FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Assuming Jason Varitek doesn't surface at some point, manager Bobby Valentine doesn't think the Red Sox will need a successor in the captain's role.
After all, the Sox didn't have a captain from 1990-2004, and most teams in the Majors don't have one now.
"If Varitek doesn't show up? I hadn't planned on [a captain]," Valentine said. "If the team thinks a captain's a cool thing, I think that could be considered. It's not that I don't think a captain's necessary. Then again, I don't know that it's so necessary you can't live without it. Who was the captain last year in St. Louis? They didn't have one. So you can win a world championship without a captain."
That said, Valentine understands the leadership void that Varitek's departure would leave, particularly on the pitching staff.
"If in fact Jason Varitek is not on the team, I think there's a lot of void that needs to be filled," Valentine said. "From what I gathered -- and I was never in uniform with him -- but I think he brought a lot to the table even when he wasn't playing. Part of what he did was bridge the gap of understanding between catchers and pitchers."
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.