I made a defense of Keith Foulke the other day, because the nimrods in Sports Radio were basically calling for him to lose his job after an opening day performance where he looked, at worse, “shaky”. So then last night, with the Sox clinging to a one-run lead in the ninth — the perfect time to bring in your closer — they went with Jonathan Papelbon instead of Foulke. Papelbon retired the side on 11 pitches, which has lead all morning to discussion of the idea that he has taken Foulke’s job. Whether or not this is true remains to be seen, but in reading Dan Shaughnessy’s column in today’s globe, it put a smile on my face to see the following quotes from Foulke.
”He’s the manager of the Boston Red Sox,” said Foulke. ”He’s not Keith Foulke’s dad. He’s going to do what he thinks is best for the team. And the kid’s been throwing great. Maybe I’m not going to be in the closer role for now, but the Sox won. You’ll never see me embarrass myself or holler at teammates or the staff. This situation was handled correctly.”
This is why it annoys the shit out of me when the meatheads on the radio call in saying, “yo, man, Keith Foulke sucks!” The guy was a key component in the Sox winning their first World Series in 86 years, then had a bad season because he was both hurt and going through a painful divorce. The fans piled on him, which made it worse. Now, a fresh season, and they won’t give him a week to prove that he’s back (despite the fact that he had only 1 outing all spring where he gave up any runs).
His comments are dead on. He’s a class guy. I hope he saves 40+ and that allows Papelbon to work his way into the rotation where he belongs. Foulke deserves better than to be thrown on the scrap heap after one season.