An ode to Clay

By Mark Paulette

 

Let me clear up any confusion off the bat. Yes, I know what that word means. While some may say ‘good riddance’ to the former #11, I say “let us be kind.” After all, it’s the most wonderful time of the year and the guy just got traded for someone who has as much Major League experience as I do…

Oh, Clay Daniel Buchholz, your decade-long tenure in Boston was a classic case of what could have been. From a no-hitter in your second career start to your eye-watering greasy hair to having your newborn baby fall asleep on your shoulder which led to a season-ending injury. The Buchholz era in Beantown had every hue of the ’50 Shades of Clay.’

You were an enigma wrapped in well, let’s be honest…a fragile body. It always seemed there was a mystical and untapped potential in that right arm of yours that you would flash to the Fenway Faithful. But then quickly expunge such flashes as you served up a Frisbee of a cutter which would be deposited deep into the night’s sky.

It is only fitting that 2016 would be your final season in Boston, as it served as a microcosm of your career with the Sox. Beginning the year in the rotation, only to struggle mightily and be relegated to the ‘pen. You were then banished to Siberia, having a spot on the roster but not appearing in a game for a 19-day stretch in July. As any great epic would be, you emerged from purgatory to become a key cog in the Sox’ staff down the stretch.

You dazzled in 2010 with a 17-7 record and 2.33 ERA and dominated sorry hitters in 2013. Though much like your career, who knows how good that season could have been had injuries not taken their toll.

In the end, we should all be thankful for your service to the Sox. You appeared in 206 games, won 81 and proved to be one of the few legitimate Major League pitchers the Red Sox farm system has produced in recent times. You earned a World Series ring in 2013 and were along for the ride in ’07.

Let me be one of the many to wish you good luck on your next chapter. One that I’m sure will see 12 wins a year and an ERA in the mid 3’s as you journey towards the sunset in the comforts of the NL East.

And let me personally offer thanks for that one time you won me a delicious steak, courtesy of Aaron Jackson.

Oh, Clay, thanks for the memories, and the many contributions you made to our beloved Red Sox.

 

Mark HeadshotMark Paulette is the PVC on The Drive, weekdays 4pm to 6pm on 92.9fm The Ticket and streaming live at DriveShowMaine.com. Follow us on Twitter, @DriveShowMaine and “Like Us” on Facebook, Drive Show Maine.