Friday, February 17, 2012

Be Nice to Josie Today

"I knew this was going to happen, but I was hoping not today."
-John Mellencamp, et. al.

It's the end of an era in the history of Boston sports, my friends. One of baseball's most durable pitchers, the rubber-armed Tim Wakefield, one of only a handful of pitchers to notch 200 victories in his career, announced today that he would be retiring from baseball and from the team for whom most of those wins were notched, the Boston Red Sox.

Wakefield started his career with the Pittsburgh Pirates, who, displaying the incredible baseball acumen that led to a million straight losing seasons, waived him.  The Red Sox picked him up in 1993 and his first full season with the team he went 16-8 with a 2.95 ERA. His career was officially off and running with the red and white.

He was a starter, a closer, a reliever, and probably a team mascot somewhere in there as well.  He is one of a precious few players to have won rings in the 2004 and 2007 campaigns, both of which were marked with personal sacrifice; in 2004 he volunteered for mopup duty in the 19-8 pasting in game 3 of the ALCS so that he could save the arms of the rest of the 'pen (and in so doing gave up a start in the series), and in 2007 he took himself out of the rotation because his back was bothering him and he knew that he couldn't give it his all.

Most importantly, he was Josie's favorite current player, and she is absolutely devastated by this news.  Well, maybe not completely devastated.  Well, maybe not devastated at all.  Maybe her exact words were "He's old and he retired. Get over it."  Or maybe it was just a brave front because she was afraid to show her real feelings, lest anyone think she's really a female. I don't know. But I suspect that down deep, she's hurting today, so be nice to her if you can.


  1. 1. How on earth to you throw down all that verbage yet NOT mention that he's a knuckleball pitcher? How is that possible?

    2. I was AT that 19-8 game of misery, IN THE BLEACHERS (and I hate the bleachers) worst game I've ever attended, even though I got to see Wake pitch.

    3. It wasn't a brave front. You KNOW how much I've fawned over him for more than a decade (those BLUE eyes, that neck! Yum!) yet...after a decade of adoration he did something that squashed a lot of that blind love. It's me not him. I'm Sicilian and have a hard time with forgiveness....perhaps a weekend post about this would be in order.

    4. Regardless, everyone should be nice to me! :) and give me candy. and money. and....kisses.

  2. Wakefield was a great pitcher. Lots of respect for the dude.

    Shhhh ... Josie's new boy toys think he is a she ... I think ...

  3. VJ - I was at that 19-8 game of misery, too! We had "handicapped" seats over by the Pesky pole. Worst seats in the world. I basically had to stay reclined in my chair so the people next to me could see the field. And, because it was a playoff game, most of the folks around us were standing up. I recall having to tell Skip things like "Hideki Matsui just hit a 3-run homer," because she couldn't see a fucking thing.

    I spent most of the time we were there telling people standing in front of us to get out of the way. And, I got in a fight with a Yankees fan next to us. It was horrible. We left after 6 innings because we couldn't really see the game and it was clear the Sox were cooked.

    One last horrific memory from that game ... While we were sitting in these horrible seats, a guy in a much better wheelchair accessible seat 15 feet closer to the Pesky pole STOOD UP from his wheelchair and WALKED DOWN THE STAIRS towards the concessions. I almost strangled him. How dare he lie to get the handicapped seat!