Tim Wakefield for Red Sox Closer

by Datechguy | April 8th, 2012

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Tim Wakefield for Red Sox Closer

A few months ago the Red Sox in their infi­nite wis­dom appar­ently decided that their 2007 World Series closer Jonathan Papel­bon was a com­mod­ity too expen­sive to keep despite so he took his 219 career saves, 2.33 ERA and 1.02 WHIP, to Philadel­phia where he has man­aged already to save more games than his replace­ment Alfredo Aceves has man­aged to get bat­ters out in two appearances.

Mean­while Mark Melan­con has man­aged to prove that sav­ing 20 games for a team that man­aged to lose 100 games (the 2011 Astros) is cer­tainly not a qual­i­fi­ca­tion for clos­ing out games for a team that is expected to contend.

Thus do the Red Sox for the sec­ond straight sea­son start the year by being swept, but unlike 2011 they do it on the strength or lack thereof of their bullpen.

With Melan­con appar­ently unable to close a game when there is actual pres­sure to do so and Aceves sud­denly unable to even get a sin­gle bat­ter out in the 9th inning the ques­tion remains, who can the Red Sox trust to close?

There are sev­eral untested arms they can through into the mix but what would be the best solu­tion? I sug­gest the best solu­tion might be a “care­taker” closer. Some­body who can do the job on a tem­po­rary basis for a few months or per­haps a sin­gle sea­son while a more per­ma­nent solu­tion is found.

But the ques­tion becomes who?

You would want a player who has expe­ri­ence in pres­sure sit­u­a­tions, prefer­ably some­one with clos­ing expe­ri­ence, yet some­one who would under­stand that this was not a long terms gig. A per­son who can com­pete but does not feel the need to prove them­selves to a new man­ager. A vet­eran player but some­one who can give an inning or maybe more if called upon. yet some­one who is likely not going to have arm prob­lems throw­ing every day. A pitcher who has stuff that can absolutely baf­fle hit­ters but wouldn’t break the bank. Some­body grounded enough to han­dle play­ing in one of Base­balls most sto­ried parks yet could win over the fan base.

If only there was that kind of pitcher some­one who might not have been in Boston’s Plans back in say Feb­ru­ary but might just be will­ing to step up dur­ing the cur­rent crisis?

If I’m the Red Sox, I’m on the phone with Tim Wake­field today.

A few months ago the Red Sox in their infinite wisdom apparently decided that their 2007 World Series closer Jonathan Papelbon was a commodity too expensive to keep despite so he took his 219 career saves, 2.33 ERA and 1.02 WHIP, to Philadelphia where he has managed already to save more games than his replacement Alfredo Aceves has managed to get batters out in two appearances.

Meanwhile Mark Melancon has managed to prove that saving 20 games for a team that managed to lose 100 games (the 2011 Astros) is certainly not a qualification for closing out games for a team that is expected to contend.

Thus do the Red Sox for the second straight season start the year by being swept, but unlike 2011 they do it on the strength or lack thereof of their bullpen.

With Melancon apparently unable to close a game when there is actual pressure to do so and Aceves suddenly unable to even get a single batter out in the 9th inning the question remains, who can the Red Sox trust to close?

There are several untested arms they can through into the mix but what would be the best solution? I suggest the best solution might be a “caretaker” closer. Somebody who can do the job on a temporary basis for a few months or perhaps a single season while a more permanent solution is found.

But the question becomes who?

You would want a player who has experience in pressure situations, preferably someone with closing experience, yet someone who would understand that this was not a long terms gig. A person who can compete but does not feel the need to prove themselves to a new manager. A veteran player but someone who can give an inning or maybe more if called upon. yet someone who is likely not going to have arm problems throwing every day. A pitcher who has stuff that can absolutely baffle hitters but wouldn’t break the bank. Somebody grounded enough to handle playing in one of Baseballs most storied parks yet could win over the fan base.

If only there was that kind of pitcher someone who might not have been in Boston’s Plans back in say February but might just be willing to step up during the current crisis?

If I’m the Red Sox, I’m on the phone with Tim Wakefield today.

DaTechGuy on DaRadio Saturday Noon EST. WBNW AM 1120 Concord WPLM 1390 Plymouth WESO 970 Southbridge, FTR Radio, the 405 Media

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