Boston Red Sox: Jason Varitek tests positive for COVID-19

TORONTO, ON - APRIL 25: Former player and coach Jason Varitek #33 of the Boston Red Sox during batting practice before MLB game action against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on April 25, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Jason Varitek
TORONTO, ON - APRIL 25: Former player and coach Jason Varitek #33 of the Boston Red Sox during batting practice before MLB game action against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on April 25, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Jason Varitek /
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Boston Red Sox legend and coach Jason Varitek has tested positive for COVID-19 according to his wife.

Some trades have ripples that last for decades for a franchise. Such was the case when the Boston Red Sox acquired Jason Varitek and Derek Lowe from the Mariners in 1997 in the infamous Heathcliff Slocumb trade. That trade essentially made Varitek a lifetime member of the Red Sox, as he is now in the midst of his third decade with the franchise.

This is to be his first season as a coach, as the former catcher is set to join Alex Cora‘s staff as the Game Planning Coordinator. However, Varitek has other issues on his mind as he has tested positive for COVID-19.

Fortunately, Varitek is doing well and appears to be recovering. His positive test is a reminder that, for as much as we want the 2021 MLB season to be normal, the pandemic is continuing on and can rear its ugly head at any moment.

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Varitek’s place in Red Sox lore is set. He was a part of two World Series winning teams in 2004 and 2007, the captain of those teams despite the presence of David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez. His willingness to punch Alex Rodriguez will forever be remembered fondly by the Red Sox faithful, as he showed that he was the heart and soul of those teams.

He was not just a scrappy player. A three time All Star, Varitek produced a solid .256/.341/.435 batting line in his 5839 major league plate appearances, hitting 193 homers and 306 doubles. He was respected for his ability to call a game and work with a pitching staff, catching four no hitters over his career. In fact, one of those no hitters came with Lowe on the mound.

Presumably, his experience behind the plate, as well as his previous role as a catching coordinator and in the front office, will help Varitek in his new position. This may also be a stepping stone, as he has been considered a manager of the future seeming from the time he retired.

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Fortunately, Jason Varitek should be ready to assume his place on the Boston Red Sox coaching staff when spring training begins. His positive test is a reminder that the season could still be derailed in a matter of days.