Sunday, January 04, 2004

Tim Wakefield for President

If you didn't already love Tim Wakefield, you will after reading Edes' piece in the Globe today. This bit had me reaching for my 3rd Kleenex:

Wakefield remembers slowly taking off his shoes.

"I remember [Jason] Varitek coming up to me and wrapping his arms around me," he said. "We were both upset and cried a little bit.

"It's almost like a death in the family. You don't know what to say, because you spent so long with each other, you fought so hard for each other, and it comes down to one pitch and you're going home."

The Sox owners -- Henry, Werner, Lucchino, along with vice president Charles Steinberg -- entered the clubhouse.

"I went to John Henry and said, `I'm sorry,' " Wakefield said.

"It's not your fault," Wakefield recalled the owner saying in reply.

In addition to the story being a tearjerker, it also reveals an interesting disconnect between player and fans in that Wakefield assumed he'd be the scapegoat, the next Buckner:

"I was terrified that I wouldn't be able to show my face in Boston again" (Edes).

Wakefield quickly found, of course, that wasn't the case. Not even close. How could we ever blame Wakefield? He was asked to go on a suicide mission and never blinked.

[When Posada's hit fell in] "I was getting ready mentally. All I was thinking about was what I have to do to get ready and get outs" (Edes).

Thank you, Tim Wakefield. As John Henry said, it's not your fault. You did everything and more.