Yahoo – No Boston Red Sox player has worn Jason Varitek’s No. 33 jersey since the former captain retired in 2011. So when the Red Sox appeared to give the number away on Tuesday, it sparked some drama.
Red Sox Stats noted on Twitter that the Red Sox official roster changed Perez’s number from 54 to 33, which the 29-year-old wore with the Texas Rangers and Minnesota Twins. Varitek’s wife, Catherine, caught wind of the news and did not take kindly to it.
Apparently, it was news to Perez too. The Red Sox left-hander, who re-signed with the team last month, made it clear he has no desire to take Varitek’s No. 33 and will stick with 54.
I know Jason Varitek probably isn’t a candidate for having his number retired as a career.256 hitter, but he was just the 4th team captain since 1923 (the only one since Jim Rice) and the Red Sox nearly gave away Tek’s No. 33 WHILE HE IS WORKING FOR THE TEAM! I’m not here to argue that Varitek should have his number up next to Big Papi and Pedro, but he was a foundational piece of the most successful era in Red Sox history, is the only catcher to call four no-hitters, wore the red “C” for 7 years, and kicked A-Rod’s ass in the most famous fight in team history. So how about we don’t just hand out his number to random pitchers? This is even more insulting than the time the Sox finally gave away Nomar’s No. 5 to Rocco Baldelli.
Shoutout to Martin Perez though for having the self awareness to immediately say no shot in hell am I wearing No. 33 at Fenway Park.
That must be fixed! I never asked to change my jersey number, I’m gonna keep the number 54 which is a number that brings me a lot of memories and I feel identified. Even though I wore in my MLB career the 33, I always respected that this number belongs to Varitek since day 1. https://t.co/oU3rOrLN1h— Martin Perez (@MartinPerez54d) February 16, 2021
Listen, the team doesn’t have to officially retire Varitek’s number to properly honor his legacy. The man is in the Red Sox Hall of Fame and is currently being groomed by the franchise for a potential future manager role, even if it’s not here, but don’t just give away 33 while he’s literally still in the building.