Jason Varitek might be first in my heart, but he’s coming off an awful spring training. He batted a whopping .103 while in Florida, which included an 0-17 streak. One mustn’t extrapolate too much from this. He did, after all, hit as many home runs while there as Albert Pujols. But the next few months will be the test as to whether his work with batting coach Dave Magadan has done anything to halt the precipitous drop in power and offense he had last year.
But don’t worry. I still love you, JV.
In pitcher news, here‘s an interesting article with Joe Nathan on the Papelbon situation. I am increasingly more comfortable with his return to the closer position, but I would still like to see him start games in 2008 (presuming there are non-Pinero, non-Tavarez options to replace him). I think he could be an incredibly threatening presence on the mound as a starter. Just look:
He’s got that slight twinkle of “unbalanced mass murderer” in his eyes.