Tim Wakefield will undergo back surgery today at Massachusetts General Hospital to repair a herniated disk that troubled him for most of the 2009 season. Despite the injury he still made 21 starts for the Red Sox–and won 11 of them.
The 15-year stalwart of the Sox is one of those rare athletes who says little but does a lot–on and off the field. Tim is renowned for his low-key but plentiful charitable efforts. And, as a player, he ranks atop the all-time Red Sox list for games started by a pitcher (388). Moreover, he needs to work just 64 2/3 more innings to become the all-time Boston innings leader.
Perhaps most impressively, he only needs to win 18 more games to eclipse both Roger Clemens and some guy named Cy Young as the all-time Red Sox win leader. Impressive company for a guy who started out as a marginal outfielder in the Pirates organization when the first George Bush was President.
And, assuming he emerges healthy enough from this setback, he will likely re-up with his sparse, “handshake deal” $4 million contract and be a solid 5th starter in Boston’s 2010 rotation. We should all be sending out our best wishes to this Red Sox warrior today.