What happened in last night's Red Sox-Royals game was an embarrassment. No, I'm not writing about the bullpen imploding, thanks to the continued struggles of the enigmatic Manny Delcarmen. Nor was it the umpires allowing the game to continue in less than ideal conditions. What embarrassed me as a Red Sox fan was the fact that Tim Wakefield was on the mound last night.
Hey, I'm not bashing the guy for having enough guts to want to pitch. I'm not faulting him for wanting to do what he gets paid and loves to do, even if it means dealing with cortisone shots. As a matter of fact, Wakefield's embarrassment was and is not of his doing. This dog and pony show was instead brought to you by Terry Francona and the Boston Red Sox "Brain Trust".
An organization that does so many things right, especially on the field, missed the boat on this one. I actually felt bad watching Wakefield pitch last night. I applaud him for his desire to perform under unfortunate circumstances, but there has to be a time when the organization and Francona sit the knuckleballer down and tell him he's done for the year. It's embarrassing and painful to watch one of the most important men to this club over the past ten plus years look like a wounded animal trying to cover home on a passed ball.
This team is making it to the playoffs, no matter how Wakefield's season ends. If the team wants to give Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, and Clay Buchholz extra rest, I understand. But it shouldn't be at Wakefield's expense. I don't care that the medical staff says he can't injure himself any further, isn't it apparent that Wake can't pitch without being in pain and/or discomfort? And if last night's "Tito keeping him in too long" moment is due to the possibility that Wakefield will retire at year's end and they wanted him to earn a win before saying goodbye, then I'd rather remember him for an All-Star first half than watching this atrocity.
Let Bowden pitch. Let Byrd pitch. How about Beckett, Lester, Buchholz, Dice-K, Bowden, and Byrd until the regular season ends? I'm sure Bowden could give you what Wakefield gave you last night, if not better, against these lesser opponents over the final couple of weeks. So, why? Why has this gone on for so long? For everyone's best interests, especially Tim Wakefield's, it's time to stop this embarrassment.
Nick Cattles, Producer