Verified Good Guy Tim Wakefield had 17 wins in 2007, but he also had recurring shoulder issues that plagued him through the later half of the season. After he rang up a 9.64 ERA in 4.2 innings of work in the ALCS, the decision was made to keep Wake off the World Series roster.

It was obviously a tough thing for Wake to swallow, but putting the team’s goals before his own was pretty on-brand. Ever the company man, he took the high road, saying, “It seems like my recovery time is getting longer and longer and longer, and I just don’t think it’s fair to the other 24 guys on this team that I go out there and maybe I pitch well and maybe I don’t, and then I’m not available for the rest of the series.”

When it was all over and the Sox swept the Rockies for their second World Series title in three seasons, Timlin let the world know what Wake’s fellow players thought of him. And it felt damn good.