Tim Wakefield deserves chance to go out as Red Sox all-time wins leader


Was Tim Wakefield's 200th victory with the Boston Red Sox his last hurrah? (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Tim Wakefield has been a part of the Boston Red Sox for 16 years. To think of the 45-year-old knuckleballer in any other uniform is heart wrenching, not just to a Sox fan, but for anyone who is a true fan of the game. In an era of free agency and outrageous contracts, it’s rare to see a player remain with an organization throughout his initial contract, let alone a decade and a half. Loyalty to a franchise these days is about as rare as hitting for the cycle, so for Wakefield to remain wearing the Sox jersey for all those years truly speaks volumes to his character.

Despite his dedication to Sox nation, as it currently stands, Wakefield is not on the 2012 roster and is more than likely not going to be optioned by the Sox.

Wait, what? This is a joke right?

When assessing player value, I understand Wakefield is a very old dog who gives up a lot of runs, is unreliable and has only one effective pitch. I also understand that, perhaps, the fact that he is the franchise leader in hits allowed (2931), bases on balls (1095), home runs allowed (401), wild pitches (125), losses (168), hit batters (176) and earned runs (1480) is a possible deterrent to GM Ben Cherington. This is understandable from a front-office standpoint, but what happened to the franchises dedication to the player? Where is the loyalty to a player who has been nothing but a class act? To turn your back on a player who has clearly stated he wants nothing more than to come back to the ball park and fan base he loves with a shot to go down in the record books as the team’s all-time leader in wins, a feat that Wakefield is only seven wins from, is an outrage!

We all know Wakefield won’t be in the starting rotation, and that’s okay. Despite all Tim has done for our team and what he stands to achieve by being signed, the front office can’t find room for him on the roster as a middle reliever/emergency starter? As a die-hard Sox and baseball fan, this is a disgusting notion to me and a total slap in the face to a great man who helped us win not one but two championships. If Mr. Cherington wants to start his new job off on the right foot with Red Sox Nation, I suggest, when it comes to Wakefield, he should opt to knuckle ball and not knuckle up!

 

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  1.  I don’t think you can ever promise the wins to a player. Personally, I never thought that was at issue. I think he deserved a chance to come back and make a go of it if thats what he wanted. That could def mean start. But if he bombs you make the best moves for the club should it prove truly over. Basically, I think he has earned the shot to go one more season. If he crashes and burns well its his attempt for all time Ws his choice. Injury 2 years back hasn’t really gotten into previous form. Still Sox pitching is thin. No need to dump him with the minor league nonsense when squad is still light.

  2. i can fully agree with all that you said.  I would still like to see him as a middle reliever however, just because im a stubborn bostonian who is not used to the idea of a wakefieldless sox team, that and a good underdog story gets me every time no one expects him to do well but imagine another all star season out of no where to break the record and bring the sox to glory again i can see the movie being made already……#dreamer

  3. He needs 6 wins to tie and 7 to take the outright lead. Through 42 starts (and 65 games total) over the past two years, Wake only has a total of 11 wins. I would just assume that one of the 150 pitchers we’re bringing into spring training would round out the starting lineup and Wake wouldn’t get a shot to start until at least the middle of the season, if ever. I just don’t see that translating to 6-7 wins, especially because his ERA has been 5+ the past two years, so he won’t be coming in when there’s a win to be had. 

    That said, I would love if Wake retired in a Red Sox uniform, I think he deserves to go out that way. 200 wins seams like a perfect exiting point too. But promising him the chance to get 6 more wins when I’m not sure he can promise converting it into 6 more wins… it just seems like a stretch and he may even be hurting the team a bit in the process.

  4. you know that injurys happen hes a solid middle reliever, and can fill that starters position when needed, also as a middle reliver he could always pick up a few wins as well.  as far as what he said last season he is right the fans do want him back to see that goal obtained!

  5. Any die-hard Red Sox fan is well aware of Tim Wakefield’s abhorrence to the pen. And if you’ve watched enough games – I saw every game the last two years – you would know that he’s fairly ineffective coming out of the bull pen. So bringing him back would mean a starting position. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate and respect all he has done for the Red Sox but I think it’s time for him to retire – unless he changes his mind and deals with a relief spot.
     Also, I was a bit taken back by his late season comments “the fans want me back so I can reach this goal” – translates to: “i want to reach this goal and the fans can deal with it.” What happened to doing what’s best for the team?

  6. My only problem, as much as I agree that Wake deserves the record, is that if you’re going to bring him back for the purpose of getting him that record, you have to let him start.

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