Friday, February 17, 2012

Wakefield to Announce Retirement

Well, it's official. Tim Wakefield is finally calling it quits according to a tweet from The Boston Globe's Peter Abraham this morning:

I don't want to turn this into a sentimental Ode to Wakefield, because, let's face it--he was an average pitcher and an innings eater for a long time, but there are a few things I will always remember about the knuckleballer. Wake was always willing to take on any role on the pitching staff without complaint. Starter, closer, mop-up duty. It didn't matter to him. He just wanted to pitch. That alone went a long way with the fans and organization, especially in a tough baseball town like Boston.

He almost single-handedly (along with some help from the Neikros) kept his signature pitch from becoming a grainy memory akin to the spitball and and baseball in Brooklyn. His magical debut season in Boston took the city by storm in 1995 (starting the season 14-1), his best showing for the Red Sox in which he finished third in the Cy Young balloting. That, for some (including myself), will always be the enduring memory of Wake.

Sure, he gave up Aaron Boone's heartbreaker in 2003, and his quest for his 200th win last year was painful to watch. But he got there, and there were plenty of memories along the way.

In the end, it was the right time to walk away, and there were a ton of forgettable moments, but I'm sad to see him go nonetheless.

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