Wakefield focused on team, not milestone


Wakefield focused on team, not milestone

By Danny Picard
CSNNE.com Staff Reporter Follow @dannypicard

By Danny Picard

BOSTON --Its been over a month since Tim Wakefields last win. Andhis next one wont be just any old victory. It will be the 200th of his career.

Unfortunately for the veteran knuckleballer, hes beensearching for that personal milestone since his last win, back on July 24against the Seattle Mariners. And whether he admits it or not, that searchseems to be turning into a never-ending weight on his shoulders.

But after Friday nights 15-5 loss to the Oakland Athleticsat Fenway Park, in which he picked up his sixth loss of the season, Wakefieldinsisted that his biggest disappointment was the fact that he made Red Soxmanager Terry Francona dip into the bullpen before Saturdays double-header.

I think thats my biggest disappointment, knowing that wehave a double-header tomorrow, and I was only able to go four innings tonight,said Wakefield.

I think the biggest disappointment is that I didnt getdeep in the game. Ive got to take my personal numbers and throw them out thewindow right now. Were trying to hold onto a one-game lead in the East, andthe biggest thing coming off a long road trip like that, is to try to win thegame, for us, for the team, not for me personally.

That 200th win will eventually happen, hopefully, addedWakefield. But I think the thing I pride myself most in, is to try to give theclub quality innings and get deep in the game, and not have to use the bullpenlike we did tonight.

Wakefield lasted only four innings on Friday night, while allowingeight runs (four earned) on eight hits, two walks and two home runs.

Most of the damage was done in the top of the fourth inning,as Oakland scored six runs with two outs. Sizemore ripped a two-run home rundown the left-field line to extend the Athletics lead to 4-1.

Jemile Weeks then struck out, but a passed ball by JarrodSaltalamacchia allowed Weeks to get to and extend the inning. After Coco Crispwalked, Hideki Matsui drilled a double off the wall in center field, scoringtwo more runs and giving Oakland a 6-1 lead.

Josh Willingham added insult to injury in the next at-bat byhitting a two-run home run into the monster seats in left-center to make it8-1.

Not a real good night, said Francona. Kind of aninconsistent knuckleball tonight. Some he threw so well, and had sharp break.And then some were up that got hit.

We get the third out in the fourth inning, and the ballgets by Salty, because it is moving. Then they tack on four more. It was justkind of a rough night all the way around.

Thats just the way the fourth inning went, saidSaltalamacchia. Theres nothing really on his part. He still threw the ballthe same way. They just did a great job fighting pitches off, fouling them off,fouling them off, and not really trying to pull it too much.

So heres Wakefield. Six starts since win No. 199, and an0-3 record in those six starts. Friday night marked his shortest start of theseason, but Wakefield insists I has nothing to do with how he feels physically,or any type of pressure thats come with the search for his 200th win.

I take a lot of pride in trying to stop the bleeding theretoo, and trying to pick up my teammates, said Wakefield. I wasnt able to dothat tonight. Unfortunately I couldnt stop the bleeding there in the fourth.

I feel great, added Wakefield. I thought I had somepretty good movement on the ball, except for the end of the fourth inning, andthe ball started leaving the ballpark.

Danny Picard is on twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard.

Youkilis weighs in on Valentine possibly being Japan ambassador

Youkilis weighs in on Valentine possibly being Japan ambassador

Among the reactions to the news that Bobby Valentine was possibly being considered to be the US amassador to Japan in President Donald Trump’s administration was this beauty from Kevin Youkilis. 

Valentine famously called out Youkilis early in his stormy tenure as Red Sox manager in 2012. Remember? "I don't think he's as physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past for some reason," Bobby V said of Youk at the time. 

The Red Sox traded Youkilis to the White Sox for two not-future Hall of Famers, outfielder Brent Lillibridge and right-hander Zach Stewart, later that season.

Youkilis, now Tom Brady’s brother-in-law by the way, had a 21-game stint playing in Japan in 2014 before retiring from baseball. 


Report: Bobby Valentine could be Trump’s US ambassador to Japan

Report: Bobby Valentine could be Trump’s US ambassador to Japan

Major league manager. Inventor of the wrap sandwich. Champion ballroom dancer.  And…

US ambassador to Japan?

Bobby Valentine is on the short list for that position in President Donald Trump’s administration, according to a WEEI.com report.

The former Red Sox manager (fired after a 69-93 season and last-place finish in 2012), and ex-New York Mets and Texas Rangers, skipper, also managed the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan’s Pacific League for six seasons. 

When asked by the New York Daily News if he's being considered for the post, Valentine responded: "I haven't been contacted by anyone on Trump's team." 

Would he be interested?

"I don't like to deal in hypotheticals," Valentine told the Daily News.

Valentine, 66, has known the President-elect and Trump's brother Bob since the 1980s, is close to others on Trump’s transition team and has had preliminary discussions about the ambassador position, sources told WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford. 

Valentine, currently the athletic director of Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn., is also friendly with current Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who, like Valentine, attended the University of Southern California.