I know what you’re wondering.Â You’re wondering whatever happened to Charlie Zink, aren’t you?
You remember Charlie.Â His major league debut was on the same night that the Red Sox and Rangers slugged their way to a 19-17 final.Â The knuckleballer who wasn’t sure he’d ever see time on a major league mound.
Well, at the end of October he won the 2008 “MiLBY” for best AAA starter of the year.Â It’s a tremendous honor and one Charlie more than deserved.Â Kevin T. Czerwinski wrote an interesting piece about how Charlie roomed with David Pauley all season and the two spurred each other to a 14-6 record and a 2.84 ERA with 106 strikeouts (for Zink) and a 14-4 record with a 3.55 ERA with 103 strikeouts (for Pauley).Â These guys kicked ass in AAA and got a taste of the bigs as well.
Charlie’s one-game stint in Boston was a long time coming for him.Â The Sox won that game, but he didn’t get a decision.Â No matter, though, Charlie tasted blood and he wants more.Â The idea of two knuckleballers on the team, though, is probably not all that enticing to the higher-ups or to any of the fans.Â BUT the MLB article does seem to indicate there is cause for hope:
Zink is on the 40-man roster now but has a pair of options remaining, so odds are he’ll be on the fringe of returning to Fenway for quite some time. Knuckleballer Tim Wakefield, who turned 42 in August, has been a staple on the Boston staff for more than a dozen years. He’s also been a friend and mentor to Zink.
While it would seem logical to the casual observer that the Red Sox place a premium on what Wakefield can do, Zink didn’t make the connection until Boston called him up this season.
“When they called me up, it finally opened my eyes that they have value in me,” Zink said. “I had been putting up fairly good numbers and had not gotten any feedback. I was always right at the top of the organization in wins the last four or five years. You would think someone would notice.
“When I finally got the acknowledgment, that was huge for me. It told me they are watching and they do care about what and how I am doing. I have no problem waiting here if they ever need me to fill in for Wakefield.”
Charlie has hope. So we should too!
Incidentally, folks, I totally miss baseball right now.Â I absolutely can’t remember how I blogged through the baseball-free days these last few years.Â The election helped me take my mind off of it for a little while, but now, well…damn…I really want some baseball.
One side note:Â KellyO is having a truly bad weekend and she’s as good a person as you’ll ever meet.Â So I’d be much obliged if folks could send some positive vibes her way.