Things are feeling a lot better around Boston today after 4 wins in a row. That's fitting because Red Sox fans should be in a good mood to honor one of their all time greats. His Red Sox career really was amazing, his stats were not, but his story is. As fans we had a chance to root for a unique player. During his career there were 2-3 other knuckleballers who came and went, but for anyone born after 1984 he was the person that you thought of when you thought of knuckleball pitchers. He was ours, we owned that unique entity for roughly a decade and a half and it was a lot of fun. He handled himself with class and humility. He gave every average Joe Sox fan the feeling that they could play for the Red Sox if they could just master this elusive pitch. Thank you Tim Wakefield for the amazing memories. Coverage starts at 3pm today on NESN so be sure to check out the ceremony.
As far as the game goes there is only one story line: Josh Beckett (2-4, 5.97). All eyes will be on him since his last start was so poor and the off field issues like the golfgate fiasco. Ultimately it all comes down to performance, if he pitches well all will be forgotten (somewhat ;) RHP Blake Beavan (1-3, 4.32) pitches for the Mariners. The lineup has a couple of more interesting decisions to be made today. Specifically at Catcher. With a day game after a night game and a RHP on the mound there is no reason to start Shoppach today unless someone is willing to admit that he is Beckett's personal catcher. Here is a look at a projected lineup:
For those of you thinking that the Red Sox' sellout streak may come to an end today with a 4 o'clock start on a weekday, lucky for you the Red Sox brass thought ahead and scheduled Tim Wakefield Day. I wonder how the knuckleballer feels about being used to extend a phony sellout streak?? Sorry I couldn't resist...things are just a little too positive around here. As always leave your comments below.