Page last updated on Fri Oct 28 15:44:34 EDT 2016
Tue, 21 Feb 2012 11:18 AM EST

After 19 seasons in the majors – 17 of them with the Boston Red Sox – knuckleballer Tim Wakefield will annunciate his retirement from baseball. Baseball betting lines

The 45-year-old Wakefield will walk off with 186 victories with the Red Sox, just 6 short of the team record shared by Cy Young and Roger Clemens. He recorded his 200th career success late past season.

Wakefield claimed toward the end of last season that he needed to return for his eighteenth season with the Red Sox, but as the winter wore on it became clearer he wasn’t in Boston’s plans. The club extended him an invitation to spring training but didn’t assure him a registry place. Had Wakefield accepted, he probably would have competed for the 5th spot in the rotation.

The Red Sox extended an identical invite to Captain Jason Varitek, who has spent the past fifteen years with the team. It remains unclear whether the soon-to-be-40-year-old catcher will take them up on the invite, sign somewhere else or retire.

Wakefield, who finished last season with a 7-8 record and a 5.12 Time in 23 starts, won only one of his last 10 starts, the bullpen failing to hold 1 or 2 leads. When the Red Sox hopelessly required somebody in September to step up and pitch a large game, Wakefield gave up 5 or more runs in each and every of his last 4 starts, lasting 5 or less innings in 3 of them.

Wakefield had a professional record of 200-180 with a 4.41 Time and 2,156 strikeouts. He was written in 1988 by the Pittsburgh Pirates as a first baseman, but when he was told of reports that he did not have much of a future as a position player, he started to produce the knuckleball. Baseball lines

He had greatness in the minors as a pitcher and made it to the big leagues down the stretch for the playoff-bound Pirates in 1992. He went 8-1 with a 2.15 ERA and then won 2 starts in the National League Championship Series.

But he couldn’t maintain his victory and rebounded between the majors and minors before being released in 1995.

The Red Sox virtually straight away signed Wakefield, and he finished up going 16-8 with a 2.95 ERA in 1995 as Boston won the American League East.

Wakefield changed into an urgent cog on the Red Sox’s staff, winning 17 games in 1998 and even filling in as closer and picking up fifteen saves in 1999. From 2003-2008 he made at least 30 starts, winning 12 games for the 2004 World Series champions and 17 for the 2007 team that took it all.

Wakefield’s seventeen years of assistance with the organization is exceeded by only 3 players: Carl Yastrzemski (23), Ted Williams (19) and Dwight Evans (19). His name is at or close to the head of Boston’s all-time lists in a bunch of categories — 3rd in wins, 1st in appearances (590), starts (430) and innings pitched (3,006), and 2nd in strikeouts (2,046; Clemens leads that category with 2,590).

Wakefield also pitched to 13 players who’ve gone on to control in the big leagues, including Joe Girardi, Mike Scioscia, Ozzie Guillen and Bud Black.

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