By Tony Massarotti, Boston.com / Globe StaffClay Buchholz is a week away, assuming no further setbacks, and so the ticks of the clock are now clear and crisp. Jon Lester is in. Josh Beckett is in. And once Buchholz returns, presumably for an Independence Day outing against the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park, that leaves three men for two spots.
In alphabetical order: John Lackey, Andrew Miller, and Tim Wakefield.
Which one of these doesn’t belong?
Me? I’d go with Wakefield and Miller in this scenario, but let’s try to be as fair as possible about this. After all, we all have our biases. (Ahem.) On some level, Lackey, Miller, and Wakefield all deserve the right to remain in the starting rotation when Buchholz returns, leaving manager Terry Francona with a difficult decision when Buchholz returns.
Tony, Red Sox fans don't have player biases. They love all the players the same, and treat them just like they want to be treated. In their intimate lives, they live the same inclusive live that they preach in public.
Tony, if you look at the paunched 45 year old man, next to Lackey and Miller, which one looks like he doesn't belong on a MLB team? You admit your bias, to which I applaud. Because you know perfectly well that Wakefield doesn't belong, and earned run average is a little more important than wins or won/loss percentage.
Wakefield is truly the invisible man when he's out of the rotation, which given his recent innings history is most of the time. He's completely unthinkable in a playoff roster context. When he's in the rotation, he's this banal cartoon elephant that makes even you cringe on every pitch, even if the hitter is the post 20M a year Carl "Mr. .275 OBP" Crawbust.
Tony, the next time Theo looks away and hangs his head when he talks in public, ask him, with the grace of Charles Schumer, to please transfer Tim Wakefield to the hot dog vendor department. In other words, make him go away, Tony, please put an end to that nightmare paunched image that won't go away.