Jason Varitek on post-playing career: 'Where it goes from here, I don't know yet'

May 28, 2014 - 4:08 pm
David Ortiz wasn't alone as a three-time recipient of a Red Sox World Series ring. Jason Varitek likewise received the hardware for his role in the 2004, 2007 and 2013 championship clubs, but whereas he was a constant behind the plate for the first two title runs, his role was far less visible in last year's improbable title run. Varitek served as a special assistant to the GM for the Red Sox in his second year removed from his playing career. The organization raved about his presence both as an evaluator, a trusted presence with prospects (particularly for young catchers) and as a presence who could serve as a bridge between players and the front office given the proximity of his playing days. Varitek, who spends most of the year living at home in Georgia but travels to Boston as well as to an array of minor league affiliates, suggested that he's taking considerable pleasure in his baseball work. "I enjoy it," he said. "It's changed from last year to this year. First month, I was in Portland and Pawtucket a lot. Then here, with the big league club for a few days. It'll change. They'll give me a call and tell me, OK, I need you to go here, I've got some meetings coming up. He just called me this morning and goes, 'Hey, can you come up to the draft? We're all meeting here today?' Alright. Last year I sat through the multiple days of the draft stuff. It's kind of ever-changing. I've gotten to be on the field a little bit, throw a little [batting practice], have fun with it." Varitek said that he's gaining from both the perspective of sitting behind the plate in scouts' seats and in those games where he is in uniform and watching from the dugout -- a perspective he became familiar with as a part-timer during the final years of his career. He recognizes the opportunity to help players and prospects with some of the same challenges that he faced in his career. "I love being on the field with the guys," said Varitek. "I want to help. I've struggled hitting. I've been successful hitting. Not everyone was a switch-hitter. You sit and have switch-hitter conversations with guys who are, 'Did you ever run across this?' You bet your bottom dollar I did. I'll spend some time in the stands, I'll spend some times in the dugouts and I'll spend some time on the field. But I'm hopefully around enough to, if you can help one thing, that's good." While he becomes more comfortable with the work he's doing, Varitek said he didn't have any well-defined views about his professional future -- whether managerial or coaching ambitions or more work with a front office. "I'm developing a lot of relationships with a lot of players, learning what's gone on in different arenas in the management side," said Varitek. "Right now, it allows me to be an aide but not on a full-time basis right now. Where it goes from here, I don't know yet, but right now, it's good."