The Red Sox pitcher retires after 17 seasons with the club, how Peyton Manning got backed into a corner this week, and University of Maryland football coach Randy Edsall is not popular with the staff of The Washington Post.
45-year-old Boston Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield is retiring. The knuckleballer spent the last 17 seasons with the team, and was perpetually game to eat innings, pitch out of the bullpen, and stay on the mound when his knuckler wasn't floating and he was throwing the equivalent of batting practice fastballs. He won 186 games with the Red Sox, the third most in team history, trailing only Cy Young and Roger Clemens, both of whom can throw the ball faster than 70-miles-per-hour. In increasingly typical Red Sox fashion, the farewell was a bitter one.
Wakefield has 199 career wins, and almost got number 200 late in the season last year at Fenway Park. After the season, he went on Fox and said the Boston fans "deserved" to see him chase the club's all-time wins record, while new Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said the team would only offer him a minor league contract for next season. That news prompted his agent to say "[Tim's] going to win 15 games somewhere else,” which didn't play well in New England in the wake of the team's September implosion. Wakefield tried walking that back, insisting he was getting in shape for spring training and "very much" wanted to pitch for the team, but Boston wouldn't budge. Correction: Wakefield did register his 200th career win on September 13 of last year. [The Boston Globe]
The Red Sox players who will be on the team this season are already griping about new manager Bobby Valentine's exacting ways, just like everyone predicted they would. On Wednesday, Valentine addressed the amount of frowning he was seeing from players during Spring Training, which he felt was entirely too high and "baloney." ESPN.com's Johnette Howard has put together an owner's guide to the Bobby V 5.0 (so named because he's been fired four times before). It's another reminder that Red Sox fans should expect the unexpected this year. On the one hand, he turns teams around quickly. On the other hand, they're prone to the same kind of disciplinary problems that became synonymous with Boston's September swoon. Only instead of beer and fried chicken in the clubhouse, he once had to explain why Ricky Henderson and Bobby Bonilla were playing cards in the clubhouse while the Mets lost the deciding game in the 1999 NLCS. But his players like him. Kind of. Said former Mets utility man Matt Franco: "Nobody loves Bobby V more than I do. But sometimes nobody wants to punch him in the face more than me, either." So at least the Red Sox with be interesting again this year. [ESPN.com]