Lots of good stuff over at atlanticleaguebaseball.com about former Red Sox closer Keith Foulke, who is now pitching for the Newark Bears:
Once the closer of the 2004 World Series Champion Boston Red Sox, just five
years later the 36-year-old righty finds himself pitching in front of crowds
that dip precariously close to triple digits on some nights for the Newark Bears
of the independent Atlantic League.
Last in the big leagues with Oakland just last year, where he posted an
0-3 record with a 4.06 ERA and one save in 31 appearances, Foulke’s sole
motivation seems to be getting back to the big leagues.
“I don’t enjoy pitching in this league, and I want to use it to help me
get out,” Foulke says.
Foulke came to the Atlantic League, he says, because nobody else wanted
him. He felt that going to Newark gave him the best chance to get noticed.
Several turned down Triple-A offers later—“that probably turned out to be a
little bit of a mistake,” he says—one of those offers rumored to have been an
early season overture from the Washington Nationals, and you get the sense he
feels that anyone who wanted to notice would have by now.
“I don’t want to end my career here,” he said.
“It’s a little harder to get mentally prepared to pitch here, just
because there’s really nothing on the line. That’s turned out to be a little bit
of a struggle for me.”
The question I have for Foulke is this: Why turn down the Triple-A offers? Did he think that he could get a major league deal straight from Indy ball? Was he being overly picky with his team selection? What could he have possibly been waiting for?
Whatever the reason is, Foulke sounds absolutely miserable in the Atlantic League right now. Normally I appreciate when an athlete opens up and delivers a candid response, but for some reason, Foulke's quotes in this interview make me cringe.
Between the "I don't like pitching here" line and the "nothing on the line quote", you get the idea that Foulke is stuck in baseball hell just waiting for some MLB team, any team, to rescue him.