In 1991 Mike Timlin, 41, broke out with the Toronto Blue Jays. He appeared in 63 games and finished the year with a 3.16 ERA. He bounced around — Seattle, Toronto, Seattle, Baltimore, St. Louis, Philadelphia, back to St. Louis. He was perfect in four World Series games between 1992-93 with the Blue Jays, allowing no runs and only two hits.
He came to Boston in 2003. In the heart-breaking American League Championship Series against the Yankees, Timlin was perfect. He appeared in five games, allowing no runs on one hit before Aaron Boone flopped a homer to left field off Tim Wakefield in the dreaded 7th game.
He appeared in 76 games for the 2004 Red Sox — five more games in the comeback effort against the Yankees in the ALCS and three games in the first World Series victory in 86 years. The tall Texan was there to break the curse of the Bambino.
This year, he was perfect in three ALCS appearances, allowing just one hit and no runs. Tonight it was Mike Timlin, who manager Terry Francona turned to to hold the lead in the clinching game of the World Series while the powerful and determined Rockies threatened in the late innings.
And hold that lead he did.
Congratulations are due to the MVP of the series, Mike Lowell for his amazing performance.
To Josh Beckett for his seamless starts throughout the post season.
To Jon Lester, who beat cancer and a stacked Colorado Rockies roster in game four.
To Jonathan Papelbon, for four saves in the post season, each of which went over an inning and stretched his arm beyond normal closer-role limits.
To Curt Schilling, who is the best post season starting pitcher ever.
To Jason Varitek, the captain who held the team together.
To Dustin Pedroia, who will be the 2007 American League rookie of the year.
To Jacoby Ellsbury, who may be the 2008 American League rookie of the year. (He didn’t have enough at-bats this year to be considered a true rookie)
To Coco Crisp, who accepted his defensive role for the good of the team.
To Manny Ramirez, who should always be Manny being Manny.
To Kevin Youkilis, who hit .388 in the postseason this year.
To J.D. Drew, the most criticized player on the team, for busting out with a grand slam in game six of the ALCS and showing us his true potential.
To David Ortiz, who is a good first baseman.
To Bobby Kielty, who never could have imagined, after the Oakland Athletics cut him this year, that he would hit the game-winning home run in the World Series in a few months.
To Julio Lugo, for never giving up.
To Doug Mirabelli, Erik Hinske and Alex Cora for being there.
To Manny Delcarmen, Javier Lopez and Erik Gagne for being ready in the bullpen.
To Daisuke Matsuzaka, for being worth every penny.
To Kyle Snyder, for staying ready and taking Tim Wakefield’s place on the roster when he realized he couldn’t pitch.
To Tim Wakefield, for putting the team first at all times.
But most of all, I thank Mike Timlin — not only for his pitching, but because he took the bullpen relievers and turned them into the next great American band. He was the ringleader behind the clanking and chiming in the outfield that created a motivational tune from the workhorse bullpen, started by the head horse, Mike Timlin.
Fellow baseball veteran, Tim Wakefield was being interviewed by the NESN television network during the celebrations early this morning when Timlin butted in and took the microphone.
“I just wanna say one thing. This guy right here, this win is for this man right here,” he said, Champagne dripping down his shirt, “because he was not on the roster and he showed so much heart by saying ‘I can’t be on the roster and it was good for the team.’ This is what kind of person is standing right here. I love this guy. I’m proud of this guy. It’s the hardest thing to do to take yourself out of the game for someone else, but he did it and I’m proud of him.”
Wakefield had to wipe away tears before his next interview.