Saltalamacchia finally became for Boston what he could not do for either the Atlanta Braves or Texas Rangers, a decent everyday catcher with an average bat.
Was he good defensively? No, not at all. Saltalamacchia was below average in throwing out base runners and struggled early on with pitch calling. As bad as he was in throwing out those runners, he still was not as bad as Victor Martinez.
By the time 2013 rolled around, however, Saltalamacchia was the primary catcher for four of the five starting pitchers in the Red Sox rotation. In his three full seasons as the Red Sox catcher, he topped 100 games all three years and became a doubles machine this past season, hitting 40.
Making $4.5 million last year, Saltalamacchia not only earned the chance at a big payday, but the security that comes with a long-term deal. Boston was okay with giving him the money, but with two hot prospects close to major-league ready, they were willing to go no more than two years with any established catcher.
With the Marlins, Saltalamacchia receives a very comfortable deal.
His presence in the clubhouse will be a bonus and can pass along what it takes to win a championship to a perpetually young ball club. Make no mistake, Saltalamacchia learned how to be a catcher in Boston. No one will confuse him with Jason Varitek or Carlton Fisk, but more often than not, Saltalamacchia did not embarrass himself.
Yes, he struck out too much. Oh yes, his not-so-smart decision to try and double off the hobbled Allen Craig in Game 3 of the World Series in St. Louis set up one of THE most bizarre endings in postseason sports history, but he was an integral part of a team that won a championship.
What you should remember him most for was something that happened nowhere near a baseball diamond.
When Jonny Gomes stepped out of his duckboat during the World Series parade to place the pair of 617 Boston Strong jerseys and the trophy on the finish line of the Boston Marathon, Saltalamacchia was the other player that joined and stood beside him during one of the most emotional moments in the city of Boston’s history.
Knowing full well that he was not returning to play in the city as a Red Sox player again, Saltalamacchia chose to stand and honor the city and her people. That makes up in spades his World Series performance.
Losing any of the 25 players that were on the World Series roster is going to be hard for the Fenway Faithful to accept. On the other hand, Saltalamacchia had earned the right to play baseball on his terms and not be pushed out after a season or two.
The financial security, long-term stability and being close to home and his children are all reasons to applaud Saltalamacchia as he moves on.
* * *
You need to satisfy your competitive drive, so why not beat our experts in fantasy football. At FightClub, our official Fantasy Football partner, you can change you team weekly and win cash. Get a free $5 credit when you sign up and try them out. And each week, Sports Media 101 will sweeten the pot and award the player with top points an extra $25. Match-up and show them how good you are. Can you handle FightClub?
Your man cave is your home field advantage for every game. When the game is on the line, you should be able to look around and be reminded of the great moments you've watched unfold in that very room! MJR Sports Integrity offers a wide range or team and player-specific memorabilia that can do just that and take your game day room to the next level. Find your inspiration at MJR Sports Integrity and will your team to victory!
- Jarrod Saltalamacchia to Miami Marlins in 3-year Deal
- Jarrod Saltalamacchia: the Red Sox Gameplan
- Boston Red Sox in Transition Mode
- Boston Red Sox Wrong to Pass on Dioner Navarro
- Boston Red Sox Sign A.J. Pierzynski to One-year Deal
Short URL: http://sport-ne.ws/14yj