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Wakefield to retire
Posted 17 February 2012 - 12:32 PM
Thanks for the memories... you'll always be a part of the Sox.
Posted 17 February 2012 - 12:56 PM
Ciao Timmy, and thanks.
Posted 17 February 2012 - 03:12 PM
Posted 17 February 2012 - 03:47 PM
I really tired of watching him the last few years and came to resent him unaccountably. But I am getting a bit misty thinking of him hanging it up. For more than a few of us he was the last big leaguer left who was older than we were.
I think he slides in comfortably at the Pesky/Dewey/Petrocelli level of Red Sox greatness/lifetime achievement.
Posted 17 February 2012 - 03:56 PM
Edited by betheriver, 17 February 2012 - 04:02 PM.
Posted 17 February 2012 - 03:58 PM
1. Jose loves Tim Wakefield and Jose loves the knuckleball. Or more accurately, Jose loves Tim Wakefield because of the knuckleball. This is not a secret.
Time and time again, Jose has described how he became enamored of the knuckleball while watching one of the Niekro brothers on The Baseball Bunch. (Note: Isn’t it time for a new Baseball Bunch? Could Barry Bonds play the Johnny Bench role, teaching kids the fundamentals, like hitting, throwing and proper use of performance enhancing drugs? “Cream on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, clear on Mondays and Wednesdays and Fridays kids. But on Sunday you rest. That’s God’s time.) Jose has described his lifelong effort to throw knuckleball and how it has resulted in him throwing exactly two out of, perhaps 10,000 pitches thrown. Jose has even claimed that he likes the knuckleball because it is like magic. It is the baseball equivalent of having a 5’3’’ NBA player who is in the league solely on his ability to hit half court set shots. At least that’s why Jose thought he loved the knuckleball. But he has had a change of heart. He has, if you will, flip flopped or perhaps sandaled.
Jose loves the knuckleball, because it is a metaphor for life. maybe not for everyone’s life, but for Jose’s life. The thing about the knuckleball that is so extraordinary is that unlike other pitches, it cannot be controlled, only directed, managed. Tim Wakefield cannot force the knuckleball up or down in the zone. He cannot choose for it to be a strike or a ball. What he can do is affect how sharply it breaks by speeding it up or slowing it down. And time after time, he can repeat, with the greatest possible precision, the exact motions that have brought him, and other knuckleballers before him, optimal results. Sometimes the outcomes are excellent, and sometimes, like now or in his magical 1995 stretch, they are astonishingly good for lengthy stretches. At others, such as when he was left off the 1999 ALCS roster after he seemed capable of blowing a 98 run lead in Game 4 of the ALDS, nothing he does seems to matter.
This is how life goes for Jose. He keeps the fingernails of his being trimmed and filed to exactly 3mm, he goes out of the figurative pitching motion and does his best to make the little tweaks required to keep the knuckleballs of daily life breaking hard over the plate. Sometimes the results are wonderful. Sometimes the Jason Giambis of despair, the Derek Jeters of adversity swing and miss and look as foolish as jesters. Sometimes, even thought they swing and miss, the ball evades the catcher and sneaks to the back stop, as seemingly good fortune melts into bad. But other times, there is Aaron Boone. Other times, Jose does the best he can, rotates the horsehide of his being forward by exactly one-fourth of a rotation, and still, there is no break, no movement. Whether it is a gust of wind from the frozen north, a butterfly batting its wings in Malaysia or a fan sneezing in section 23, the knuckleball fails to knuckle, the good intentions yield bad results and the ball makes an abrupt about face into the bleachers and into the emotional void of failure.
Jose cannot control his life any more than Tim Wakefield can control his knuckleball. He can only put faith in the soundness of his actions, the purity of his intentions and know that when his wins and losses are counted up at the end of the season, his record will be a little above five hundred. No, he may not be extraordinary, but he will be effective, he will be valued and maybe, just maybe he will hit that hot streak, that mystical spot at just the right time, and he can do something truly legendary.
Posted 17 February 2012 - 05:06 PM
Still sucks though.
Edited by AimingForYoko, 17 February 2012 - 05:15 PM.
Posted 17 February 2012 - 05:54 PM
Posted 17 February 2012 - 07:55 PM
Posted 17 February 2012 - 10:42 PM
Posted 18 February 2012 - 12:12 AM
What I'll remember him most for is coming into Game 3 of the 2004 ALCS to save the pen and giving up a start in Game 4.
It's important to remember that Lowe was supposed to be the long man in the bullpen and Wakefield was the 4th starter. When Wakefield went in the game, it meant that Lowe was starting Game 4 instead. Lowe doesn't get a chance to start Game 7 if Wakefield doesn't give him his starting slot.
I'll remember Wakefield's second start ever for the Sox, when he threw 7-1/3 innings in Oakland on two days' rest because Aaron Sele and Vaughn Eshelman could not start. He left with a runner on first and a 1-0 lead. Stan Belinda managed to load the bases, and he and Ken Ryan somehow got out of the jam.
Then in 2009, in Oakland again, with the bullpen totally taxed, he took a no-hitter into the 8th inning after telling Francona not to takle him out of the game, no matter what.
Most of all, I'll remember what I have on good authority that Charlie Hough said. Something on the order of "Why don't more pitchers throw a knuckleball? The same reason more guys don't throw 95! It's f------ hard!"
Posted 18 February 2012 - 06:33 AM
Posted 18 February 2012 - 12:35 PM
Posted 18 February 2012 - 04:04 PM
Going out as a Red Sox player - fabulous. Not bitching too much about 9 more games - mahalo. Retiring in a timely manner with minimum fuss should not be discounted. It becomes increasingly rare.
A classy team player who gave whatever the team needed. When the knuckler was fluttering , he was a scourge to all who faced him. His wins could almost be counted as 1.5 victories for the aftereffects to hitters timing. When it was flat, we all died slowly, inch by inch, watching his games. Of which there were many... And for that I am also thankful.
He ate up so many innings in so many ways, I am sure there will be times this season when we will wish he were sitting in the bullpen. But it was time for Tim to go.
Tim Wakefield will always be a favorite of mine - never to be tarnished by buying another year at some other franchise. He will go down in history as a beloved Red Sock...one of the 25. His sacrifice in 2003 was the cornerstone of the 2004 Dream Season - he took a big one for the team and Boston's fans were smart enough to know that. Their response to him in 2004 made me proud to be a fan.
I hope he finds a meaningful place in the organization and helps them to win another ring. I will cheer the day he enters the Sox HoF. I want his shirt to commemorate a special career - unlikely, unconventional, committed, hard-working, self sacrificing, team-oriented, frustrating, infuriating, unique, unbelievable - Ladies and gentlemen - meet our Timmeh!
I will wear #49 with pride.
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