Agent says Wakefield wants to finish career with Sox

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Agent says Wakefield wants to finish career with Sox

MILWAUKEE -- The agent for free agent pitcher Tim Wakefield said Wednesday that his client "absolutely" plans to continue his career and the veteran knuckleballer wants to finish his career with the Red Sox.

"Our hope is that it's with the Red Sox," said Barry Meister. "We expressed that to them. Tim feels strongly that he can still pitch and pitch effectively, whether it's in a starter's role or in that hybrid. And I just think that If he didn't (continue to) pitch for the Boston Red Sox, it would be a shame."

Meister has had a few conversations with Red Sox GM Ben Cherington, but understands the Sox have bigger issues with which to deal, not the least of which is hiring a manager to replace Terry Francona.

"We'll keep the lines of communication open," said Meister.

Wakefield, 45, has pitched for the Sox since 1995. Last season, he was 7-8 with a 5.12 ERA in 32 games, 23 of them starts. He won his 200th career game on his ninth attempt in September.

Wakefield, said Meister, "loves being a Red Sox. But he loves being a baseball player. And if for some reason, they don't think he can (pitch), well, then he's going to win 15 games somewhere else and show them that, once again, they've underestimated him. But he loves Boston. Whether it's the Wakefield charity or the Jimmy Fund, that's his community and he feels like he can help this club. He feels like he had unfinished business. He wants to win. He wants to put another ring on his finger. He wants a parade. He's from Boston now, right?"

Part of Wakefield's motivation may be to come back and become the franchise's all-time winningest pitcher. He has 186 career wins with the Sox, six shy of the mark shared by Cy Young and Roger Clemens.

"But I don't want to lose sight of the fact that he wants to win another World Series," said Meister.

Meister said he's already fielded calls from other teams with an interest and hinted that if returning to the Red Sox wasn't an option, the National League would be a likely landing spot.

"I've done some research," said Meister, "and knuckleball pitchers that have changed leagues from the American League to the National League, I think it's 13 out of 15 in the last 40 years have lowered their earned run average by a run and a quarter or more.

"It's a huge difference, as the league takes a year to adjust. I have no doubt, if that's what he ends up doing, he'll have a geometric success because they'll be seeing a pitch they haven't seen before."

Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey is with the NL's New York Mets, but throws the pitch with less regularity and at a different speed than does Wakefield.

McAdam: Price not exactly hitting stride with postseason on horizon

McAdam: Price not exactly hitting stride with postseason on horizon

NEW YORK -- The division title was there for the taking Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium. When you've won 11 straight and steamrolled every other team in the division, what's one more?

One too many, apparently.

The Red Sox' 6-4 defeat to the New York Yankees postponed the Champagne party for at least one night. In and of itself, that's not a huge concern. The Sox' magic number remains one with five games to play and the club's epic hot streak had to come to an end eventually.

A better night by either David -- Ortiz or Price -- might have resulted in corks popping and on-field celebrations.

Ortiz was 0-for-5 and stranded a total of seven baserunners. When he came to the plate in the top of the ninth against Tyler Clippard with two outs and two on, it almost seemed scripted.

Here was Ortiz in his final Yankee Stadium series, about to inflict one final bit of misery on the rival Yankees with a three-run homer in the top of the ninth.

Talk about drama. Talk about one more famous, final scene.

Alas, Ortiz took some feeble swings and swung through strike three for the final out. Not even Ortiz, for all his clutch performances, can conjure a game-winner on-demand every time.

A far bigger concern was the work of Price. Perhaps the best thing than can be said of him for now is that he almost certainly will not have to face the Yankees again this season, against whom he's compiled a gaudy 7.89 ERA this season.

More troubling, though, is that Price is not exactly hitting his stride as the postseason appears on the near horizon. In his last three starts combined, Price has pitched 19 1/3 innings and allowed 27 hits and 14 runs.

That isn't the line of someone at peak form at the right time. To the contrary, after a run of outings in which it again appeared Price had figured everything out, he's regressed in his last three.

Most troubling Tuesday was a repeated inability to turn back the Yankees after his team had pulled close on the scoreboard.

Price spotted the Yankees a 3-0 lead, and the Sox finally scored twice in the top of the 6th to close within one at 3-2. But Price quickly gave anther run back in the bottom of the inning.

Then the Sox scored two more times in the seventh to tie things at 4-4. . . but Price gave the two runs right back in the bottom of the inning.

"Very frustrating,'' sighed Price. "It's something I talk about all the time. It's a very big deal. And it's something I feel like I've struggled with this entire year. Whenever you're going good, it's something you're doing very well. And whenever you're going bad...you get a lead, give it right back. . . that's tough.''

It also doesn't portend well for the postseason, where Price, as you may have heard, has a spotty track record.

With some strong starts in the final few weeks, he could have reached the playoffs with both momentum and confidence.

Instead, he's got one more start -- Sunday -- to straighten things out.

Ortiz? His postseason bona fides are set.

Price, meanwhile, has no such reservoir of success upon which to draw. And starts like Tuesday's only reinforce the doubts.

 

Quotes, notes and stars: Ortiz goes 0-for-5 in loss to Yankees

Quotes, notes and stars: Ortiz goes 0-for-5 in loss to Yankees

NEW YORK -- Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox' 6-4 loss to the Yankees:

 

QUOTES:

"I went 0-for-5 today, so I ain't got (anything) to talk about.'' - David Ortiz after turning around and seeing a small army of reporters waiting for him in front of his locker.

"To have a chance to clinch the division for us here (and come up sort), it's not acceptable. If my offense scores me four runs, I feel like I should be able to go out there and win.'' - David Price.

"The bottom line story to this one was (Price) mislocating within the strike zone.'' - John Farrell.

 

NOTES:

* Boston's season-best 11-game win streak was snapped with the loss.

* David Price took his first loss since Aug. 7.

* Price is 1-3 with a 7.89 ERA against the Yankees this season.

* Aaron Hill contributed his first pinch-hit homer in his career.

* Mookie Betts saw his streak of reaching base in 38 straight road games stopped.

* Dustin Pedroia posted his third straight multi-hit game.

* For the 20th time this season, Xander Bogaerts enjoyed a three-hit game.

* In his last 12 games, Andrew Benintendi has eight extra-base hits.

* Hill's pinch-hit homer was the third by the Red Sox this month.

 

STARS:

1) Tyler Austin

The rookie first baseman snapped a 4-4 tie in the seventh with a two-run homer and also added two more hits in three at-bats.

2) Gary Sanchez

The first-year catcher continues to amaze, hitting his 20th homer in only his 51st game, sending the Yanks out to a quick 2-0 lead in the first inning.

3) Luis Cessa

Cessa took a big step forward from his last start against the Red Sox by keeping them scoreless through the first five innings before allowing two runs in the sixth.