When Tim Wakefield was with the Boston Red Sox he was a fan favorite, a great competitor and an amazing pitcher. He spent 17 of his 19 MLB seasons with the Red Sox and ended with 200 wins and 180 losses. But with Wake it wasn’t so much the Ws and Ls that mattered (although they helped) it was that he was such a team player and so versatile.
During his career, Wakefield was a starter, middle relief guy and closer (22 Saves). He did anything the Red Sox asked him to. He was a member of both recent World Championship teams. He pitched a total of 3226.1 innings.
Recently he did an online Q&A with Boston.com readers. Here are some of his insights and observations regarding the Red Sox and baseball.
Wake, who is now an analyst for NESN, was asked how hard it was to watch this Red Sox season. He admitted that it was tough and that he knew the players were trying their best. His hope is that they can use this season as a “learning experience.”
He was asked by one fan if Joe Torre were asked to manage the Red Sox and Wake was asked to be a coach would he?
Wakefield: “That would be awesome to have him manage the Sox. I have the utmost respect for him as a manager and would probably have to say yes to his request.”
Another great question related to how Tito Francona managed the club.
Wakefield said that Francona let players be themselves and that is was simply a pleasure to play for the guy. He pointed out that “winning two world championships with him at the helm says a lot about how he managed his team.”
When asked about Bobby Valentine, Wake took the high road noting, “As far as Bobby Valentine is concerned, I don’t know him well enough to make a comment.”
Of his former teammates who does Wakefield think would make a good manager? He had three great answers– Gabe Kapler, Doug Mirabelli and Jason Varitek. (Man is he right on target with each of those guys. What are they doing for 2013?)
By the way, what kind of class act is Torre? Someone asked Wake about the phone call he got from Torre after the Red Sox took down the Yankees by winning the last four games of the ALCS.
Wake: “It was probably the greatest thrill I received next to winning the ALCS that year. He basically called me because he said that I was one of the guys that he respected the most from across the field, and he wanted to wish me luck in the World Series. And he told me to remember to have fun.”
Two class acts—Wakefield and Torre. Yes, I’d love to see them both working with young Red Sox players and vets next year. Anyone in the front office on Yawkey Way listening? Hello?!