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."
We had an impromptu visit from Peter King from SI / MMQB to our Fenway Studios and decided to talk some NFL and Patriots with him.
Pete talks with The Senator, Phil Perry about the Patriots trading for Dwayne Allen, ruling out a return to New England for Martellus Bennett. They also talk about the potential future of Patriots backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo and some of the big names in NFL free agency
Pete, Thornton and Price give their final thoughts and predictions for the Super Bowl.
Dale, Holley and Rich Keefe discuss NBA lottery pick Lonzo Ball with his very outspoken father Lavar Ball. The guys touch on the Celtics, his feud with his sons' high school coach, Lonzo being better than Steph Curry and much more.
Kirk, Gerry, and Alex Reimer discuss whether or not Isaiah Thomas will win a title in Boston.
Gerry, Kirk, and Trenni react to the Celtics loss against the Suns.
Joe Castiglione and Tim Neverett talked to the Sox left fielder, who had five hits in the Sox win in Baltimore.
Joe and Tim talk with Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts after he provided the big hit in the 10th inning driving in 3 runs as the Red Sox beat the Blue Jays 4-1. Mookie talks about playing behind a pitcher like Chris Sale, and the amount of strikeouts from Sale lightens his work in the outfield.
In the final hour Christian talks about the Celtics and their poor performance and how they can not let a player like Rondo beat them. The Aaron Hernandez saga in Christian's opinion is similar to a TV show. In the late night low light a mystic has predicted that WW3 will be starting in a few weeks and Christian wonders how do you become a mystic and can you make a career out of it.
Hour 4. While discussing what kind of music Aaron Hernandez may have liked, the guys realize they hate musicals. Robert Kennedy Jr. has voice spasms. The week ends with a tragedy.
Hour 3. A game by game breakdown of the Patriots schedule. Kirk has the Patriots losing 12 games. There is breaking news that Hernandez left a note for his gay jailhouse lover.
Hour 2. Mut, Gerry, and Kirk compare LeBron to Bird. Is he the second best player of all-time if he wins a fourth title? Headlines with Kirk features sound from “Hot Chocolate.” Rear Admiral broke down the B’s playoff series with Arcand.
HOUR - The last hour of the show was all over the place as the guys did a dry rehearsal of a wacky video they're supposed to record next week. They also look at the biggest games in the NFL next year, and Fauria rips off "Keefer Madness" with his "Fauria Euphoria."
HOUR 3 - The guys get into expectations for the Celtics who are down 2-0 to the Rajon Rondo-less Bulls. They also wonder how much the Celtics are listening to Brad Stevens. Christian is excited for Caitlyn Jenner's nude spread.
HOUR 2 - News breaks that Rajon Rondo is out indefinitely with a fractured thumb. Rondo was dynamite in game 2. The guys discuss whether or not the Celtics now stand a chance.
Last two hours focused on our winter teams as they struggle in their first round match-ups.
Finish out the week on Freestyle Friday talking mostly about the Aaron Hernandez suicide and how it will affect his family in hour #2.
Hour One of freestyle Friday focused mostly on the Celtics and their matchup vs the now Rondo-less Bulls.
Kirk Minihane, Springsteen super fan, is joined by Garry W. Tallent, founding member of the E Street Band. Kirk and Garry talk about what it's like on tour with Bruce, how the band goes about selecting songs for the tour, Garry's projects away from the band, and Garry's upcoming solo tour that will bring him to the New England area.
Kirk Minihane, future radio hall of famer, sits down with current radio hall of famer Howie Carr. Kirk and Howie talk about Howie's latest book Kennedy Babylon. If you like famous people engaging in sex scandals, hard drug taking, and murder this is the podcast for you. Its a fascinating look at Boston's most famous family and the problems that took the family down.
Kirk Minihane, host and overlord of the morning show, brings Gerry Callahan and producers Chris and Ken into the studio to hear his show proposal. Kirk is thinking about making some changes to the morning show and wants to hear his crew's opinion.
Ben sits down with Diego Fagundez to talk about Diego's rise through the ranks of the academy, his accomplishment of reaching 10,000 minutes as a homegrown player, and how he has evolved his game.
Rich and Ben discuss the Celtics poor performances in Games 1 & 2, how we have to change our predictions, Rajon Rondo's thumb injury, and who is to blame for the terrible start to the series.
Ken Laird and Chris Curtis recap the entire week of K&C shows in one mega Friday edition
Danny talks about the Red Sox and Orioles game and the fireworks in the 8th inning when Matt Barnes threw at Manny Machado. Pedroia was shown talking to Machado saying he wouldn't have thrown at his head and Danny wants to know how bad does this make Pedroia look throwing a teammate under the bus.More from this show
Michele McPhee joins Kirk, Gerry, and Alex to talk about Hernandez’s suicide and the accusation that she may have contributed to his suicide.More from this show
Hour 4. While discussing what kind of music Aaron Hernandez may have liked, the guys realize they hate musicals. Robert Kennedy Jr. has voice spasms. The week ends with a tragedy.More from this show
Hour 3. A game by game breakdown of the Patriots schedule. Kirk has the Patriots losing 12 games. There is breaking news that Hernandez left a note for his gay jailhouse lover.More from this show
Kirk Minihane, Springsteen super fan, is joined by Garry W. Tallent, founding member of the E Street Band. Kirk and Garry talk about what it's like on tour with Bruce, how the band goes about selecting songs for the tour, Garry's projects away from the band, and Garry's upcoming solo tour that will bring him to the New England area.More from this show