Sports Outside the Beltway

Keith Foulke to Hang ‘Em Up

A radio report out of Cleveland gives no reason why Foulke is deciding to retire and abandon a $5 million salary.

Pitchers and catchers reported to Winter Haven today, all but one of them that is. Keith Foulke will announce his retirement, ending the closer competition before the first practice session even took place. Joe Borowski will be the Tribe 9th inning man after Foulke decided to call it quits. Even though it was called a competition, Foulke was the guy most expected to win the job and be the team’s stopper, the role he had with the Boston Red Sox when they won the World Series in 2004.

Foulke had three rocky years in Boston, highlighted by his remarkable playoff performance in the 2004 ALCS and World Series. As powerful as Manny Ramirez’ bat was, Foulke’s gutty performances were truly the most valuable for the Red Sox as they won that season’s World Series. The following two injury riddled seasons seemed to deflate Keith Foulke, and some quarters of Red Sox fandom soured on the one time hero of the team.

In ten major league seasons Foulke had a 41-34 record with 190 saves and a ERA of 3.30. He didn’t do it with power, instead relying on a deceptive change up to fool batters.

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