You can count me among the vast majority of decent, god-fearin', fine upstanding 'Muricans who want officials in all sports to be seen, rarely heard, and never noticed. Show me an umpire who draws attention to himself with flamboyant calls, goes out of his way to start confrontations or who even makes it so you remember his name, and I'll show you a man who needs to be stopped at all costs.
But Jason Varitek is no ordinary umpire. If he wants to add some unnecessary flair as he rings up JD Martinez, I could not be more all for it. He's earned the inalienable right to sass. He earned it winning two World Series titles and catching four no-hitters and winning a Gold Glove and making three All Star teams. And he earned it by being on the wall of every single sports bar in New England feeding the Mitt of Righteousness to ARod, 16 years ago this month. True story: Last year I was having beers with some internet friends who were in town from Buffalo. I explained to them that Massachusetts won't grant you a liquor license unless you can show proof you have framed copies of Bobby Orr's goal, Larry Bird and Dr. J choking each other, and Varitek and ARod. A few minutes later I got up to hit the Little Blogger's room and all three of them were on the same wall by the door.
So as far as I'm concerned, Varitek can go full Enrico Palazzo.
Pretend baseball in an empty Fenway Park. A legend calling the balls & strikes. The Beastie Boys "Intergalactic" on the PA system. Every day is a baby step toward something vaguely resembling normal. We are going to survive.