Farewell, Foulkie

G_foulke_vi

Joy of Sox said it several weeks ago, and far better than I could:

Without his amazing bullpen work, that glorious October would have been yet another Yankee nightmare. In the process of bringing us what we wished for all our lives, he ruined his career.

Foulke’s 2004 postseason pitching lines are phenominal. It’s a shame that the relationship between him and Boston deteriorated so much — that it deteriorated at all, really. It certainly should not have.

Congratulations to him. This Sox fan, at any rate, hopes he regains his health and his job and mows down the Yankees a few more times this year. For old times’ sake.

[Edited to add link]

29 comments… add one
  • A lot of the players deserved better than what they got from some fans. Granted this is a business, but you had to figure the guy threw his arm out that postseason and the damage was serious.
    Gould luck Foulke.

    Rob January 4, 2007, 5:22 pm
  • Foulke treated the fans with more than equal disdain – that “flipping burgers” comment didn’t help at all, I imagine.
    Foulke will always be remembered as a vital part of the 2004 team. At least I hope he will: he deserves nothing less for his efforts. But he was hardly a cuddly figure. I think his legacy will be quite fair: the Sox couldn’t have won the WS without him, and therefore he will remain an unforgettably important player, though not an eternally likeable one.

    SF January 4, 2007, 5:27 pm
  • //Foulke treated the fans with more than equal disdain – that “flipping burgers” comment didn’t help at all, I imagine.//
    Nobody listens when I say this, but I have maintained all along that this was a misunderstanding, or at the very least blown out of proportion.

    beth January 4, 2007, 8:19 pm
  • foulke was probably too sensitive to really make it in boston, a town full of too sensitive fans…that’s the irony…i for one respect him, and yet despise him for his role in dethroning the yanks as the sox “daddies”…

    dc January 4, 2007, 8:51 pm
  • I don’t know about “too sensitive” dc. The guy shut the Yankees down in the Sox miraculous comeback (2004). There just aren’t many Closers who can be really effective for longer than a handful of years.

    walein January 4, 2007, 8:56 pm
  • p.s. I, for one, was saying very abusive things towards Keith Foulke that entire post season and he didn’t seem to be affected at all.

    walein January 4, 2007, 8:57 pm
  • I would have said that the constant partying and generally acting like an a-hole while on the DL ruined his career, and not the 14 innings he threw in the 04 postseason, but hey, that’s just me.

    Tommy January 4, 2007, 9:00 pm
  • dc:
    He MADE it in Boston. Utterly, completely. He wasn’t “too sensitive” at all. He was a linchpin of the championship squad. He was great in the playoffs, under the most pressure. He was prickly, but that seemed to have no impact on his ability to perform. The only thing that hurt his ability to perform was being hurt. And as the quote from Joy of Sox says, he may have broken down precisely because he was so great during that playoff run, a la Schilling, who didn’t really recover in 2005 from the 2004 efforts. And he was certainly a bit curmudgeonly, at least his public face was and the media pressed it, as Beth says. But he didn’t get run out of town because he couldn’t hack it in the tough climes of Beantown – hardly that.

    SF January 4, 2007, 9:03 pm
  • say what you want, but i think it’s as much in his head and his heart as it was in his arm…he was good, yep, for that 1 year…then he appeared to be burned out…if you want to think it was just physical, i’m ok with that…explain then, why he couldn’t wait to get out of town…

    dc January 4, 2007, 9:23 pm
  • Because he didn’t like Boston. That and being able to be successful in such city aren’t mutually exclusive, dc. We went through this a while ago regarding Selena Roberts’ column on the Unit. Players dislike cities that they play in. But that is often irrelevant to how successful they are. By almost any measure, Foulke was an enormous, indispensable success in Boston.

    SF January 4, 2007, 9:26 pm
  • yeah, he won you a stinking ws…something that wouldn’t have happened without him…then he got thrown under the bus…no problem…i’m ok with beantown being a place where people don’t want to play, believe me…they’ll have to start paying yankee type money to bribe players to come there…

    dc January 4, 2007, 9:46 pm
  • Who threw him under the bus, dc?
    The Sox offered to take him back, he declined. Based on his agent’s comments, he wanted to be a closer again, and the Indians were offering a better chance at that. Plus, he didn’t like playing in Boston. Just like Randy Johnson didn’t like playing in New York. Guess that means the Unit couldn’t hack it either, huh? Seems like this was a topic of discussion not long ago…

    Paul SF January 4, 2007, 10:38 pm
  • …you fans threw him under the bus, and your fo’s “offer” was token at best…”…Based on his agent’s comments, he wanted to be a closer again, and the Indians were offering a better chance at that….”…gee, last i knew paul, you guys need a closer, just not that one apparently…johnson leaving ny has nothing to do with foulke leaving boston, unless you’re suggesting some bizzare link…where’s godwin/goodwin when i need him?…

    dc January 5, 2007, 12:03 am
  • “you fans”…well, not all of you…but the fo’s “offer” was token, and this within the context of a desperate need for a closer suggests more than arm troubles…

    dc January 5, 2007, 12:08 am
  • Nothing token about it. They offered him arbitration, he refused it, end of story. They also declined their option on him but expected that he would have picked his own option up. He didn’t. Oh well.
    As for bus-throwing, the majority of Sox fans have done nothing of the sort — simply the small, outspoken minority like that jackass above the Sox dugout who heckled him. Since it’s become apparent in the past four weeks or so that Foulke wo’t be back, I’ve seen nothing but apprciation and respect throughout the Sox blogosphere for what he did in 2004 and what it cost him. You’re hurling generalizations again, and they’re prima facie laughable.

    Paul SF January 5, 2007, 12:13 am
  • /p.s. I, for one, was saying very abusive things towards Keith Foulke that entire post season and he didn’t seem to be affected at all./
    This was a little while ago, but that was absolutely priceless walein.

    QuoSF January 5, 2007, 12:57 am
  • Funny because it’s true Quo. Funny because it was so tragically true.

    walein January 5, 2007, 1:53 am
  • i guess my point was that the fo’s pursuit of folk this offseason seemed somewhat indifferent…offering arbitration seems to suggest that they thought he’d be available for a lesser price than by picking up his option…they hoped [not “thought”, as you suggest], that he’d exercise his own option, since that was at a much lower price than the team option…and now they find themselves without a closer, broken or otherwise…now that’s the real end of the story, paul…
    maybe his troubles are just physical, but i don’t think it’s out of line to think that just maybe he felt a little underappreciated…and maybe papelbon’s success overwhelmed him some, and he just figured it might be better to start over somewhere else…
    and i’m not “hurling generalizations again”, because i amended my post to say “not all fans”…since you’ve all denied it, i’ll concede that none of the fans on this site, except walein, maybe were down on foulke…just the fans i talk to that don’t use this site…

    dc January 5, 2007, 8:23 am
  • …or, maybe it’s because i spelled his name wrong…

    dc January 5, 2007, 8:24 am
  • “Fans threw him under the bus” ?
    You must be kidding….Foulke was offered arbitration & declined it. Yankee fans are so confused when it comes to the Sox FO.
    As for Sox Nation, I feel comfortable speaking for ALL when I say that Foulke won The Red Sox a World Series. I often think he was the MVP & personally do not think we win with out him!
    Yeah, fans gave him a tough time in 05 & 06, but the reality is, he was a huge contributor to our World Series win. I think Yankee fans should worry about their own fan treatment. Booing Alex Rodriguez – keep it up, it works for Sox fans, Booing RJ – that worked out well (-200 innings later). oh, the best was watching Jared Wright walk off the field with his arm hanging off his body & yes, he was getting booed by distasteful Yankee fans.
    Good Luck to Keith Foulke – I hope he comes back and kicks some ass!
    Thanx for helping Beantown bring home a WS.

    lee-visor January 5, 2007, 9:14 am
  • maybe his troubles are just physical, but i don’t think it’s out of line to think that just maybe he felt a little underappreciated…and maybe papelbon’s success overwhelmed him some, and he just figured it might be better to start over somewhere else…
    This is probably 100% accurate, dc. The key in your statement is that you state that “maybe he felt a little underappreciated” (bolding mine). But that is completely different from somewhat passively accusing us SFs of actually underappreciating him. We haven’t. It’s clear from reading many posts here and elsewhere (not that blogs are the arbiter of fan sentiment, but they certainly tell us something) that Foulke was most certainly appreciated. So while I think you are right in explaining why Foulke may have left, I don’t think it is fair to say something like “you fans threw him under the bus”, which is a direct quote, even though you did later amend it. Because even with the amendment there’s no quantification; you go from tarring all sox fans to tarring just enough to have driven Foulke away from Boston, when the person who had the option to leave (or stay) was the player. You place most of the blame on the fans for something that is very common in baseball: a player leaving a town that he may not have loved at the end of a contract (and yes, it was the end of his contract, once arbitration was declined) in the hopes of making more money elsewhere. To pin this exodus on the fans, even a contingent of them, is somewhat unfair. Foulke has every right to pursue other work, and he has every right not to like Bostonians. But it’s very hard to look at this situation and think that if only we Sox fans had been more appreciative of Foulke than he would have been around longer. I don’t think that’s the case. He would have been around longer if he had been healthier, pitched better, and been offered more money by the Sox (as in they had picked up his option). And those are the key elements of his departure: performance and money. Not a collective fan base’s love or distaste for a player’s attitude and performance.

    SF January 5, 2007, 9:33 am
  • Lee-Visor careful what you say….I think the saying goes something like Pot-kettle-black……

    Triskaidekaphobia January 5, 2007, 12:19 pm
  • “l a player leaving a town that he may not have loved…”
    It’s a reasonable assumption that Foulke’s lack of love (read dislike) for Boston had something to do with his treatment by fans and media in ’05 – ’06, after he left it all on the field in ’04. You’re attempting to give RSN a huge pass by suggesting otherwise.

    Andrews January 5, 2007, 1:51 pm
  • fair enough sf and lee-visor, but remember your words when you start kicking yf’s again for mistreating arod [where’s goodwin and godwin when i need them]…you insult observant fans who recognized some of you sf’s couldn’t care less about foulke once papelbon stole your hearts…and yes some of you [i said not on this site necessarily], have thrown him under the bus [see lee-visor’s admission of foulke’s treatment in 05 and 06…now that’s what i was talking about], as has the indifferent fo, who never really gave him a real offer to return, and now finds themselves without a closer…you will wind up overpaying for a lesser guy, trust me…i didn’t say that it was all the fans fault…rather a general feeling of being unappreciated [pap was now the golden-boy reliever]…i don’t care what you say, arbitration is a token offer…it says to me, you aren’t worth the option we have, so we’ll take our chances…that’s just good business, but hardly would give the guy the warm and fuzzies about the team actually wanting him…he figured to do better on the open market, and he did…sf, you say i “tarred” all sox fans, but you neglect to point out i corrected that immediatly because i knew you, for one, would over-react…for once, argue the point, and not the superfluous petty details…

    dc January 5, 2007, 4:31 pm
  • I don’t understand why statements like ” arod was booed all year by yankee fans” or “foulke was thrown under the bus by sox fans” gets everyone’s shackles up in such large measure. As a YF, even though many of us didn’t boo arod, enough people did to make that a valid critique, so I accept it. When someone makes one of these so called ” blanket statements” they are not “tarring” an entire fan base, merely pointing out that the actions of some speak for that fan base, like it or not.

    Anonymous January 5, 2007, 4:48 pm
  • that was me

    Andrews January 5, 2007, 4:55 pm
  • actually, i was one yf who “booed” arod, at the same time feeling sorry for him…it was kind of like sharks in a feeding frenzy sometimes, and i wound up feeling lousy about it…it’s the mentality that athletes are supposed to be invincible, so they can’t have feelings, and what the heck, they get paid well for their trouble…no player deserves to be booed i guess, but it is part of the game, and i still feel lousy about it…

    dc January 5, 2007, 7:08 pm
  • Let’s all be straight here. Keith Foulke SUCKED after 2004. Getting a “pass” is one thing, and though i’m loath to admit it, I think most SF fans gave him one during 2005; but he was TERRIBLE. As a fellow Yankee fan dc you must admit how enjoyable it was to watch such star rival turn into such a car crash of a situation.
    I don’t think the A Rod/Foulke comparison is valid. Im’ not an A Rod boo-er and though A Rod did play well below average in the first half of the season (his fielding being the most obvious issue), he was still one of the better hitters in the league whereas Foulke wasn’t even really a consideration as a middle reliever let alone closer.

    walein January 5, 2007, 7:33 pm
  • the comparison wasn’t about their performances, rather, it was about their treatment by their respective fan bases, and how that treatment tends to reflect on the fan base as a whole, fair or not.

    Andrews January 6, 2007, 1:42 pm

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