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View Full Version : Countdown to Opening Week, Week 1, Best Catcher


WhiteSoxFan84
02-19-2006, 06:02 AM
We are officially six weeks away from Opening Week! What better way to countdown the weeks than a debate over what players are best at each offensive position? I have broken it down to 6 offensive categories and each week we discuss a new position. Here's how the schedule looks:

Week 1 (Feb. 19 - Feb 25): Best Catcher
Week 2 (Feb. 26 - March 4): Best First Basemen
Week 3 (March 5 - March 11): Best Third Basemen
Week 4 (March 12 - March 18): Best Shortstop
Week 5 (March 19 - March 25): Best Second Basemen
Week 6 (March 26 - April 1): Best Outfielder


What you want to do is nominate or "re-nominate" the player you think is currently the best at his position. Don't worry about age, salary, etc., you just want to name the best player and the reasoning behind your selection.

I will keep count of which player gets how many votes and post the results next Sunday along with next week's topic.

My nominee for best catcher.... Jason Varitek. I know most of you will go with the popular choice, Victor Martinez, but until Vic can handle a rotation full of All-Stars and help his team win a World Series, you can't go against Tek. To be the captain of a team in Boston, which has so much pressure on them and gets scrutinized for the smallest mistakes, it takes a lot. On the field and off the field, this guy is the real deal. There's a reason he is the highest paid catcher in the game: he's worth it.

samram
02-19-2006, 08:24 AM
Yeah, I think Varitek is number one as well. He's the glue that keeps that team together when guys like Manny decide they want to be traded again or when Schilling calls the sportsradio station just to hear himself talk.

It will be interesting to see if Iroid becomes more of a threat again or if he's going to be a 14 and 50 guy now that he can't do his special workouts anymore.

SectionBNole
02-19-2006, 09:19 AM
I would also say Varitek. Hes a complete catcher.

Jjav829
02-19-2006, 09:25 AM
Offensively it is Victor Martinez, but if we are talking about the best all around catcher, it's Varitek.

soxfan26
02-19-2006, 09:34 AM
Miguel Olivo

itsnotrequired
02-19-2006, 09:51 AM
Miguel Olivo

Ben Davis

NonetheLoaiza
02-19-2006, 02:12 PM
This is going to be pretty unanimous I think. Varitek catches well, throws well, hits for average, and some for power. He's definitely the best overall catcher in the league.

PAPChiSox729
02-19-2006, 02:27 PM
Jason Varitek

santo=dorf
02-19-2006, 02:27 PM
I don't watch too much of Varitek, and from what I read, his gold glove was flukey. His CS% was terrible, he isn't allowed to catch Wakefield because he can't handle the knuckler, made a lot of errors, and Boston Pitchers had some pretty high ERAs last season.

Joe Mauer is very good, and Victor Martinez seems to do a good job with the Cleveland staff along with providing a good bat.

buehrle4cy05
02-19-2006, 02:40 PM
Varitek gets my vote. I think that a few years from now, Martinez and Mauer will be the two best. Mauer needs to prove that he can stay healthy and Martinez needs to put together a full season of hitting consistently.

samram
02-19-2006, 03:19 PM
I don't watch too much of Varitek, and from what I read, his gold glove was flukey. His CS% was terrible, he isn't allowed to catch Wakefield because he can't handle the knuckler, made a lot of errors, and Boston Pitchers had some pretty high ERAs last season.

Joe Mauer is very good, and Victor Martinez seems to do a good job with the Cleveland staff along with providing a good bat.

Are you saying you would take Mauer over Varitek when Mauer hasn't been healthy for a full season yet? Just want to clarify.

Boston's pitchers had ERAs last season, but Varitek was behind the plate when they won the World Series too, while Martinez was behind the plate when Cleveland couldn't win any game that mattered last year. Overall, Varitek is still the best.

California Sox
02-19-2006, 04:53 PM
...Martinez was behind the plate when Cleveland couldn't win any game that mattered last year. Overall, Varitek is still the best.

Cleveland lost a lot of big games last year, but you can't blame that on Martinez. Take the final series of the year: Cleveland got good pitching and both Hafner and Martinez hit the tar out of the ball. They lost those games because the guys hitting behind those two (Broussard, Blake, Boone, the killer B's) sucked. Personally, I can't wait for Victor to hit free agency. We see way too much of that guy.

I like Varitek, but Martinez is younger, cheaper, can hit three or four whereas Varitek is more of a six or seven hitter, plus Martinez throws better. But I'll agree, as far as right now they are both better than Mauer.

samram
02-19-2006, 08:06 PM
Cleveland lost a lot of big games last year, but you can't blame that on Martinez. Take the final series of the year: Cleveland got good pitching and both Hafner and Martinez hit the tar out of the ball. They lost those games because the guys hitting behind those two (Broussard, Blake, Boone, the killer B's) sucked. Personally, I can't wait for Victor to hit free agency. We see way too much of that guy.

I like Varitek, but Martinez is younger, cheaper, can hit three or four whereas Varitek is more of a six or seven hitter, plus Martinez throws better. But I'll agree, as far as right now they are both better than Mauer.

I'm not blaming Martinez for those losses. If you read the post I responded to, it was kind of blaming Varitek for Boston's high ERA last season. My point is Varitek can't be blamed for those bad ERAs when most of those pitchers are just not very good any more than Martinez can be blamed for the late season losses.

santo=dorf
02-19-2006, 08:51 PM
Are you saying you would take Mauer over Varitek when Mauer hasn't been healthy for a full season yet? Just want to clarify.

Boston's pitchers had ERAs last season, but Varitek was behind the plate when they won the World Series too, while Martinez was behind the plate when Cleveland couldn't win any game that mattered last year. Overall, Varitek is still the best.
Joe played in 131 games last season, Varitek played in 133. Although Joe played 116 at the catching position, I would take him over Varitek for this upcoming season.

In the postseason of 2004 the Red Sox had Derek Lowe pitching out of his mind, Pedro, and a healtier Curt Schilling pitching. That's a big difference from the Matt Clement and the entire bullpen. Like I said, I don't watch too much of Varitek, and it's hard to try and split the damage or profits between a pitcher and a catcher.

Tek has a solid bat, but he's overrated defensively.

Rooney4Prez56
02-23-2006, 12:41 PM
I tried to look for someone better, but I think I'll go with Varitek

cleanwsox
02-23-2006, 01:19 PM
Would a poll be good for this kind of thing or are we going to go with the catcher that gets the most replies?

I gotta go with Varitek as well. His ability to stay healthy and his general attitude for the game is what puts him over the top.

spiffie
02-23-2006, 01:57 PM
I have to vote for Victor Martinez. He seems to be emerging as a leader of that team (along with Hafner), and he has a very solid bat. No slight to Varitek, as he would be my easy #2, but I have to dock him because he can't be an every game player in important series for the Red Sox due to not being able to handle every pitcher on his staff. And in a short series like last year's ALDS that can be a problem.

doublem23
02-23-2006, 02:10 PM
Varitek is good, but he's got a lot to thank from the East Coast Hype Machine. For my money, if I want to to win now or tomorrow, I'm taking Victor Martinez.

lostletters
02-23-2006, 03:19 PM
As far as calling pitches and dealing with the pitcher, I would say the best catcher in the AL is either Benji Molina or AJ.

I mean Varitek is a good hitter and all, but I rather have Benji or AJ on a team. In fact I would argue Benji may be the best all around catcher in the game right now.

I think Toronto picking up Benji Molina will have a huge positive effect on the Blue Jays. In fact I think it was the biggest under the radar move of the offseason. I would put it about on par with the White Sox getting AJ, and I think Benji is a big part of the reason Toronto is a threat this season.

ondafarm
02-23-2006, 03:27 PM
You guys are kidding right?

Neither Varitek nor Martinez holds a candle to Pudge Rodriguez, who admittedly had an off year last year.

PennStater98r
02-23-2006, 06:04 PM
All I know is that AJ is sitting on a ring without the likes of Pedro Martinez, Manny Ramirez or Big Papi for teammates.

I personally think that AJ was the #1 catcher at leading his team on and off the field.

Game 2 ALCS is all that need be said. Would Varitek run on that play?

ChiSoxRowand
02-23-2006, 10:52 PM
Victor Martinez

Jjav829
02-23-2006, 10:58 PM
All I know is that AJ is sitting on a ring without the likes of Pedro Martinez, Manny Ramirez or Big Papi for teammates.

I personally think that AJ was the #1 catcher at leading his team on and off the field.

Game 2 ALCS is all that need be said. Would Varitek run on that play?

My first thought when I saw this thread was, "How long until the obligatory homer post?"

I guess the answer is 20 replies. :D:

samram
02-23-2006, 11:00 PM
My first thought when I saw this thread was, "How long until the obligatory homer post?"

I guess the answer is 20 replies. :D:

Yeah, one had to figure it was coming. I'm not sure how the dropped third strike is evidence he's the best catcher in MLB.

Jjav829
02-23-2006, 11:01 PM
Yeah, one had to figure it was coming. I'm not sure how the dropped third strike is evidence he's the best catcher in MLB.
Me either. Yeah, maybe Varitek wouldn't have run that out. Maybe he would have just hit a home run or a double instead if getting into that position. :rolleyes:

samram
02-23-2006, 11:08 PM
Me either. Yeah, maybe Varitek wouldn't have run that out. Maybe he would have just hit a home run or a double instead if getting into that position. :rolleyes:

Don't you get it....that's not grinder/small/Ozzie ball! You just know there are people on this board who wouldn't trade AJ for Varitek due to "chemistry" issues.

Hell, I like AJ. I would just prefer people understood where he actually ranks among MLB catchers, which is not #1.

Domeshot17
02-24-2006, 12:38 AM
I think it depends on who you look at it. I would like to see pudge get dealt and play for a winner and see how he does. I think he may have been juiced up, so Im eliminating him.

Varitek kind of has the jeter category in his favor. He brings that extra spark to a team. Victor Martinez is obviously a big time player because when he hit the indians won. Mauer probably has the most potential of any catcher in baseball. Ramon Hernandez may be the most under rated.

Varitek probably is the best all around, although I agree he won a gold glove with his bat. However, If I was starting a franchise tommrow, I would take Mauer and Martinez over him.

SouthSide_HitMen
02-26-2006, 01:25 PM
I have to vote for Victor Martinez. He seems to be emerging as a leader of that team (along with Hafner), and he has a very solid bat. No slight to Varitek, as he would be my easy #2, but I have to dock him because he can't be an every game player in important series for the Red Sox due to not being able to handle every pitcher on his staff. And in a short series like last year's ALDS that can be a problem.

True - Double True.

Victor Martinez - .305 BA / .378 OBP / .475 SLG
Jason Varitek - .281 BA / .365 OBP / .489 SLG

Victor can be expected to improve while Varitek will only digress at this point (in 2006).

Salary, age, etc. all weigh on Martinez' side.

samram
02-26-2006, 02:45 PM
I have to vote for Victor Martinez. He seems to be emerging as a leader of that team (along with Hafner), and he has a very solid bat. No slight to Varitek, as he would be my easy #2, but I have to dock him because he can't be an every game player in important series for the Red Sox due to not being able to handle every pitcher on his staff. And in a short series like last year's ALDS that can be a problem.

Varitek played in game 3, the game Wakefield pitched, in the ALDS.

spiffie
02-27-2006, 01:27 PM
Varitek played in game 3, the game Wakefield pitched, in the ALDS.
Only after Wakefield came out of the game. His entrance was only due to the fact that Wake got knocked out after 5 1/3. Mirabelli started the game, and would have stayed in longer had Wakefield been more effective.