I like Clay Buchholz. There. I said it. I might be the only fan in Sox Nation to makethis proclamation. At least out loud. But I do like him.
Yes. He is frustrating to watch. Sure he gives up homerun balls that need a flight attendant on board. (Nod to Bull Durham) Yes he works at a pace so slow snails are insulted when you liken it to them. He’s always hurt with injuries so mysterious Dateline NBC wants to do an investigation. But I still like him.
I always cheer for the guys who come up through the system. He worked hard at every level and made it to “The Show” at a young age. In his second major league start he threw a no hitter. He doesn’t get in trouble for being on Instagram during a game.
I also like that he hasn’t been arrested. (In full disclosure he did get busted as a freshman in college for stealing laptops and got kicked off his team. Not his best moment.) Today he does a ton for charity. Clay even produces a wine with Jon Lester and all proceeds are donated to fight cancer.
I like that he is married to a former Penthouse model. If you’re a guy and you don’t like that you’re just jealous.
I like him because I spent some time with him in Ft Myers a few years back. We talked. I interviewed him. We walked and talked some more. He was friendly and pleasant. He said yes sir and no sir in his slight Texas drawl. I liked that. Dude threw a no hitter at Fenway and he calls me “sir.”
For his career he has been good, when healthy. He owns a record of 73-51 with a 3.88 era. He can pitch. If the Sox trade for a pitcher with those stats today you’ll be giddy.
He gutted out 4 innings of no run baseball in the 2013 World Series despite the fact he was hurt and his fastball topped off at about 84 mph.
In sports we love to whine, complain, and hate on athletes. That’s okay. I’m sure Clay can take it. But he got booed off the field at home last week. In just his second start of the year. That’s just rude.
There are athletes I don’t care for. Guys who are jerks, abuse women or animals, or have 7 kids from 7 women. Clay is not one of them.
I like Clay. And I’ll like it when he stays healthy this year and wins 14 games. And if he doesn’t, I might boo.
But I’ll still like him.
Jeff Solari (@SolariJeff on Twitter) is a co-host on The Drive, 4pm-6pm weekdays on 92.9fm The Ticket. Follow The Drive on Twitter @929TheDrive and “Like” us on Facebook, The Drive Bangor. Stream The Drive live on 929TheTicket.com