Tim Wakefield, one of the Boston Red Sox fan favorites, is coming back to help with the team’s pitching staff and will be working with young knuckleballer Steven Wright this preseason. Wright is–not surprisingly–extremely excited to work with one of the best knuckleballers ever.
In an interview by Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald, Wright commented on learning from the two-time World Series champ.
“I’ve talked to him here and there, just text messages and stuff,” Wright said. “He wants to watch me throw and see, and then, he’ll probably make some notes and I’ll have some questions. Right now, I’m blank on what I would ask him because it’s something where you go off of what you feel that day. It’s just nice to get another view in what he did to make himself successful and for him to pass it to me. I’ll try to take as much as I can and implement it into what my routine is.”
Wakefield came to Fort Myers this week to aid Wright’s side session this Wednesday. MLB.com reporter Ian Browne spoke with Wakefield on mentoring the young knuckleballer.
“I don’t have [a title], I’m still going to do some NESN [studio work] this year, but I don’t know what my capacity will be. We’re talking about it right now. My main goal right now is to help Steven out and be a mentor to him.”
Wakefield spends most of his time these days in Florida and Boston, and will be a great asset to the Sox in guiding Wright and in any other way he can. Wakefield is familiar with the how stressful playing in Boston can be for a player, and he also knows how influential a former player can be on the young guys as he mentioned on ESPN.com:
“When I was here, we had guys like Luis Tiant and Jim Rice,” said Wakefield. “It’s nice to add some more people to that list — guys that knew what it meant to wear a Red Sox uniform and guys who knew what it meant to compete at the Major League level for a long time. I think that’s a valuable asset the organization has taken pride in. Our job is to help the Red Sox win, even though we’re not playing anymore.”
Tim had a record of 200-180 in his career with an ERA of 4.41. For young players like Wright to be able to learn from one of the best in his field is an opportunity that few players get. Sox fans should be excited that their team has that type of mentor around their team.