Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Monument to a Win

The stuff of legends: in a Ruthian piece of self-confident prediction tinged with the sort of rewarding self-sacrifice that has etched a place for Wakefield in the annals of Red Sox lore, Timmy goes to Francona yesterday before the game and tells his manager not to take him out, no matter what. Afterwards, he goes out and pitches a complete game on 69 111 pitches, erasing a personal ten-year win gap in Oakland, saving the bullpen from further work on a game before an off day, and doing his part to get a win.

Others could probably draw contrasts between Wakefield's actions and the stereotype of the selfish athlete that supposedly infects our times, but I'm more jazzed about how a win like this one - at the end of a tough road trip, after a dizzying losing streak, as the spectre of a damaged season started to raise its head - is a pure and simple demonstration of the triumph of the group-supported individual in a team sport. The team did well, making spectacular defensive plays and blowing open the score with blows significant to both the game's score and the collective offensive slump of the past couple of weeks, but Wakefield took that support and did even better, performing his job to the levels of near-perfection. It was a good day.