The 2001 second round draft pick of the Boston Red Sox, Kelly Shoppach, is returning to the team after stints with the Cleveland Indians and Tampa Bay Rays. Shoppach and the Red Sox inked a one-year deal worth $1.135 million on Tuesday.
In 2011, Shoppach hit .176 with 11 home runs and 22 RBI in 87 games for the Rays. He also posted an OBP of .268 and slugging percentage of .339.
With Shoppach joining the team for the 2012 season, Jason Varitek’s time in Boston is all but done as the Red Sox will not bring him back to be the teams third catcher. The Captain is a beloved member of Red Sox Nation, apparent by the flooding of tweets Varitek’s wife has been getting, since the Shoppach signing broke, showing support for ‘Tek.
It seems as though the news came as a bit of a shock to ‘Tek and his wife who tweeted “at a loss for words. #RedSox” after the news broke but it could end up being a good thing for the newly weds as Catherine is pregnant.
Varitek is not the only catcher in the Red Sox organization the deal affects. The man who batted No. 5 in the order in the Red Sox’ final game of the 2011 season, Ryan Lavarnway, will now spend the 2012 season as the fulltime catcher in Pawtucket as opposed to backup in Boston.
This is probably for the better as Lavarnway will now have more time to develop his catching skills, something that would not have been available to him as Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s backup in Boston.
Including todays 1:05PM start against the Phillies, the Red Sox will have played seven Spring Training games without a single one being broadcast on TV. This makes about zero sense to me.
With all the hype of the new faces coming to Boston this season, I want to be able to see their first at-bats in a Sox uniform without having to book a trip to Fort Meyer’s, Florida. Come on NESN. This is Red Sox Nation, people will skip work to watch the first Spring Training game on TV but instead I have to wait until the eighth game of Spring Training to see any live baseball.
“We gave each other a hug, buried the hatchet a little bit,” Crawford said. “I let him know, ‘I’m on your side now, so you don’t have to worry about all that.'”
‘Tek jokingly followed up with these comments…
“First, you never let me throw you out,” Varitek said he told Crawford. “Secondly, you run me over at the plate, jacked up my neck. You’re the guy that caused all my neck problems. And then, last year, you fouled a ball off my foot and break my foot. I said, “You’re singlehandedly trying to ruin my career. Thank God you’re here. You just extended my career four years.”