On Friday, Tim Wakefield announced his retirement from Major League Baseball. Wakefield was a huge part of the Red Sox organization, having been with the team for 17 season.
But another player's retirement may come on the heels of Wakefield's.
It's pretty much understood that there won't be a spot for Jason Varitek on this season's Sox team. The Sox have offered him an invite to camp, but with nothing more than a non-guaranteed minor league contract. With that, there have been talks about when, not if, Varitek will part ways with the Sox -- retirement or not.
Varitek has been the captain of the Sox for some time now -- the eyes behind the plate to so many memorable pitching performances, including no-hitters, one-hitters, countless shutouts, postseason wins, and two World Series championships. He will be remembered by Red Sox Nation for what he once was as a player -- not for what he has become. And his teammates, like Josh Beckett, will really miss him.
"I don't think you're going to find anybody in there that's played with Vartek that's going to say they're not going to miss him," Beckett said. "And likewise for Tim Wakefield.
" if Tek doesn't come back he's going to be missed severely," Beckett said. "Both in the clubhouse and out in the field. For me, I won't say especially, but for me for sure."
Varitek has been Beckett's exclusive catcher since Beckett joined the team. Now, he has to find his comfort zone with Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
"I think a lot of it just goes with the dialogue that I'm having with a couple of the guys right now," Beckett said. "Salty's caught me a couple times, and we're kind of relaying things to each other what he's seeing. And that was something that Tek was so good at, just reinforcing something whether I knew it or if I didn't know it he would come out and tell me, 'Hey this is what you're doing, you're getting around the ball,' whatever, just trying to get those guys to see the same things that he saw."
Saltalamacchia may never be the game-caller that Varitek was, but there's no reason to believe he and Beckett can't get on the same page and make it work.