The Boston Red Sox have no idea how long Tim Wakefield will pitch.
He might just go on forever.
“As long as Wake wants to keep working the way he does, I don’t see any reason for this to stop,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. “He’ll be done when he wants to be done, I guess.”
The 44-year-old held the Detroit Tigers to two runs on five hits in seven innings Friday, as the Red Sox picked up their 12th win in 14 games, winning 6-3.
“I’m just doing what I’ve always done—trying to help my team win games,”said Wakefield, who picked up his 195th career win.
He’s been with the Red Sox since 1995, picking up a pair of World Series rings. -Yahoo Sports
Now in my last blog, I referred to Tim Wakefield as a 900 some odd year old Time Lord… and damn if I wasn’t right (The series Doctor Who premiered in ’63… Wake born 3 years later!! He’s older than the Impossible Dream team). It was 1992 when he impressed the baseball universe with the final stand of the Pittsburgh Pirates dynasty that never was and following a fade out and release resurfaced with the Scarlett Hose for a near Cy Young campaign in 1995. He’s been here so long, he played with that guy who was once on the tip of everyone’s tongue as possibly the greatest pitcher of his and many a generation… The Rocket. That means he’s been in Boston for the majority of the last two roller coaster decades… Kevin Kennedy and Jimy Williams through Joe ‘Oops” Kerrigan and Grady “Managers should manage” Little and possibly the best manager since Bill Carrigan (Joe Cronin got to a WS but as we know…) in the man known as “Tito”.
And as we know, Wake is in the driver’s seat. He has the awesome responsibility of deciding just when he’s done… holding his repeating one year player option. Though I’m quite sure no one can really imagine him tipping his cap for the final time to the Fenway faithful… we know it will it happen. And after all the nights of wild butterfly pitches, passed balls, hit batters, bases on balls and flashes of Cy Young brilliance how will we say goodbye? One hopes with the same class and dignity the multiple Clemente award nominee (1 win and counting) has shown us over the years. Luckily we won’t have to find out for some time but at least we can be at peace in the knowledge this will be the last man to wear the number 49 in Red Sox font. Sure we may never see anyone wear 21 either, but 49 will be placed in a white circle on retirement row. (I’ve had this discussion before… in fact I may just re-post it.)
Now many have countered “He’s a knuckleballer, so what?” Well at an age where most mortal men would be nearing the end (unless you’re the aforementioned Rocket.. and juiced up…) and looking for the studio job to give analysis and color commentary (Ask the ageless Jamie Moyer… he’s just taking a year off), Wakefield is still going strong. Yes he has a balky back and it’s a problem at times… but Wake had one of his best seasons as a possible Cy Young contender and his first AL All Star break after the age of 40… and it was the balky back that cashed his season in. Now as a part-time / spot starter and stop-gap he can flash his brilliance as needed and step up in those high-pressure situations to save a starter or a bullpen. And like The Doctor, he saves the world a thousand times over yet hardly gets the recognition he deserves and never asks for it or even expects a Thank You from the doomed he has saved… he’s not a ‘knuckleballer’, he’s a madman with a big blue box. He’s the myth of ‘forever young’, a legend of ‘The Nation’.
Well baseball… bask in the legend. In another five days the blue box will re-appear and Tim Wakefield will emerge to once again challenge the doubters, defy time and common sense and just plain win the game.
Thank You.. Time Lord.