Dance Knuckleball, Dance

Steve LangContributor IOctober 13, 2008

The 294 people who've read my two published articles will know, I'm a big fan of Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield. Most Red Sox fans will tell you that their favorite players are David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, or Kevin Youkilis, but for me, it's more than just the obvious players who get it done for the Red Sox each night.

Without Ortiz, Pedroia, and Youkilis, the Red Sox have literally zero chance of making the postseason this year. However, people like Wakefield know what it's like to be "there," in the postseason. 

I watched Game Three of the ALCS tonight at home with my father. After the third inning, my father said that because we were down 5-0, that not only was Game Three a loss, but because Wakefield was pitching Game Four, we were down 3-1 in the series. 

Normally, this is a time where I snap at my father for being a moron, but for some reason, I didn't. Over the weekend in Boston, after the pitching matchups were announced, I got the same feeling from everyone in the city, and that feeling was that Wakefield shouldn't pitch Game Four.

I had no idea why people were suddenly so against the thought of Wakefield, a near lifelong Sox player, whose given all his prime playing years in Boston, pitching in an important game in the postseason.

I sat with my father for the rest of the game, and I thought about what he had said. I mean, I have no problem with anyone disliking Wakefield, because there are people on Boston sports teams that I dislike as well, but I thought "don't count the Sox out because someone other than Lester, Dice-K, and Beckett is pitching". 

Boston fans, like you and I, are seriously some of the greatest fans in the world. We know more about sports than any other fans on this planet, or at least "we are never wrong in any argument." I love that about Boston, but sometimes we neglect to recognize good players when they need us the most. 

Last year, through thick and thin, my friend Josh and I were absolute, diehard fans of J.D. Drew. He struggled all year, and no matter what happened, Josh and I stuck by him, because he has more potential than anyone in baseball.

The regular season ended and everyone but us, it seemed, wanted Drew on the bench.  Then he hits an absolute missile grand slam at Fenway Park in the ALCS and suddenly he's a fan favorite in Boston again. Josh and I knew that he had that in him, and we stuck by him until he finally showed the great city of Boston that he was for real. That's not what I want for Wakefield.

I want people to stop giving up on players like Wakefield and Drew. For J.D. Drew, he had his great moment, and believe me, there are plenty more to come, Sox fans. However, for Wakefield, I want people to believe in him going into tomorrow night's game.

Not only does Wakefield deserve it, but I think I'm sick of Sox fans giving up on players, and then jumping right back on their bandwagon when something good happens. Boston fans are better than that, and I'm personally sick of those fans who jump on and off bandwagons due to the hotness and coldness of a given player. If Tim Wakefield gets lit up tomorrow at Fenway, the typical uneducated fans will jump all over Timmy.

However, when Wakefield throws a pressure-packed gem tomorrow, I will not be surprised, and the rest of Boston shouldn't be either. Have some faith Boston, it's far from over.