Friday, February 17, 2012
Tim Wakefield set to retire
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- After 19 seasons in the majors (17 with the Boston Red Sox), knuckleballer Tim Wakefield will announce his retirement from baseball Friday afternoon.
He will hold a 5 p.m. ET press conference on the field at the team’s new spring training facility, JetBlue Park.
The 45-year-old Wakefield will walk away with 186 victories with the Red Sox, just six short of the team record shared by Cy Young and Roger Clemens. He picked up his 200th career victory late last season. He had been extended an invitation to Red Sox spring training but was not guaranteed a roster spot.
Wakefield, who finished last season with a 7-8 record and a 5.12 ERA in 23 starts, won just one of his last 10 starts, the bullpen failing to hold several leads. When the Sox desperately needed someone in September to step up and pitch a big game, Wakefield gave up five or more runs in each of his last four starts while lasting five or fewer innings in three of them.
He finishes with a career mark of 200-180 with a 4.41 ERA and 2,156 strikeouts. He was part of the Red Sox’s World Series-winning teams in 2004 and 2007. After starting his career with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Wakefield was traded to the Red Sox before the 1995 season.