This entry ends with the video of Mike Timlin talking about how selfless Tim Wakefield was a player…I’ve probably watched it twenty times today. It’s a wonderful testament to the type of person he is.
I missed the Tim Wakefield press conference live. Had to run out so I hit record on the DVR. As I started watching it about an hour later I immediately started crying. Didn’t even wait for Tom Werner to start talking, the tears just started to flow.
We’ve been fortunate as fans to be able to watch Tim Wakefield pitch. I don’t care if he isn’t a Hall of Fame pitcher; he’s someone you genuinely wanted to do well. He made a lot of sacrifices for the team. He didn’t let his ego get in the way of the team winning and there aren’t that many players you can say that about.
I don’t know that I can write many coherent sentences about Wake right now. I’m crying as I type this. We’re lucky that we are only lamenting his retiring and not mourning losing him forever as Mets fans are today with Gary Carter. I acknowledge that because I realize some folks outside of the Red Sox fandom might think us odd to be crying over losing a player who wasn’t going to be playing this year anyway. So while I’m grateful he’s still with us in the larger, more important, sense of the word, I’m very sad that come April 13th he won’t be stepping out of that dugout to take the field with the rest of his teammates.
I spent much of this day looking for the photos that I compiled in the slideshow above. (None of those photos are mine, nor do I have permission to use them. I have credited each photographer and hope they’ll forgive my using them.) It was very cathartic looking at all the photos of Tim Wakefield throughout his career. I will so deeply miss seeing him with this team.
It’s also important to note that this decision brings me great relief. I didn’t want to watch Wake show up at spring training and then not make the team. I didn’t want him to go to another team either, though. I wanted him to make this decision and was worried he wouldn’t so as sad as I am about this, there’s a small part of me that’s happy about it to because the pain of seeing him retire is a pain I prefer to what could have been.
I wish Tim many wonderful years with his family and I hope we get to see him back at Fenway Park this year. In the meantime, I will sit here and be sad because today we lost the presence of a wonderful guy in that clubhouse.
I’ll leave you with this…at every game Tim Wakefield pitched last year in Boston; every time Wake left the game he got a standing ovation. Every time. No matter if he was winning or losing, regardless of how many runs he had just given up. The fans knew…they knew the possibility of it being his last game at Fenway was a real possibility. He mentioned more than once last year that those ovations meant a lot to him…and it means a lot to me as a sappy, sentimental fan. I’m happy that we made him happy during his last season in MLB because he sure as heck made us terribly happy while he played here.