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Jason Varitek

7/8/09

It is relatively well known among baseball fans and players that Jason Varitek is a, if not THE standard of being a Major League catcher defensively, with his relentless study of the opposing hitters and the irreplaceable guidance of his pitching staff, it is meanwhile equally as well known his is far from the standard of a major league hitter. Most believe that he is a prisoner to his ability to switch hit, as his left handed at-bats tend to look gutless. I convey this sentiment.

To be a good switch hitter, you CANNOT be a right-handed batter in the left box. You have to be a left-handed batter and a right-handed batter at the same time. With a batting average below the Major League average (Varitek: .238 MLB: .261) and his batting average plummeting from the left side compared to the right almost 60 points, some including myself, would suggest that he needs to try batting right-handed only.

Fortunately, a recent power surge has done the temporary task of keeping Varitek out of under the professional microscope. But, with someone like Joe Mauer of the Minnesota Twins who has a .389 AVG and 14 HRs approaching free agency, a team like Boston is financially and strategically capable of not accepting Varitek in 2010 if something doesn't change and in all honesty, shouldn't. While 12 HRs on the season is big for Varitek compared to his recent seasons, it doesn't do enough for a crowd expecting another red banner on the wall come October.

Even George Kottaras, who has only player 33 MLB games, who only bats from one side, has made a number more prettier at-bats this year than Ol' Tek, proportionately. Time and statistics continue to stack against Jason Varitek, and even in the friendly fan city of Boston, personality won't fill the contract out forever.

By Zachary Gallant

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