BOSTON -- On a day that had all the feel of a last goodbye, Red Sox captain Jason Varitek said he was prepared mentally and emotionally for the possibility that he has played his last game in a Sox uniform.
“I’ll have to deal with it,’’ Varitek said following Sunday's season finale, acknowledging that the thought of wearing another uniform was “weird.’’
Varitek who turns 39 next April, cautioned not to rule out scenarios in which he could return.
“One thing I’ve always been able to do is be realistic,’’ he said, “so we’ll just have to see. There’s about a billion scenarios in play out there, and we’ll have to see.
“There are some players who have had some special years, my counterpart [starting catcher Victor Martinez] for one. There are a lot of pieces. Major ones. They [the Red Sox] have got their hands full, I’m sure. That part, mine’s smaller.’’
Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein, meeting with the media for a postmortem on the season, also left whether Varitek would be back an open question.
"No matter what happens going forward, he's a Red Sox," Epstein said. "More than anyone of us, he's a Red Sox. The future is uncertain. While the warmth the fans showed, and his teammates showed, may have seemed like a goodbye, it doesn't necessarily have to be that way.
“I think there's uncertainty with our catching situation, and we'll see how things turn out. That's the nature of the future. We just don't know. But for today, it was a very, very appropriate moment for a guy who has meant more to this franchise than just about anybody."
For more on Varitek and the Red Sox's future, check back later for coverage from both Gordon Edes and Joe McDonald of ESPN Boston.