A funny thing happened this spring on the way to JetBlue Park at Fenway South (quite a name for a spring training facility!). Another former Boston Red Sox legend coaching a position. Tim Wakefield has been in Ft. Myers, working with Red Sox knuckleballer Steven Wright.
Could the Red Sox have another knuckler in the mix for the next 15 plus years? A guy that can be used in any game, any situation, at any time? One can only hope.
Steven Wright was acquired from the Cleveland Indians last July, and although a career minor league pitcher with a few exceptions, Wright has caught the eyes, and interest, of Red Sox personnel, both present and past. No one needs to be reminded of Wakefield’s dedication, some times heroics, innings eating pitching and a willingness to do anything attitude for all those years with the Sox.
A player and fan favorite alike, Wakefield was the consummate team guy, and now he his working on what could be construed as a reclamation project in Wright–a guy who has been in the minors since 2007 yet didn’t throw a knuckleball until 2011. And a guy that just out-dueled the Toronto Blue Jays R.A. Dickey last week. Yup, that guy–the Cy Young Award winning knuckleballer. Only spring training and two innings but…
Manager John Farrell is interested. Wake is interested enough to work with him, and Wright sees the enormous opportunity to have Wakefield working with him. “When he says it’s right, and when I do it right, it works.” Said Wright of Wakefield’s tutoring.
When asked about his recent meeting with Dickey, Wright only had to say “Beginner’s luck.” Perfect attitude coming from an infant in terms of knuckleballers. Tim Wakefield won 200 MLB games, throw in 22 saves and countless short and long relief outings–not bad. Let’s hope that Steven Wright has the talent and ability to absorb from one of the games greats, and to move forward and build on that beginner’s luck.