WATCH: Mazz talks Tim Wakefield on Boston 25 morning show
The unexpected passing of Tim Wakefield has sent shock waves throughout the Boston area over the last week – and with good reason. Wakefield was an integral part of the Red Sox and became a huge part of the community during his playing career, resonating with fans for multiple reasons.
“There’s something about a knuckleballer that generates empathy in fans,” Theo Epstein wrote toward the end of Tim Wakefield’s career. “Even though it couldn’t be further from the truth, it’s just hard to shake the thought that, ‘Hey, he’s only throwing 68 [miles per hour] – that could be me out there!’ Fans don’t feel that way about guys who throw 95 [mph].
“Between the knuckler, his ‘everyman’ demeanor, and his incredible contributions to the community, it’s no surprise that Wake is a favorite of so many fans. Unfortunately, for many of the same reasons, the quality of his on-field contribution often gets overlooked. Aside from all the records and being part of two world championship clubs, that paradox is what stands out about Wake’s legacy to me.
“For a guy who was often underrated and sometimes overlooked, he was completely loved and embraced by Red Sox fans. That means a lot.”
As many know, I had the privilege of writing Tim Wakefield’s memoirs, Knuckler, which was published in 2010. I was asked to offer my perspective on what he meant to the Red Sox and to Boston, so we figured we’d just include the entire exchange with Gene Lavanchy here from this morning, when I appeared on the Ch. 25 morning show:
Tony Massarotti hosts The Baseball Hour with Tony Mazz every weekday from 6pm-7pm during the Major League Baseball season. Follow him on Twitter @tonymassarotti.
Mazz: The 2024 Red Sox offseason plan
For the Red Sox, if it hasn’t already, the 2024 season begins today. Red Sox president Sam Kennedy and manager/general manager/baseball ops alpha Alex Cora will address the media and begin sifting through the rubble of another lost year. Possibly, team officials may give us some insight into the Red Sox’ offseason plan.
In the interim, we’ll deduce some things on our own.
Over the coming days and weeks, beginning with this overview, we will offer a position-by-position breakdown of where the Red Sox stood in 2023 and where they may be headed in 2024 (and beyond). Starting tomorrow, the plan is to provide a relatively detailed look at every position on the diamond by examining where the Sox stand relative to the other teams in the American League and the entirety of Major League Baseball, all with the hopes of exploring what needs to change – and how quickly.
The good news? If the Sox are willing to spend – and longtime MLB.com correspondent Ian Browne recently sounded confident they will – improvement can come relatively quickly.
One final note: Years ago, during the heyday of owners John Henry and Tom Werner, then-general manager Theo Epstein once suggested that the goal of the Red Sox baseball operation was to have an above average major-leaguer at most every position while being no worse than average at any position. Make sense? With that in mind, we give you an opening look at the State of the Red Sox entering a pivotal offseason in an attempt to decipher the 2024 Red Sox offseason plan.