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The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

By Richard Rawson
7/5/2009

The Good:
Knuckle-balling class act Tim Wakefield has become the oldest player to make his first All-Star appearance since 1952. Having been saved from the Pittsburg Pirates’ minor league scrap-heap years ago, Wakefield has sometimes been taken for granted during his tenure with the Boston Red Sox. He’s been shuttled to the bullpen at times and has even been left off the postseason roster on one occasion.

He has won an average of 12 games a year since 1995 while pitching for the Sox, including the time he’s spent as a reliever. He’s now the Red Sox all-time leader in games started and should become the Red Sox all-time leader in wins for a starting pitcher sometime next year, vaulting past the disgraced Roger Clemens and the legendary Cy Young.

As selfless as Wakefield could be on the field, pitching on short rest when needed and even giving up a postseason start in 2004 to provide mop-up duty in a blowout against the Yankees, he has proven to be a hero off the field. He’s been nominated seven times for the Roberto Clemente Award, which is an award given to the player who best represents the spirit of giving back to the community.

Wakefield has partnered with the Fransiscan Hospital for Children in Boston since 1998, bringing patients to Fenway Park to spend time with him. He’s even hosted an annual celebrity golf tournament for the last 15 years, with all proceeds going to New England’s “Pitching In For Kids” organization.

Whether it’s coming through for the Red Sox with years of service while quietly becoming our all-time leader in wins, or coming through for our local children, Tim Wakefield has proven he’s a winner…..on the field and off.

The Bad:
After serving a well-deserved 50 game suspension for violating Major League Baseball’s drug policy, the Bozo of Baseball is back. That’s right folks, the “Man-Child,” Manny Ramirez is back in the meat of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ lineup. We get to watch a man who wouldn’t have the capacity to hold a job at a car-wash make millions because he has a God-given ability to hit a baseball.

It was nauseating to see and hear the Dodger fans who made the trek to San Diego over the holiday weekend to see the Dodgers take on the Padres in an effort to see the return of the Dreadlocked Dumbass. Hearing the fans cheer a returning cheater and disgraced superstar is similar to a good chunk of the globe glorifying a recently deceased celebrity pedophile. Manny is certainly not the only superstar to have used banned substances. He’s just the only one stupid enough to fail a test in a day and age of strict testing and tightened policies.

The Ugly:
“Ugly” sums up Nomar Garciaparra’s career since being shipped out of Boston in 2004. Garciaparra was one of the most popular Red Sox in modern history before rumors surfaced that the Sox were trying to trade for superstar Alex Rodriguez to replace him in the offseason of 2003. After the trade talks fell through, Nomar came to spring training like a scorned lover, like a husband that found out his wife was trying to lure in the richest, best-looking guy in town. Did he forget baseball was a business? He certainly didn’t when he rejected the Sox’ offer of 4 years and $60 million, prompting the front office to look at making a trade in the first place.

In the Sox’ clubhouse, he became about as happy as Dick Cheney at an Obama rally. The Sox brass noticed this, as well as his rapidly declining skills and decided it was time for him to go. The rest is history, as the Sox went on to win their first World Series since 1918. Had the Sox held onto their brooding shortstop, the “Curse of the Bambino” may still be in effect.

Since then, Garciaparra has spent more time on the disabled list than on the field. Him staying healthy for a full year is about as likely as someone in the Obama Administration paying their taxes.

Nomar, now playing for Oakland, comes to town this Monday for the first time since the trade that vaulted the 2004 Red Sox to glory. Should we boo him? Doing that would be like kicking someone when they’re down. Maybe we should just thank him for the memories, while remembering what a cry-baby he was in his last day’s as one of our beloved.

3 comments:

  1. The Manny comments are awesome!!

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  2. "Him staying healthy for a full year is about as likely as someone in the Obama Administration paying their taxes." What a hoot. You're a riot! ! ! Keep up the good work.

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  3. Wake is only gonna get better with age...the only thing i worry about is someone offering him a huge deal at the end of this year

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