Varitek: 'Let our guys play'

May, 20, 2010
5/20/10
12:59
AM ET
BOSTON -- Raising the question of who will catch Daisuke Matsuzaka next elicited a strong reaction from catcher Jason Varitek.

Asked Wednesday night whether the Sox had approached him about catching Matsuzaka after the Japanese right-hander was rocked Monday for the third time with Victor Martinez behind the plate, Varitek said, “No, why?’’

When it was pointed out that Matsuzaka’s only good outing -- 7 innings, 1 run, 0 walks, 9 whiffs -- had come with Varitek behind the plate, the catcher flared.

“I think you’re making it more than it is,’’ he said. “Everybody’s creating all sorts of stories in all different directions.

“Let our guys play.’’

Matsuzaka and Martinez met the day after his outing with manager Terry Francona, and while Francona offered few details regarding their session, he said they talked about adjustments that could be made going forward. Francona also reiterated his distaste for pitchers having “personal” catchers.

That night, Martinez caught Josh Beckett for the first time since Opening Night, Varitek having caught Beckett in six straight outings. Now, with Beckett on the 15-day disabled list and Tim Wakefield installed into the rotation for Sunday’s start in Philadelphia and presumably Beckett’s next turn as well, Varitek could conceivably be paired with Matsuzaka. All parties could maintain it was a move dictated by circumstance and had nothing to do with any perceived issues between Matsuzaka and Martinez.

And it well could be. Or not.

Gordon Edes

Red Sox reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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