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TON -- Jason Varitek's special assistant job with the Red Sox will have him all over the place. He won't be only a catching instructor or only a talent evaluator, and he's likely to make plenty of stops outside of Boston and Fort Myers, Fla., too.
"I'm going to be involved in a lot of different areas to learn a lot different things -- everything from meetings to player development to things along those lines," the former Red Sox captain said Friday on a conference call.
"I don't think there's any one thing. I'm trying to learn what I don't know and what I can help with and what I need to learn, where I fit better to help with. It's a huge gray area where I'm trying to learn as much as I can."
Varitek's been speculated to be a future manager, possibly even in the not-so-distant future. This is just Varitek's first season of retirement and he's only 40, but the coaching inexperience wouldn't necessarily preclude him from becoming a big league manager, if he wanted to. The White Sox Robin Ventura and the Cardinals' Mike Matheny were hired with similar resumes: strong, respected Major League playing careers but no real coaching experience.
On Friday, Varitek put that talk aside.
"If I answered it either way right now, I wouldn't be giving myself the best opportunity," Varitek said. "I'm not in position to make that a yes or a no at this point."
Varitek said he's following directions from general manager Ben Cherington and mostly going to meetings. Varitek's exact next step isn't yet known, but he does know he'll eventually be working with catchers in the Minors.
"I obviously want this team and this organization to do well," Varitek said. "It's at a smaller scale now, but maybe through time it ratchets up, and it depends on what you learn and what different areas that may go to."
The last time the Red Sox had a losing record before 2012 was 1997 -- the year Varitek made his Major League debut and caught one inning and had one plate appearance. Watching that hasn't been easy, and he made it clear he made a conscious choice to never leave the Sox's organization because of the relationships he has in Boston and his desire to see the club turn it around.
"It's upsetting moreso for the organization, the fan base, and everything it's grown to expect in a place like that," Varitek said. "The ultimate goal is to get back to that same winning tradition."