So yesterday on the Boston Red Sox team website it appeared that pitcher, Martin Perez' jersey number had changed from 54 to 33; the same number he wore in his previous two big league stops.
This was a big deal to some Red Sox fans as Jason Varitek's #33, along with his personal "I can't catch you" pitcher, Tim Wakefield's #49 have been out of circulation, but not officially retired since both retired after the 2011 season.
I might be divorced from Red Sox fandom, but I still have forgotten more about the Sox than most fans know. The Red Sox used to have strict rules about who was eligible for number retirement, which would make players like Wakefield and Varitek ineligible.
Before to have your number retired at Fenway Park, you had to be inducted in Cooperstown, play at least 10 seasons in Boston and finish your career as a Red Sox, but they ultimately abandoned that self-imposed rule for players like Carlton Fisk, Wade Boggs, David Ortiz and Pedro Martinez. Just like how they abandoned their "team philosophy" that they wouldn't sign pitchers over 30, like Jon Lester to big deals, only to then sign then 30 year old David Price to a 7-year $217 million deal the following off-season that definitely didn't back fire and cause the suddenly penny-pinching Red Sox to dump salary instead of re-signing the most talented player in franchise history.
Nobody is ever going to accuse Jason Varitek of being a Hall of Famer, but he's still one of the most beloved and accomplished players in team history. There's an interesting case to be made for his number retirement. The dude fought A-Rod! Nobody has caught more games in the Red Sox uniform than Jason Varitek. He's a two time World Series champion, former captain, caught four no-hitters, plus he's currently wearing his #33 as a member of the coaching staff. I know coaches usually don't have first choice for jersey numbers over players, but you'd think a former player that contributed so much to this organization would get a little more respect?
When you consider how much he matters to the history of the organization, the retirement of his number is at the very least justified. I know Tek was only a three time All Star, but seeing his number that he's technically currently issued being given away is bizarre. His wife and noted twitter user, Katherine Varitek, was not so pleased by the news either.
Martin Perez then made it clear that he had nothing to do with the change and did not request the new number.
Which led to C-tek letting the internet know that V-Tek was in meetings while all this was going on and had no idea. She also said she was going to buy Perez a beer in gratitude for his gesture and that all of Boston should follow her lead.
Then Perez thanks Varitek for her kind words; showing his respect for Jason as a coach and friend.
Only for Catherine to go completely off her rocker and think this roster is anywhere close to sniffing the playoffs, forget World Series title.
Overall, it was a nice exchange between the two and it looks like no harm, no foul now, but the question remains....how did this actually happen?
Team reporters/lackeys will tell you that it was just an error on the website.
But I'm not so sure and am officially calling bull shit. The Red Sox have a history of being weird with jersey numbers and high key scuzzy in other affairs. This is the same organization will trade or release a player, then rip off his nameplate and give his old number to the next guy in the clubhouse. They broke up the best announcing duo in sports and kicked the greatest manager in team history to the curb then tried to destroy his character on the way out. If there was an actual glitch how come only Martin Perez was affected? I trust Martin Perez when he said he had nothing to do with it, but not the organization who has assigned the hideous number 64 an astounding 10 times since 2006.