So, Timmy’s back for another year of fun. Not that I’m surprised at all: although I had heard rumors to the contrary, there’s no reason why the Sox wouldn’t want Wakefield for another year; having someone so routinely solid anchoring the middle of the rotation is too good to pass up. Like Timlin, Wakefield is feeling much better now than he did a few months ago, but as much as I love Wake, there are two problems:
- No one knows why Wakefield’s ribs separated in July and more importantly, we don’t have something like the World Baseball Classic to blame it on, either. Timlin gets a free pass for another shot because the circumstances will be different next year; Wakefield will be in the exact same role and unfortunately, that means the rib separation could happen again. Hopefully the medical staff and Wakefield know something we don’t and they’ll be able to nip any potential problems in the bud.
- Doug Mirabelli just filed for free agency after posting some of the worst offensive numbers among starting catchers. We all know what happened when the Sox tried to go without Mirabelli last year and for all his experiments, Theo isn’t dumb enough to try the same risk twice – but what to do? We can blame Varitek’s woes on the WBC, too, but as Gordon Edes points out, it wouldn’t hurt to have a backup catcher who can hit…and that may mean bringing ‘Tek back to catch Wakefield after a 6-year hiatus. I’m honestly not sure which is worse: the idea of going out to look for a knuckleball-able catcher when there are some many other areas that need to be filled or reliving Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS every fifth day. Maybe The Stud Who Hits Bombs will come back and go back to his old, bomb-hitting ways. And maybe I’m crazy.