The Knuck Marches On

ESPN reports that the Red Sox have torn up the best contract in baseball.  Yes, they have replaced Tim Wakefield’s perpetual, $4 million per year contract with a 2-year, $5 million dollar deal.  This is obviously a source of concern for those who want to see Wakefield play indefinitely, as it suggests a timeline in the Red Sox’s mind.  Nevertheless, two more years will bring Wakefield that much closer to the great cumulative records of all time.  Here is how our favorite Everyman is doing in his relentless assault on the greatest pitching records of all time (years to goal are based on his average yearly production):

WakfieldTim Wakefield: 17 years Major League service (not including 1994, when he regrettably did not play)

Wins: Cy Young (511)
Wakefield: 162
Years to goal:36.6

Innings pitched: Cy Young (7,354.2)
Wakefield: 2,931.2
Years to goal: 25.7

Walks: Nolan Ryan (2,795)
Wakefield: 1,122
Years to goal: 25.3

Earned runs: Cy Young (2,147)
Wakefield: 1,411
Years to goal: 8.9 (!!!)

Hits allowed: Cy Young (7,092)
Wakefield: 2,836
Years to goal: 25.5

These year goals are, of course, rough approximations.  Everyone knows that the knuckle ball can, without warning, go off and become unhittable for a day, month, or half-season.*

I hope the Red Sox will do the right thing and let Wakefield remain their #5 starter until he accomplishes his Destiny as our generation’s greatest and best chance to wipe Cy Young, and occasionally Nolan Ryan, from the cumulative-stat record books.  Phillies, you are on standby to retain Jamie Moyer should the Red Sox fail in this mission.

*See Wakefield’s first half of 1995: 1995: 7-1, 1.61 era in 10 starts.