Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tim Wakefield: How Dare I Let Him Slip My Mind

I've been meaning to write this post for three days. Since I have not gotten around to it yet, I guess now's as good a time as any.

I want to congratulate Tim Wakefield for his selection to the All-Star Game. I hoped for weeks that it would happen. I really, really wanted this. Tim, I think, deserves it more than anyone else on our team. Yeah, Josh Beckett has been showstopping for the last few months. Sure, Paps set a new Red Sox saves record, and as of right now has not demanded a trade anywhere. Sure, Munchkin and Youk deserve to go, and even Jason Bay makes a strong case for himself.

But it's Wakefield who deserves it most. The same Tim Wakefield who has been on the Sox for as long as I can remember. The Wakefield who humbly suffers indignities such as being left off the playoff roster. The same guy who took himself off a playoff roster because he knew it was the best thing for the team. The guy who was willing to lose out on millions of dollars of extra money by agreeing to a lifetime contract with the Red Sox for cheap money, because he knew he wanted to stay here. This is the same guy that people have been saying should retire for the last howevermany seasons. The same guy who was given the affectionate nickname Shakey Wakey by many I know. This is the guy who made people groan when they saw his name as the starting pitcher because you just didn't KNOW what you were going to get out of him that night.

No one knows where that knuckler is going to go. Or at least they didn't. Now, I can say with certainty that I know. It's going to the All Star Game where it belongs.

Anyone who can look out into the thousands of rabid, baseball hungry fans in Fenway and say that they love it there, and truly mean it, is OK in my book. Tim has suffered and sacrificed more for this team than anyone else in my memory (which is admittedly not super great). Anything for the team. THAT is the definition of an All Star. I've never been happier for someone to go to the silly exhibition game.

I generally don't want to see Sox players go. I know it's an honor, or whatever. Most of the time I prefer that they get their three days off and put them to good use. Wakefield is the exception, because you KNOW this means a lot to him. No one can tell me that an all-star selection means the same to Paps as it does to Wake. Paps has been going to the midsummer classic since he joined the team full time. He likes to be selected because it's one more bright, shiny mark on the resume that he plans on using to get a giant contract out of an unsuspecting team. For Tim, it really does seem to be more about the fact that he's appreciated.

Well Tim, I appreciate you, and I know a ton of other people who appreciate you, too. I couldn't be happier about an All-Star selection if I tried. Congratulations Tim Wakefield. You've earned this!

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