catherine. The Captain is doing well and has self-isolated in order to not get anyone else sick with the virus.

In reading Catherine’s tweet, it hit me, we are nearly a year into dealing with COVID and still don’t have a solid idea on it yet. Yeah, we know the basics and the foundation of trying to stay healthy, but as we’re seeing around the world, cases are continuing to pile up. Catherine hit the nail on the head when she said, “Just when we thought we were doing everything right, COVID found a way in.”

The former Red Sox catcher was recently named to his new position within the team after years of being an advisor to the front office, as well as, a presence in the clubhouse. Now he will be putting the skills that made him so successful to good use each and every day helping this club improve.

During his playing time, Varitek was revered for his work ethic and preparation for the opposition not only for himself but for everyone on the pitching staff. He made sure each starter and reliever knew the other team’s biggest weaknesses while also respecting their strengths.

In a day when analytics weren’t really a thing, he was crunching numbers and watching patterns to formulate his plan of attack against the team in the other dugout. We’ve seen Tek in the dugout during games over the last few seasons and also at spring training. Hell, he was even an umpire this year ahead of the shortened 2020 season.

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His role with the Red Sox now gives him a chance to take the skills that helped him become one of just two catchers in MLB history to have caught four no-hitters, and bring it to the current squad. He’ll have his hands full though with several big names coming back from the IL and a very uncertain starting rotation. But that’s not his responsibility, his task is to make sure whoever he has on the mound is prepared to the point that it doesn’t matter who’s in the batter’s box.

Tek spent his entire 15-year Major League career with the Red Sox and was named captain of the Red Sox right around this time back in 2004, just coming off of winning the World Series. He would add a second World Series ring to his collection in 2007 before retiring after the 2011 season. Varitek is a career .256/.341/.435/.776 hitter with 193 homers and 757 RBI to his name. He also owns a stellar .994 FLD% for his career having made just 69 errors through those 15 seasons.

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I don’t know if we’ll ever see Varitek’s name in Cooperstown but surely someday the number “33,” will be hanging up at Fenway Park. It’s sad to hear the news that Tek has COVID but it’s a relief to also see that he’s doing well and is taking the measures to keep his family safe. As the holiday season gears up please remember to stay safe and do what you can to keep yourself and those around you as healthy as possible!