Jason Varitek’s number isn’t retired, and the Red Sox just gave it away.
Varitek will always get a free beer in Boston, as he led to the Red Sox on their memorable 2004 World Series run, which included a 3-0 comeback against the rival New York Yankees we’ll surely never hear the end of. And that’s to be expected. The ’04 Red Sox will live in baseball lore, they deserve the be commemorated (and already have been) in Cooperstown via Curt Schilling’s Game 6 bloody sock and plenty more.
Evidently that’s not enough. The three-time All-Star Varitek retired in 2011. That’s a decade ago. Yet, when the Sox tried to change Martin Perez’s number to Varitek’s No. 33, Jason’s wife wasn’t having any of it.
Should the Red Sox just retire Varitek’s number?
That’s a complicated discussion. Boston has retired just 11 numbers, the last being David Ortiz, who’s due for the Hall of Fame ballot next year. Varitek was a solid player, but he’s not of their caliber. So, for how long should his number be off-limits?
It’s not uncommon for teams to ceremonially put a number aside for a period of time. But a full decade for a three-time All-Star seems like a bit much. However, the Variteks will get their way, at least for one more season. Perez realized the controversy and immediately corrected the issue at hand.
“That must be fixed! I never asked to change my jersey number, I’m gonna keep the number 54 which is a number that brings me a lot of memories and I feel identified. Even though I wore in my MLB career the 33, I always respected that this number belongs to Varitek since day 1,” Perez wrote on Twitter.
Catherine Varitek responded to Perez on Twitter.
So, there ya go. The Varitek family can rest easy for one more year knowing Jason’s number will not be worn by another Red Sox player. How long that will fly is another question entirely.