With the return of Dice-K looming in the very near future, the decision has been made to send Tim Wakefield to the bullpen. The sixth starter becomes the odd man out. Wakefield has been a good soldier throughout his lengthy Red Sox career, doing whatever the Sox needed: starter, middle reliever, closer…all of the above. He has been left off the play-off roster despite being part of the reason the Sox made the play-offs. And he has done it all without complaint. Until now.

While Timmy didn’t come out and bash the Sox, it was pretty easy to read between the lines to sense his frustration. From Boston.com:

While there doesn’t seem to be any defined role for Wakefield out of the pen, it’s obvious the 43-year-old isn’t keen on his new assignment. His dreams after signing a two-year deal last offseason were to win another championship, become Boston’s winningest pitcher, and earn his 200th win. If he spends any length of time in the pen those personal goals are likely in peril.

Asked if he had any thoughts about going to the pen, he said, “I don’t have any.’’

Asked whether he was concerned about his limited relief outings in recent years, he said, “No.’’

Asked whether yesterday’s outing was difficult considering the circumstances, he said, “No, it was a start, just another start.’’

Wakefield was asked, however, if he was told in spring training he would be a starter and now he’s not. Wakefield would only respond with, “Today was a very good day. I threw a lot of strikes and unfortunately we came out on the short end of the stick.’’

The only bright spot in this story is that it might signal the end of the Scott Atchison era.

On to Thunderdome to show those Canucks what’s up.