So in 2010, we’ll have Lackey, Beckett, Lester, Matsu and Buchholz. A pretty solid five-man rotation. But where’s Shakey Wakey, the guy who represents everything that’s right and good in the world of sports and pitched well enough to make the All Star team last year, at the tender age of 65. Wake himself thinks he deserves a starting spot, and I’ll be damned if I don’t agree with him:

“It seems every year, and I don’t know why, my name gets brought up like this when I don’t feel I need to prove myself every day. I don’t know where the rumors are coming from, but I try not to pay attention. Hopefully, they respect me enough to give me the ball when we get to spring training as a member of this rotation. I think I’ve earned the right to be a full-time starter and go from there. I know my role, and I know what my approach is going to be when I get to spring training: be a starter and help us win the World Series.”

As much as I hate to hear players talk about how they’ve “earned the right” to anything, I make special exception for Wakefield. He’s the heart and soul of the team, our elder statesman, and the only guy on the roster who can wax rhapsodic about the Lee Tinsley era. He was there, man, and we can’t ever forget it. Plus, there’s a good chance he’ll still be pitching long after talking apes have taken over.

We can never quite be sure what we’re gonna get from Matsuzaka, and Buchholz may still be trade bait. Why not start the season with a six-man rotation to see what Timmeh’s got in the tank. Crazy, perhaps. But I get a little silly when it comes to Wakefield.

What say you?