One day after formally announcing his retirement during a press conference at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, Fla., Jason Varitek joined the Mut & Merloni show to talk about his future, his captaincy and last year's disappointing finish.
Varitek said he hopes to remain with the team in some capacity, but it may take some time to determine an appropriate role.
"Obviously, I'd like to maintain and make sure that I am a part of the organization someway, somehow," he said. "Trading ideas of how that may transpire, we haven't gotten that far to where I can sit down and talk to Ben [Cherington] and get there. But there's desire on both sides to figure something out and for that to happen. I do love the game. And I do love the fact that I know that there's still a lot I can give to the game -- and learn from the game. But how that transpires, it's going to take some time. I still wanted to play. I've got to make sure that when I change roles I'm mentally ready to accept a different role."
Asked about last year's collapse -- specifically the role of pitcher Josh Beckett -- Varitek expressed frustration with the focus on the past.
"I'm surprised that this is still a topic of conversation. It shouldn't be," he said. "These things, they go on and on. And there's no one person. Everybody wants someone to be a scapegoat. They want me to be a scapegoat because maybe I didn't do enough in the clubhouse. Or [Terry Francona] to be a scapegoat, maybe he didn't do enough in the management. Maybe Josh was the one pitcher that didn't do enough with the pitching stuff.
"The fact of the matter is we didn't play good baseball. We had plenty of meetings making sure we were trying to get on the same page, and we were all on the same page. And everybody's heart and desires were pushed in the right direction. We didn't perform well. And it comes down to you don't perform well, you don't get the result, it looks like a different story. So you look to point blame in areas that maybe that's not where the blame was. The execution wasn't there."
Varitek said fans should instead be looking forward to what a talented Red Sox team can accomplish in 2012.
Said Varitek: "I'm just surprised the excitement of what that team now has to offer -- moving [Daniel] Bard and [Alfredo] Aceves into the rotation, and some of the additions, and getting people healthy, and [Adrian Gonzalez] coming off a full winter of not having to deal with the shoulder surgery, you have different things. This team can be an exciting team to watch. You've got a new manager. You've got different newness, a new GM.
"You can't do anything about how the end of last year ended. That's what I think. You have a new team. This is 2012. It's time to enjoy this team and what they have to offer."
The Red Sox captain since 2005, Varitek talked about what it meant to be recognized that way.
"It meant that an organization and management -- whether it be managers, general managers and the organization -- felt highly enough about the way I conducted my work and went about my work, my training, and the things, the intangibles that I was able to do, that they honored that with putting a 'C' on my jersey," he said. "It wasn't something I was comfortable with. Then things wear on, and that's where it's an honor because that's where they want to mold their organization, is that that's how they want people to conduct their business. For me, it was a great honor. And it didn't change who I was and what I did. If anything, at different times I had to learn to talk more when I wasn't quite used to it. I'm just extremely honored that they gave me that honor."
Earlier in the day, Varitek joined "The Hill-Man Morning Show" on WEEI sister station WAAF and suggested that there's an obvious candidate to take over as captain. "That's easy. That's Dustin [Pedroia]," he said.
Following are more highlights from the Mut & Merloni interview.
On the emotion he showed at Thursday's press conference: "I had the hardest time with it of trying to get my thoughts together and getting them down on paper. Every time I'd read something I put down you'd get an emotional again and then you get lost. And then it's a different part you put down, you get emotional about that. It wasn't easy."
On former pitching coach/manager Joe Kerrigan, whom Varitek did not acknowledge during his speech Thursday: "I may have left Joe Kerrigan off there. Joe has been a part of my development as a catcher. Sometimes it's not always an easy development; you butt heads. And sometimes that's how you grow. But I learned so, so much from Joe, in his tenure that he was here."
On Terry Francona's stress level during last year's collapse: "I think that the stress of everything -- nobody was the same. Because that unfolded quickly. I wouldn't say the last month, but the last maybe few weeks. I think from top down it was a whole different stress level as this was coming down. … With Tito, he still went about his business of trying to make sure this ship is centered. And that's no different. We didn't have the same results by player performance more than anything."
On working with Jarrod Saltalamacchia: "You have different gifts. I had a gift to where I could put myself aside and truly work with somebody. You're going to developing your own way, and you're not going to give him the Holy Grail of advice, but we all run into different complications, different issues, different ideas. And if somebody knows you're there supporting them, and you're there not to undermine them, take their job, to do something, then you develop trust. I'll have a lifelong friend in Salty. And I look forward to him taking another step closer to being a great player."
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia talks to former federal prosecutor John Down about the NFL's discipline process and what should be changed.
We check in with Patriots special teams captain Matthew Slater on a Patriots Monday as the Patriots prepare for their fourth pre-season game, and are 10 days away from opening the 2015 season.
We check in with the head coach of the Patriots on a Pats Monday to get his take on the win over Carolina, pre-season game number four, and the numerous cuts to the team's roster he must make in the upcoming weeks.
Jay King of Masslive.com joins the show to break down the performance of the Celtics during the NBA Summer League. Then Ben and Sam discuss the exciting possibility of a Space Jam sequel.
Michael joins Ben and Sam to discuss the wild NBA Free Agency period and the upcoming Celtics season.
How long will this rebuild take? How much money will it take to keep Bae Crowder? Are Draft Picks even worth anything? With the Danny Ainge not landing any big names in the draft, and unable to lure any big names in free agency, Sam and Ben discussed if the Celtics are doomed moving forward.
We check in for our weekly visit with the interim Sox manager.
Joe Castiglione & Lou Merloni talked to the Sox outfielder, who had three hits and threw out a runner at home in the win over the Yankees.
Butch and John are talking Red Sox on the Sunday Sports Roundtable. They get into the current state of the rotation and how things have improved as of late. Joe Kelly has been on fire, but is he a trade asset? The guys discuss the starting pitchers that will be free agents this year and if any are good fits in Boston. Then they move on to the decision to let Orsillo go in favor of Dave O'Brien - Tomase has an interesting perspective on this topic.
Don Sweeney, who was hired as the Bruins general manager yesterday speaks with Dale and Holley about his new position and where the Bruins go from here.
The awesomely knowledgeable Fluto Shinzawa calls DJ, Naoko and Pete to talk about his thoughts on the future of the B's. He discusses his column from earlier this week on Cam Neely wanting to give Claude the ax earlier in the season but not getting the ok. Fluto shares his thoughts on Chiarelli's firing, the future for Claude and where the Bruins should go from here. He also gives his opinion on potential moves the team can make, who would fit in here, his thoughts on the NHL playoffs so far and more.
In the final hour of the "midseason finale" as DJ likes to call it, the crew discuss more about the future of the Bruins franchise, the possible power struggle in the front office and who should be the head coach going forward. They talk to intelligent and talented Fluto Shinzawa about all of these thing and more in an excellent interview, and finally, DJ says THANK YOU!
Recapping the evolution of the Deflategate witch hunt.
A compilation of all the trolls featured on D&C&M during Deflategate.
Kirk was The Breakfast Club's Donkey of the Day...
Former NFL running back Eddie George is upset that Judge Berman overturned Tom Brady's suspension and is speaking out, calling Tom Brady a cheater.
The guys continue to embrace the breaking news and listen to comments from Tedy Bruschi who happily reacts to the news that his former teammate is eligible to play on Opening Night.
Adam Schefter joins the show to talk about the breaking news that Tom Brady's suspension has been overturned, and gives his inside opinion on the result.
Now that the ruling has been overturned, Dale and Holley with Thornton check in with the legal analyst that was at the forefront of this case... SI's Michael McCann
Now that Brady is free, here's a recap of a good amount of the hate they faced the last 8 months.
We discuss Bob McNair's now infamous quotes about the Patriots, and how his comments, uniformed as they may be, are probably representative of other NFL owners, and thus the reason Roger Goodell can push forward with this situation without worrying about blowback from the owners.
Chris Villani and John Tomase discuss Tom Brady's suspension getting overturned by Judge Richard Berman and discuss in hindsight how obvious this should have been.
Mikey Adams and Lenny Megliola discuss the Thursday federal court decision to overturn Tom Brady's DeflateGate punishment.
Mikey Adams and Lenny Megliola discuss Jackie Bradley Jr, Mookie Betts, Rusney Castillo, and who should play where. Also, the current outfield in context with Sox history.
Sam, Alex and Paul discuss a recent article in Rolling Stone about Russell WIlson and pretty much rip him to shreds.
WEEI.com's Chris Price and Mike Petraglia discuss Tom Brady beating the NFL in court and the final roster cuts for the Patriots heading into the 2015 season.
With the transfer window coming to a close, Ben, Russ & Alex hand out transfer grades for each Premier League team. They also discuss the Revs recent surge and debate if it will continue this weekend.
The guys continue to embrace the breaking news and listen to comments from Tedy Bruschi who happily reacts to the news that his former teammate is eligible to play on Opening Night.More from this show