Friday, February 17, 2012
Last Guy Out Please Turn Out The Lights
*Image courtesy of Kelly and www.sittingstill.net*
As a guy who is pushing 42 I still like to think of myself as young. Not teenager young, mind you but young enough to get out and play ball with my sons and generally not embarrass myself young.
I think that's why I took the news that Tim Wakefield retired today so hard; he's just a few years older than me and I'll I've read about is how old the guy was and how it was time to retire and hang it up. I realize being in your 40's in real life isn't the same as being in your 40's in sports, yet it sort of harshes your mellow when a guy just a few years older than you is considered over the hill.
Wake retiring isn't just an end of an era; it's one of the last links to a time before the taint of PED's and The Mitchell Report. It's about a guy who looked like he just walked off the assembly line with his beer gut and bow legged walk who packed his lunch pail every day and showed up, kissed babies, autographed every thing put in front of him, spent more time visiting with sick kids than ten of the average players combined and then went out and threw the freakiest pitch you'll ever see that sent just about every guy who went up to the plate just KNOWING he was going to crush it back to the dugout shaking his head and wondering what the crap just happened.
When Aaron Boone sent the Sox and Wake packing in ' 03 every Sox fan I know felt like they'd been kicked in the jimmy. Not just because they lost, but because it was Timmy who gave it up. And when they won it all the very next year I'd be a bald faced liar if I said the sight of Wake standing on the mound in St. Louis getting doused in beer didn't bring a tear to my eye. 'Cause if anyone deserved that moment, it was Wake.
So for the first time in 17 years the Red Sox won't have Tim Wakefield around. And while I grudgingly agree that it was time to start a new era?
It just won't feel the same.
Via Con Dios, Timmeh.