Ever since Friday morning when I first heard that Wake was retiring, I’ve been trying to figure out what to write about it. Any sort of meaningful career retrospective would be way too long. So I am just going to say this: I hope he’s not actually done. I don’t see why the Sox couldn’t give him a call mid summer if a couple guys are hurt, and ask him to come back and eat up a few innings here and there. And for those of you thinking “no way, he was pretty bad last year and he’s obviously done,” consider this: last season he posted a 5.12 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP (if somehow you don’t know what that is, here’s an explanation), a far cry from the 2.95 ERA and 1.18 WHIP he put up way back in 1995. But you know what? In 1996 he had WORSE stats than last year (5.14 ERA, 1.55 WHIP). My point is that the knuckleball has always been weird and unpredictable, and there’s no reason to think he couldn’t possibly be effective this year.
Wakefield is also sitting on 186 career wins in a Red Sox uniform, just 6 behind all time co-leaders Roger Clemens and Cy Young, who have 192 each. I’d love to see him get 7 more. And in closing I offer this, the starting lineups from May 27, 1995 (courtesy of baseball-reference.com), Wake’s first ever appearance for Boston; which happened a few weeks before I graduated from high school.
|Boston Red Sox||California Angels|
|1||Troy O’Leary||RF||1||Tony Phillips||LF|
|2||John Valentin||SS||2||Jim Edmonds||CF|
|3||Mo Vaughn||1B||3||Tim Salmon||RF|
|4||Mike Macfarlane||C||4||Chili Davis||DH|
|5||Mike Greenwell||LF||5||J.T. Snow||1B|
|6||Tim Naehring||3B||6||Eduardo Perez||3B|
|7||Reggie Jefferson||DH||7||Andy Allanson||C|
|8||Tuffy Rhodes||CF||8||Damion Easley||2B|
|9||Luis Alicea||2B||9||Gary Disarcina||SS|
|Tim Wakefield P||Mike Bielecki P|