One of the more interesting moments of the Wakefield farewell press conference was when he gave props to Dan Duquette. After all, it was Dan the Man who took a chance back in 1995 that the former first baseman-turned-knuckleballer could transform into a successful piece of the Red Sox pitching staff after being unceremoniously dumped by the Pittsburgh Pirates. At the time, it was a quirky move. How could anyone have guessed the guy would still be working his mojo 17 seasons later?
I know it’s been said many times, many ways, but Wakefield’s shout-out reminded me just how much of Duquette’s handiwork went into the 2004 championship team. Yes, Theo and crew famously campaigned for Schilling and a lot of the other ammunition, but they also inherited Pedro, Manny, Damon, D-Lowe and Varitek courtesy of the Duke.
Duquette is mostly (and, it could be argued, wrongly) remembered for being the guy at the wheel when Roger Clemens left town to tear things up with Toronto and New York. And his penchant for blazers and sneakers made him seem every bit your nerdy uncle, especially when compared to fresh-faced Theo. But Wakefield’s longevity and impact on this city is just another example of the many good things Dan accomplished. So this morning’s vodka and Red Bull is for him.