Everyone weighs in on Wake

Outstanding job by the Red Sox PR staff today by getting reaction from all kinds of people about Tim Wakefield’s retirement. Here you go.

JASON VARITEK, former teammate
There is so much to say about Wake. He has been a part of so many things and he‟s meant so much to the game, the organization, the community, and personally as a friend and teammate for 14 years. He is a consummate professional with a one-of-a-kind talent that allowed this team flexibility, dependability, and endurance for 17 years. His competitiveness will be missed but his legacy and friendship will last a lifetime. It‟s sad to see it end but this will be an exciting new chapter for him in his life.

DOUG MIRABELLI, former teammate
Wakey has been a wonderful teammate and friend, and a great representative of his family and the Red Sox. When you think about the Red Sox you can‟t help but think of Wakey. What a tremendous success. He‟ll now have a chance to look back and see what he‟s accomplished from his days at Florida Tech to pitching 19 years in the Major Leagues.

NOMAR GARCIAPARRA, former teammate
It‟s truly been an honor to play with him for so many years. Every game he gave it his all, supported his teammates, and his professionalism was second to none. For me to play with him was an honor, but it‟s even a better honor to know him as a friend.
CURT SCHILLING, former teammate
A consummate professional, I‟m very proud to call Tim Wakefield a former teammate and more importantly a friend. Anyone that wonders how far they can go in life only needs to look at what Tim overcame and accomplished in his long and storied career. I can honestly say I have all my fingers, toes and teeth today, because I never had to catch his knuckleball. Tim proved time and again that class and perseverance DO matter, and Shonda and I wish him much health and happiness after baseball.
MIKE STANLEY, former teammate
You always hear the term „professional hitter,‟ but you don‟t hear that about pitchers. For me, „professional pitcher‟ is the first thing that comes to mind when I think about Tim and his career. He started, was a spot starter, worked out of the bullpen and even closed for us for a short time when I was with Boston. A consummate team player, he always put his nose to grindstone for the betterment of the team and did what he was asked. That to me is what Tim Wakefield is all about. Selfishly, I‟m excited because I‟ve got my fishing partner and golfing buddy back.

TERRY FRANCONA, managed Wakefield with the Red Sox from 2004-11
I think Wake‟s career can be embodied by Game 3 against the Yankees in the 2004 ALCS. With the team down, he came to me in the fourth inning and asked what he could do. He pitched more than three innings that game, sacrificing his start the next day for the good of the team. A lot of what he did went under the radar. I wish him congratulations on a wonderful career and hope his second career is as good as his first.
JIM LEYLAND, managed Wakefield with the Pirates from 1992-93
Tim had a long and tremendous career. I’m proud to have been his first manager and I’ve enjoyed watching his success over the years. I wish him nothing but the best in his retirement.
JOE CASTIGLIONE, longtime Red Sox broadcaster
Congratulations to Tim Wakefield on a marvelous career. I feel honored to have called all of his 186 wins for the Red Sox from his amazing 14-1 start in 1995 when he pitched the Red Sox to a division title to his 200th career win last September and all the great games in between, including his unselfish performance in the 2004 ALCS that made the comeback possible. I will miss Tim and his wonderful wife Stacy and family and will always cherish his friendship.
PHIL NIEKRO, Hall of Fame knuckleball pitcher
We have been friends from the first day we met. I don‟t know where the Red Sox would have been without him.
THOMAS M. MENINO, Mayor of Boston since 1993
It has been a pleasure to watch Tim Wakefield play baseball in Boston for the last 17 years. There is something to be said for longevity in a profession – and Wake is one of the few people in this town who managed to keep the same job almost as long as I have! He has been not only a legendary pitcher and teammate on the mound, but in the community as well. I thank him for everything he has done for Boston and wish him well in the future. We are going to miss this class act.
MIKE ANDREWS, Dana-Farber Trustee and Former Chairman of the Jimmy Fund
To me, Tim is everything a professional athlete should be. He handled himself in such a professional way as far as his baseball career goes and he has done what I would hope and what most people would hope professional athletes would do off the field in his charitable endeavors. What he did for the Jimmy Fund is second to none. He is beloved by so many kids and adults alike at the jimmy Fund and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. It‟s awesome what he did for the kids. I know he will be successful in whatever he chooses to do going forward.

CAROL TROXELL, Co-Founder of Pitching in for Kids
Blessed with an incredible career on the field, Tim Wakefield has also done many incredible things off the field. Never selfish with his time, Tim has raised millions of dollars through his charities to help others in need. Our organization, Pitching in for Kids, which was named for Tim’s job on the mound, is proud of him today and we are looking forward to working with him as he continues to pitch in and serve the community. Today, we not only honor a baseball champion, we honor our friend.



I am aware that time moves on and that changes have to take place, but that doesn’t make me any less sad today. I had the pleasure of sitting 3 rows up, directly behind home plate in June of 2007 in Miami when the Sox came in for Interleague play. That night Wake was on the mound. I was completely enthralled as I watched the ball flutter and dance with each pitch! I know that when he pitched he either had “it” or he didn’t. There never seemed to be any middle ground and the “didn’t have “it” ” games were coming with more frequency. Still, to me anyway, this is a sad day for the Nation.
Thank you Tim, Thank you for your graciousness, your professionalism, your TEAM 1st attitude. Thank you for doing what ever was best for the team. Thank you for giving your ALL EVERY time you put the uniform on.Thank you for allowing me to watch you for the last 17 years. There is and will always only be ONE Tim Wakefield.
Thank you.

The mythologizing of Tim Wakefield by Sox fans has reached a new high. This is especially true of his role in the 2004 postseason. A check of the stats shows that in the “heroic” ALCS game 3, Wakefield gave up a total of 5 runs in 3.1 innings. With the score 10-6 Yanks, he entered in relief of Curtis Lescanic with 1 out and one on in the 4th. He stretched the lead to 12-6 by allowing that runner and a subsequent runner to score, then to 14-6 by giving up two more runs the next inning. He was relieved with 2 on and 2 out in the 7th. Both those runners scored, making it 16-6. In total, then, Wakefield threw 3.1 innings, only one of which was scoreless, and was instrumental in the Yankees scoring 6 runs at a stage of the game when things were not yet hopeless. The game ended up as a runaway, but anybody could have pitched those “garbage innings.” To hear the Sox talk, you’d think it was a relief effort comparable to Moe Drabowsky in ’66 or Larry Sherry in ’59.

Wakefield also gave up 2 key runs in the 6th inning of game 1 (the only inning he worked that day), stretching the Yankee lead from 6-0 to 8-0–maybe insignificant, at the time, but the Sox scored the next 7 runs of the game and ended up losing by 3.

And the heroism of his giving up his next-day start by pitching in game 3? Does anyone believe the Sox would have won game 4 if Wake had started? Just look at his only World Series start that year, in game 1. The Sox scored him 7 runs in the first 3 innings, but Wake gave up 5 hits, 5 walks, and 5 runs and was driven out in the 4th. Fortunately the Cards bullpen gave up 4 more runs and the Sox won. Mercifully, no more was seen of Mr. Wakefield the rest of the series. (or in 2007, either)

I have no quarrel with Wakefield’s off-field contributions, but I fail to see how they possibly justify a long series of bad baseball decisions regarding his on-field status. He should receive the same respect as any other player retiring after a long tenure on a single club, but enough of the halo treatment!

WAY TO GO, WAKE! Thanks for the 17 years with us– glad you reached the 200 career wins! Enjoy retirement– you’ve earned it!

Really sad I never got to see him actually play. I’ve only very recently gotten into the sport and he was one of the best.

If anyone is worthy of a Johnny Peskey “Red Sox for Life” contract, it is Tim Wakefield. From his unselfish team first attitude, giving it his all on the mound, and his dedication to Dana Farber , the Jimmy Fund , and other charities, this man is in my opinion one of the greatest to wear the Red Sox Uniform. Red Sox management , PLEASE make this happen, not just for Tim, but for the fans, and for future Red Sox players, to be an example of what a major league baseball player should be.


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