Will he or won’t he?
Are we tired of this yet?
Conflicting reports Friday suggested that Red Sox starting pitcher Clay Buchholz was either on target to make his start in Game 4 of the World Series on Sunday, or that he was doubtful to face the Cardinals in St. Louis, this all coming on the heels of the Red Sox’ 4-2 loss at Fenway Park.
In other words, hey, Clay Buchholz.
Bloody sock? Nope.
Bloody hell, Clay.
“Our plan is for me to pitch Sunday,’’ Buchholz told the Globe on Thursday. “I might only have one start left but I’ll give it everything I have. I should be OK, but at the same time, if I feel like I can’t help the team, I’m not going to go out there.’’
Geez. Denny’s does less waffling than this guy.
Look, nobody can accurately criticize Buchholz for an injury that none of us has currently experienced, but for the love … enough.
Buchholz, of course, missed three months during the regular season with a neck injury we’re supposed to believe came on the end of sleeping with his child the wrong way. Now, after two sub-par starts in the postseason, it’s a sore shoulder he’s dealing with?
Our sports are littered with stories of athletes who persevered even in times of physical hardship when the moment called for it. Love him or hate him, and whether or not you truly believe (hello, Gary Thorne) that it was actually ketchup on his sock that historic October evening in the Bronx, Curt Schilling is the shining example when it comes to that matter in recent Red Sox history. Ask Patrice Bergeron, who only played in the Stanley Cup Finals last June with a cracked rib, what he thinks about Buchholz having an “owie.”
OK, so perhaps that isn’t fair, after all. Baseball calls for a precision and accuracy that other sports can circumvent, regardless of athleticism or mental stamina.
Buchholz clearly has the former. The latter is another matter entirely.
Fool me once, fool me twice. If this were a first-time incident with Buchholz, who would we be to judge? But this guy is beat up more often than a piñata dropped from 45,000 feet. And now his World Series start may be in jeopardy because of “soreness?”
Way to buckle down, Clay.
It’s nice of Buchholz to predict that he might have “one more start” in him though. What must a guy like Dustin Pedroia, who has battled through injury all season long, think about that with the Red Sox three wins away from the World Series. Classifying a player as fragile or injury-prone is one thing. Questioning whether or not a player has the competitive juice to battle through such situations is more of the concern when it comes to Buchholz.
Never mind Sunday, as the Red Sox look to the future, they have to ask themselves if this is a guy they can depend on.
History has shown us it’s probably not going to be the case. History is also at stake here this week.
Someone may want to let Buchholz know. These are the moments that can define your greatness.
Too bad that it seems like he doesn’t really care all that much about his.