Sunday, July 5, 2009

A Tip of the Cap to Joe Maddon

In a very classy gesture, Joe Maddon, manager of the Tampa Bay Rays, used one of his picks to name Tim Wakefield to the American League All Star Game Team. Whether perceived or real, a budding rivalry between the Sox and the Rays could have cast a shadow over the possibility of any Sox being picked by Maddon with his allotted manager's picks. Joe Maddon rose above this with his choice of Wakefield in what could be considered a lifetime achievement award as much as it reflects his performance this season.

Despite his 4.30 ERA this year, Wake has a 10-3 record, which ties him for most victories by any pitcher in the AL, and puts him 2nd in W-L pct. He has 10 quality starts this season, which is 2nd on the Sox staff behind Beckett. In the month of June, he was 4-0, with a 3.45 ERA. Outstanding individual game performances this year include a 7 inning 1 H, 0 ER, no decision at Cleveland, an 8 inning, 5 H, 1 ER win against Toronto, and a 6 inning 3 H, 0 ER win at Atlanta just last week.

Of all his games this year, the one game that stands out the most is his April 15th gem at Oakland (which I was extremely fortunate to be in attendance to witness) when he carried a no-no into the 8th inning (perfect into the 5th, broken up by an error.) He pitched a CG that day tossing 111 pitches, while allowing only 4 H and 2 ER.

I called for Wakefield to be named to last year's ASG by Tito, as his ERA over the 7 games preceding the nominations was only 1.72. He pitched at least 7 innings in all of those games. Unfortunately for Wake last year, several of his teammates had been chosen by the fans. Had Tito chosen one of his own starters, I'm sure cries of favoritism would have been heard across the land no matter how brilliant his stats were at the time of manager's picks. Joe Maddon did not have that influence to worry about this year. has a great story about how Tito informed Wake of his achievement, the announcement of the achievement during the game, and the video of his NESN in-game interview, including a big ol' bear hug that Papi gave him. I got all tingly with pride watching the video and reading the story, as Wake has been my favorite Sox for several years now.

Joe Maddon did the right thing!


Shelley July 6, 2009 at 6:38 AM  

I always liked Joe Maddon. I just think he is a great manager...and the results have shown. I have even more respect for him now. He said during the broadcast that not sending Wake was not even an option. He said he thought Wake should have been an All Star a LONG time ago and that he was honored to be the one to be able to put him on the team.

Nicely done Joe. What surprises me even more if that Joe selected Wake and Beckett. I thought it would be one or the other. I never thought we'd have Wake and Becks...while no starters from the Yanks made the roster.

*giggles like a school girl*

Jon July 6, 2009 at 7:56 AM  

Love the fact that Wake made it on. I'm sure there will be some issues with when he pitches and who catches him, but as long as he gets an inning in it's great for him. Beck, Wake and Pap, not too shabby.

Red Sox Sonoma,  July 6, 2009 at 10:04 AM  

If he does pitch, it will most likely be in the later innings, if the AL has a big lead and after 'Tek gets in. At least 'Tek has seen the knuckleball, whereas Mauer probably has not.

Shelley July 6, 2009 at 2:10 PM  

Tek is not on the Tek won't be in the game to catch him.

Who will catch Wake if and when he pitches is a good question...Mauer is the only catcher on the roster who has any experience catching a knuckleball, but he's starting so he is probably going to be long gone from the game by the time Wake might be heading to the mound.

It'll be doubt. I still think Kottaras should come along and just dress up in Martinez' uniform when Wake comes in the game. That'll work, right?

Red Sox Sonoma,  July 7, 2009 at 10:27 AM  

Brain fart- I always forget it's just the starters that the fans vote on. I kept seein' Tek's name in 2nd place thinkin' he's in at back up.

dave,  July 8, 2009 at 7:56 PM  

The alternate scenario is the AL is down by big numbers late in the game and Wake gets to pitch mop-up. I don't see him pitching in a tight game.


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