With Jason Varitek close to announcing his retirement, former Red Sox general manager Dan Duquette, in an interview on the Mut & Merloni show, reflected on the trade he made in 1997 to bring Varitek and Derek Lowe to the Red Sox in exchange for reliever Heathcliff Slocumb. It was a landmark trade that had implications for the Sox over the entirety of Varitek's 15-year tenure with the Sox.
"You'd like to make one of those every year, but they don't come along every day. I'm just glad we got the opportunity to see those guys during the great years of their career," said Duquette. "Jason had a great career. He really solidified the team for over a decade. He was one of the few guys, he was the captain of the team, but he really earned that captaincy by the way he handled himself on the field, the leadership that he undertook.
"Whenever we went into Yankee Stadium, he always got a big hit," added Duquette. "He was a clutch player. Obviously, staying healthy and catching the most games in Red Sox history, then being there when they actually won, that's got to be a great thrill and honor for him."
Duquette suggested that the fit for Varitek in Boston was perfect. The Sox had targeted the addition of a catcher since the team did not view Mike Stanley (the primary catcher in 1997, but who would be moved that summer in a deal with the Yankees for prospect Tony Armas Jr., who was in turn flipped to the Expos after that season for Pedro Martinez) as a long-term option. At the time of the deal, Duquette felt Varitek had potential to develop beyond what the Mariners had seen.
"I think frankly (the Mariners) tried to rush him and they didn't get a chance to see all his skill and capability. That was a great opportunity for us at the time," said Duquette. "Everyone saw Jason Varitek at Georgia Tech. I personally saw him in the Cape Cod League when he played against Nomar. ... I was aware of what his skills were. We had the perfect opportunity, and he went on to become one of the great catchers in the history of the team."
As for Lowe, Duquette knew less about the pitcher. Indeed, the GM did not deny the pitcher's claim to WEEI.com that he believed that Lowe was left-handed at the time of the deal.
"Did you think we were focused more on Varitek or Derek Lowe? What do you think?" said Duquette. "I knew Derek was a sinkerballer, but I didn't know as much about Derek as I did about Jason. Gary Rajisch was big on Derek Lowe, and it was good we got both those guys."
Asked whether he pursued Varitek to serve as a backup catcher to Matt Wieters this offseason, Duquette said he did not.
"I thought that Jason had the opportunity to spend his whole career there with the Red Sox," he said. "If they didn't have a spot there for him, I thought it was the right thing for him to do, to choose retirement."
Duquette was also asked whether he considered pursuing another player whom he acquired while GM of the Red Sox, Manny Ramirez.
"I thought since I was so generous with Manny last time around, he should have paid me this time around. He didn’t quite see it that way," Duquette joked. "Manny can hit. I think he got the second chance he was looking for. I think he’ll do well. We just didn’t see a fit here in Baltimore."
Pete and Price talk about Jeff Fisher and how clueless he seems at times. It is especially peculiar that the Rams announced a 2 year extension today for Fisher. The guys talk about what is going on in L.A.
Pete, Price and Curran were all in New Orleans in 2001 for Super Bowl XXXVI so the guys reminisce about the circumstance surrounding the Patriots and Rams in that momentous game.
Pete, Chris and Tom all talk about how the team has handled Gronk's injury from the joint statement to the video of him walking after surgery. What does it mean for other players and how New England will handle injury situations moving forward?
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Ben Kichen of the 'Dale and Holley Show' talk about what the Celtics will need to do in order to be considered one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference along with the Cavs.
WEEI's Mike Petraglia talks with Josue Pavon about how the Celtics are looking better with Al Horford back on the court and the overall toughness of this team.
Mike Petraglia and Ben Kichen preview the Celtics season. Will Jaylen Brown be an impact rookie and prove he was the right pick at #3? Will the Celtics win the Atlantic Division? Is the season a failure if the Celtics don't advance past the first round of the playoffs?
Mut, Bradford, and Tomase talk with Curt Schilling to get his reaction to Dan Shaughnessy and Jon Heyman's comments about not voting for Curt for the Hall of Fame again based on some of Schilling's comments on social media.
Mut, Bradford, and Tomase are taking some calls and reaction to their interview with Curt Schilling in regards to Major League Baseball's Hall of Fame voting. We also hear about Rob's upcoming working vacation to the Dominican Republic for the David Ortiz Charity Golf Classic.
Mut, Bradford, and Tomase are talking about Dan Shaughnessy's column about how he would no longer vote for Curt Schilling for the Hall of Fame. They then talk with Curt Schilling getting his thoughts on the whole situation and whether he would rather make the HoF or the Senate.
Hour two of Saturday Skate after a Bruins 2-1 over Buffalo, with Ken Laird and Rear Admiral debating the status of Krejci, Chara, Krug and Bergeron.
The first hour of Saturday Skate starts up against the third period of Bruins - Sabres, so Ken Laird and Rear Admiral give some Red Sox hot stove and Rob Gronkowski thoughts before moving into Bruins - Sabres game reaction
Ken Laird and Ty Anderson chat Bruins after a 2-1 win in Florida improved the team's record to 5-4.
Damien Woody joined K&C and shared a story regarding a conversation he had with Bill Belichick in the training room in Foxboro.
In the 9 am hour Gerry and Kirk mocked the Belichick press conference and took a call from Jim the Wrestling Goon who is not a fan of Amani Toomer.
In the 8 am hour Gerry and Kirk talked about a brutal answer by Dan Shaughnessy regarding Bill Conlin'sn spot in the Hall of Fame.
Glenn, Lou, and Christian are less than surprised that Bill Belichick won't comment further about Gronk than the released statement. Speaking of statements, how weird is it that the Gronkowski family is releasing joint statements with the Patriots?
Orthopedic surgeon to the pros, Dr. Thomas Gill of Steward Health Care joins Glenn, Lou, and Christian in the wake of Gronk's back injury. He talks about different types of disc injuries, and one type of fusion which could potentially prevent Gronk from playing football. He also commented on the unique situation of a joint statement between the Patriots and the Gronkowskis, and clarified his role in Gronk's arm surgeries.
Glenn, Lou, and Christian wonder how the man who shot former NFL RB Joe McKnight can be free of charges and walking around the streets of New Orleans.
Dale and Michael check in with the playmaker Michael Irvin on a Friday.
We open it up in the final portions of hours 3 and 4 on a Friday.
Hour two in it's entirety.
Kirk Minihane, WEEI Podcast King, talks to the Podcast Godfather Adam Carolla about his new documentary about Le Mans, the backlash from the Election, and his time with Donald Trump on the Apprentice. The audio quality isn't great but the conversation is.
Kirk Minihane is a non-believer, Larry Johnson is a preacher, when Larry found Kirk doesn't believe in God he challenged Kirk to allow him on to the podcast to talk about religion and faith. Kirk and Larry have a tremendous conversation about God and Larry tries to convert Kirk into a believer.
Kirk Minihane sits down with Barstool Sports contributor and podcast host John Feitelberg. Kirk and Feitelberg talk about the rise of barstool, the sale of the website, what it is like to work for Dave Portnoy, and their live podcast shows at the Wilbur Theater.
Ben, Alex, and Russ talk about how Toronto winning the MLS cup will be best for the league, the FIFA Player of the Year award, and the tragedy in Brazil.
Ken Laird and Chris Curtis finish out the week recapping the Friday edition of Kirk and Callahan, with critiques of Dale & Holley's Keefe announcement and more.
Kirk & Callahan producers Ken Laird and Chris Curtis are back together after a few days apart to dish about all things K&C show, this after a Thursday Reim-Job.
In the 7 am hour Gerry and Kirk discussed the hiring of Rich Keefe and the announcement yesterday on Dale and Holley.More from this show
In the 9 am hour Gerry and Kirk mocked the Belichick press conference and took a call from Jim the Wrestling Goon who is not a fan of Amani Toomer.More from this show
The worst kept secret in the city is now official - welcome aboard Rich Keefe.More from this show
In the 6 am hour Gerry and Kirk discussed the latest season ending injury for Gronk and the joint statement released by the team last night.More from this show