The Red Sox have John Lackey, Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, Daisuke Matsuzaka and Clay Buchholz, but Tim Wakefield says one of them is going to have to take a back seat to him:
“I’ve been right back on track with
my normal offseason routine and I don’t feel like there’s going to be
any setbacks, so I plan on being one of the five starters.”
I’m sure someone in the crowded Boston media landscape will try to turn this into a controversy of some kind (“Wakefield: TAKE A BACK SEAT, BECKETT!”) but such a thing would be silly. For one thing, Wakefield is a knuckleballer, and knuckleballers are totally awesome, so what should really happen is that Beckett, Lackey and Lester should be turned into mop-up men and Wakefield should get something like 54 starts. There. Controversy averted.
Only slightly more likely is that one of the six starters will get hurt or be ineffective at some point this year, rendering the notion that the Sox have a surplus of starters quaint. Remember last year when the Red Sox allegedly had seven Major League-ready starters to open the season? Somewhere along the line that turned into Paul Byrd, Junichi Tazawa and Michael Bowden being pressed into service, so I’m assuming that Wakefield will get plenty of starts in 2010 by simply hanging around.