FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Even when Jason Varitek was in his playing prime, projections were rampant that he would one day become a Major League manager.
But as Varitek settles into his first Spring Training as a special assistant to the general manager, he is trying to absorb all aspects of his new role.
In other words, Varitek is keeping his options open as to what career path he might settle into. Right now, he's enjoying the process of gaining a full education into the inner workings of the Red Sox.
"In my case, I'm going to be involved in a lot of different areas, and have been since September or whatever," said Varitek. "This is part of building that foundation. You learn. You learn what the coaches are doing. You learn what baseball ops is doing. You learn what Minor League coordinators are doing. In my position, it's a lot of learning and understanding what everybody is doing."
These days, Varitek is very much in his element as an instructor during Spring Training. Sporting his familiar No. 33, he has been a frequent presence on the field during drills.
"I liked the other side a little better." Varitek said. "Playing, you can't replace it. I'm learning a lot."
A player for the Red Sox from 1998-2011, Varitek isn't ready to get back to work full-time just yet.
"I'm here until Saturday, and then I'm back," Varitek said. "I'm not sure how long I'm back the next time yet. It's all a work in progress. I was here a week or 10 days ago for three or four days, and then back for five or so days. I guess like [Pedro Martinez], I have my own responsibilities back home with my kids in school and things that I'm taking care of."
While Martinez figures to focus almost exclusively on the pitching side of the game, Varitek's role appears to be more wide-ranging and open-ended.
"I'm enjoying these days of being on the field, because that's what I'm most accustomed to," Varitek said. "But that learning process still has a lot of things to be involved with over the next six, eight months. To answer that now, no, I'm not going to do. There's a Draft, there's some organization stuff. There's some stuff with the Minor Leagues. There's different parts. So to say any one part, I don't know. I haven't experienced enough to know. Or this [role] may end up being the way it is."
Though Varitek obviously has an easy rapport with his former teammates who are still around, he really enjoys the opportunity to help a prospect.
"That's the fun part," Varitek said. "That's the game. That's the part that I love most. I don't play. I'm not a player anymore. If I can pass on things or help someone, or be a helpful hand or another sounding board, that's what I'll be."