Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 1/31/13
Gary Tuck earned what so many seek to earn throughout their coaching careers: respect. So while replacing a bullpen coach hardly leads to the fanfare of signing a free agent or executing a trade, the Red Sox need to choose wisely in replacing Tuck. Immediately, the name that comes to mind is Jason Varitek. The former Red Sox captain rejoined the organization in September as a special assistant to general manager Ben Cherington, and it’s long been assumed — even during Varitek’s playing days — that Tek would someday become a coach, likely within the Boston organization. Upon hearing of Tuck’s decision to retire, Varitek seems like a logical replacement given his baseball smarts, familiarity with the organization and its players, and, most importantly, his familiarity with Tuck. Varitek held his former coach in the highest regard while the two worked together, even thanking Tuck individually during his retirement speech at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers last March. “If Webster needs a definition of coach, it has to be Gary Tuck,” Varitek said during his speech. “He has meant more to me at an age I was told my skills were depleted. But he pushed me, got me better, stood by my side, believed in me when no one else did. I forever will have a friend in Coach Tuck.” Varitek’s friendship with Tuck isn’t enough to warrant a passing of the torch, but Tek’s vote of confidence holds a lot of weight, as should the bond established between the two leaders during Tuck’s six-year stint in Boston. If there is one player who knows Tuck more than anyone, it is Varitek. And given the time the two spent working together on a daily basis, it’s probably safe to assume Varitek would approach the role of bullpen coach in a similar manner, whether that means implementing similar philosophies, mentoring techniques or drills. The Red Sox would essentially be hiring a little bit of Tuck by going with Varitek. That has to be very tempting for the Red Sox’ front office, especially when you consider the amount of success that Varitek had under Tuck’s tutelage and the success that Jorge Posada had while being coached by Tuck in the Yankees’ system. If Varitek was able to impart even part of his wisdom on the organization’s current batch of catchers — which includes the still young Jarrod Saltalamacchia, the up-and-coming Ryan Lavarnway and impressive prospect Blake Swihart — then it’d be immediately be viewed as a fantastic addition to manager John Farrell‘s staff. In fact, Varitek’s relationship with Farrell would make a transition to the role of bullpen coach that much smoother. One thing that stuck out during last season’s train wreck was Bobby Valentine‘s apparent lack of relationship with his fellow coaches, particularly Tuck. With Varitek serving as a coach under Farrell, that wouldn’t be an issue because of how closely the tandem worked together during Farrell’s first stint in Boston — when Farrell was the team’s pitching coach from 2007-2010 and Varitek was the starting catcher. Varitek becoming the Red Sox’ bullpen coach would hardly guarantee the club’s 2013 pitching staff would fare better than the 2012 version, but a glimpse of Boston’s AL-best 3.87 ERA in 2007 and the success of Jon Lester while both both Tek and Farrell were in the mix suggests it could help restore order. The fact of the matter is that Varitek will likely proceed in his current role as special assistant. He’s reportedly not considered a likely candidate — in large part because of his own wishes — and the 40-year-old might not dive into the world of coaching for a few more years. When Varitek is ready to take the plunge, though, the Red Sox should be ecstatic about his decision. Have a question for Ricky Doyle? Send it to him via Twitter at @TheRickyDoyle or send it here.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Greg Jennings: Ryan Tannehill has had his hands tied by coaches

Josh McDaniels 'happy' with Pats but wants to be a head coach again

WATCH: Jim Harbaugh in cleats throws out first pitch at Cubs game

Why Rickie Fowler will win the PGA Championship

Warren Sapp bitten on arm by shark

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Fitzpatrick, Jets agree to one-year deal

Baker considering removing Papelbon from closer role?

Greg Hardy struggling to find work, reportedly even in CFL

Jets players told not to discuss Ryan Fitzpatrick situation

Brock Lesnar won't be punished by WWE for UFC drug test

Report: Cowboys to be fined up to $250K for suspended players

Report: Ravens WR Mike Wallace failed conditioning test

WATCH: Kobe Bryant drives Ferrari around Italian racetrack

Terrelle Pryor shouts out Ohio State after ban ends

Justin Timberlake advocates for Memphis to join Big 12

Poll: Las Vegas residents don’t support public funds for NFL stadium

Conor McGregor talks trash to Nate Diaz on ‘Conan’

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Real Madrid can’t train at Norwegian school because of the kids

Newspaper uses Michael Jordan ‘crying face’ as image

Equipment manager Blake Griffin punched no longer works for Clippers

Report: Nicks signing one-year deal with Saints

Reds 'picking up the pace' on Jay Bruce trade talks

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker