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The Catching Situation

The Sox have a situation looming at catcher. Jason Varitek is getting old and every year that he's our only viable option is a greater risk. This season he'll be 36 years old. That's pretty old for a catcher. Tek made the majors at 25 years old, but he caught all his life so that probably won't help the wear and tear. I remember a few old catchers from my childhood.

Here are a few:
  • Gary Carter - he was 38 when he retired. By the time he hit 35, he was playing very limited time (no more than 101 games the last 4 seasons). He's a hall of famer who started playing in the majors at 20 years old.
  • Carlton Fisk (of Bellows Falls, Vt.) - I think he's still playing somewhere. He's the captain of a team in Guam where Julio Franco is called "kid." The man played mlb at the age of 45. That's actually illegal in some countries. That's why he couldn't play whenever the White Sox played in Toronto. It's true. Look it up. Wait. Don't. Just trust me...
  • Tony Pena - This guy was uber flexible. I also think that he could probably have fit inside one Veritek quadricep. Pena was 40 when he retired, though he was 36 when he stopped playing regularly. Also, he was not as good a player at 'Tek.
Now, I think we all know the answer: let's just hand the reigns over to Dougy Miribelli. Done.

If that fails, where does that leave us. We have George Kottaras as probably our top prospect. We acquired him from San Diego for David Wells. I don't know a bunch about him, but he did struggle offensively in AAA last year, and that's supposed to be his greatest asset.

Dusty Brown made it as far as AAA on his defense. I get the sense that the Sox are pretty high on him, but he's obviously not some great superstar in the making. He might be the best option though to get worked into the majors and see if he could take over. He is 25 years old now.

Jon Still
is a bit of a wild card. He's 23 years old and apparently pretty talented. But he's a part time catcher and in A ball. So, he's not exactly ready. I know that catchers develop more slowly than other positions, but we need to have an option ready soon.

Here are a few others I came across: Mark Wagner (A ball, 23 years old), Ty Weeden (Rookie League, gigantic, 20 years old), me (glorious)...

Ok, I'll stop writing. But my point is that the Sox don't seem to have an apparent answer to this mounting problem. We've been lucky that 'Tek can still play. That luck might not last and I wish I had some idea what, if any, plan the Sox had.


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