“Tim Wakefield had a shaky outing today.”
How many times have you seen that line, or a line like it? Number 49′s career has been built on shaky–or wobbly, to be precise. It’s the lot in life for the knuckleballer. Usually, he follows up a game like that with a solid, even sparkling effort.
Tony Mazz has a short entry on Wake’s outing against the Reds in a (get this) Single A game. Here’s the line: 94 pitches, 5 runs (3 home runs), 5 hits, blah, blah, blah. This could be a line from just about any year of his career.
But it’s not just any year of his career. He’ll be 43 in August. Is he near the end?
I have loved Wake since he first came to the Sox in 1995. No player has been more loyal. He’s done everything the team has ever asked and has never grumbled (as far as I can remember).
When the team won in 2004, was there anyone you felt happier for than Wake? He was put in an awful spot by Grady Little (and Aaron Boone) in that infamous Game 7 the previous year. But there was never even a possibility that he’d end up Bucknered by that. After all, this is Wake we’re talking about.
But here’s my prediction for Wake this year: He’ll win a few games but will get shelled more often than not. So he’ll finish the year in the bullpen.
I hope you’ll call me on this in August and tell me how wrong I was.