They both began their careers somewhere else and were cast away, their futures at their chosen profession uncertain, perhaps even over.
For Terry Francona and Tim Wakefield, the Red Sox provided an opportunity for redemption. Neither has ever looked back.
Milestone Weekend ended yesterday with Wakefield recording his 2,000th strikeout with Boston while winning his 199th overall game as the Red Sox battered the Mariners 12-8.
Wakefield, whose free-agent signing by Boston in 1995 relaunched the knuckleballer’s career after being released by Pittsburgh, is seven victories shy of the Red Sox record of 192, shared by Cy Young and Roger Clemens.
But it was the strikeout total that led to a mid-game standing ovation and curtain call a week shy of Wakefield’s 45th birthday.
“It was pretty special. It was very emotional for me,” Wakefield said. “It says a lot about being in one place for a long time like I have, going through ups and downs in my career and being able to persevere for the last 17 years.”
The victory was No. 1,001 for Francona as a big league manager, the day after his millennium moment Saturday. Francona won the first 285 with Philadelphia, but his tenure there was considered a failure.
But his second chance in Boston has included two World Series titles.
Only Joe Cronin has won more games as a Red Sox manager.
“It shows his character, and he’s done the right things over his career,” Wakefield said. “He’s a great manager and I’m proud to say I’ve played for him for eight years. He’s brought two World Series championships to the city of Boston, and he gets the most out of his players on the field.”
Red Sox hand Seattle 15th ‘L’
The Red Sox now know it as well as any team:?If you need a quick win or three, play the Mariners.
Boston handed Seattle its franchise-worst 15th straight loss yesterday, collecting 17 hits in a 12-8 victory at Fenway Park.
The Sox (62-37) have won eight of 10 and 17 of 20. They’re first in the AL East by three games over the Yankees.
Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Jarrod Saltalamacchia had three hits apiece yesterday.
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