Jarrod Saltalamacchia made sure that he savored every moment of the Red Sox’ 2013 World Series run.
Saltalamacchia’s future in Boston is unclear, as the 28-year-old is set to become a free agent. The Red Sox could end up bringing Saltalamacchia back for 2014 and beyond, but the veteran catcher didn’t want to take any chances.
“It was tough because of the fact I don’t know if this is going to be my last year here,” Saltalamacchia told reporters after the Red Sox’ World Series victory Wednesday. “I took everything in and enjoyed every minute of it.
“This whole postseason I’ve been enjoying every pitch, every out, knowing that it could be the last, [Game 6] especially. I was looking in the stands and seeing everybody, just looking at the jersey and enjoying every minute of it. Hopefully I can be back.”
Saltalamacchia played in 121 regular-season games in 2013, but David Ross started behind the plate in Games 5 and 6 of the World Series. While that might be a tough pill to swallow for some veterans, Saltalamacchia, who struggled in the Fall Classic, was more concerned about the Red Sox’ team goal than anything else.
“No, it’s about winning,” Saltalamacchia said. “That’s why we’re here. We want to win. Obviously everybody wants to be out there. There was 20 or 15 outer guys that want to be out there. But at the end of the day we want to win
“Can’t say enough about Ross. I respect him. He’s helped me out so much this year. I can’t ask for anybody better to go out there and take the reins the last few games.”
Saltalamacchia hit just .188 (6-for-32) with 19 strikeouts during the postseason, including 0-for-6 with four strikeouts in the World Series. But Salty made great strides in his fourth season — third full season — in Boston, and is likely in line for a nice payday on the open market.
“It changed my career,” Saltalamacchia said of his time in Boston. “I was kind of stuck in a spot where I didn’t feel like I was wanted or needed or going to be able to go anywhere. And then I came over here [in 2010] and it was just night and day. I felt wanted, felt it was a team that knew what I was capable of doing, and they actually gave me a chance. I can’t thank these guys enough, what [Jason Varitek] and [former bullpen coach Gary] Tuck did for me. Obviously my family for being with me every step of the way.”
Saltalamacchia’s career may or may not continue in Boston next season. But regardless of where Salty ends up playing in 2014 and beyond, he’ll forever have vivid memories of a 2013 World Series run that was one for the ages.