The Red Sox announced yesterday that Wakefield will return to the organization as an honorary chairman of the Red Sox Foundation and as a special assignment instructor to the club’s baseball operations.
On the baseball side, Wakefield will handle specific assignments for Ben Cherington, including working with any knuckleballers that enter the Red Sox organization. Right now, they have two — Steven Wright (Triple-A Pawtucket) and Charlie Haeger (extended spring training).
“As a special assignment instructor, just being an extra set of eyes for (pitching coach) Juan (Nieves) downstairs or Rich Sauveur in Triple A or within the organization that I might be able to see something mechanically or help out with another pitcher mentally,” Wakefield said. “Just another sounding board for them. Not only working with Steve and Charlie Haeger as knuckleballers but also with other pitchers as well.”
Pedro, Varitek, and now Wakefield get to be "special" somethings in this Red Sox organization. Somewhere Bill Mueller is pacing around his house, staring at his phone, waiting for his call from Cherington.
I actually think this is pretty cool. Historically, the Sox haven't had a stellar relationship with past stars. If they have to buy goodwill with money and titles, I'm OK with that. It's far better than having them feud.
Plus, these guys very well could have a positive impact on the field. We know Varitek is getting groomed to be a manager at some point. Pedro was already down in Fort Myers working with the young'ns. And now Wakefield gets to help any knuckleballers in the Sox system hone their craft. These are all good things.
In Wakefield's case, there's also the charitable role as chairman of the Red Sox Foundation. The Herald article states that Wake will help with "fundraising events, community service days and personal visits." As good as he was on the diamond, Wake was even more impressive off of it, being nominated for the Roberto Clemente award eight times.
Now he gets to continue doing two of his favorite things for the Sox organization: hurling floaters and helping communities. Win-win.
On page 2, last night's makeup game has been announced.