"No, no, no," Wakefield told MLB.com when asked if 2011 would be his final year.
The knuckleballer had said last season that 2011 could be his last year, and he will also be entering the last guaranteed year of a two-year deal signed prior to 2010 that ripped up his previous perpetual team option contract. But even though the 44-year-old can see the end of the line, he's not ready to cross it just yet.
"The door is always open. Until you actually see me sit down at that press conference and say that I'm going to retire, I wouldn't count on anything right now,". the 16-year veteran of the Red Sox said. "I just said it last year -- that  could be my last year, depending on my role or what might happen health-wise, but I'm not closing that door yet by no means."
If that door does close after 2011, Wakefield has no intention of doing so in a season with hard feelings.
"I fought myself last year, thinking that it was my job to lose and unfortunately that wasn't the case," he said of a season in which he lost his starting pitcher's job to Clay Buchholz. "It was a little hard to swallow -- I'll be honest with you."
Wakefield is expected to be the long man out of the bullpen and will pick up starts when members of the rotation hit the disabled list. So while Wakefield likely won't grab the 14 wins needed to break the record for most victories in a Red Sox uniform, he will still have plenty to contribute. Wake had a 5.34 ERA over 140 innings, posting the best walk rate (2/3 per nine) of his career.
Wakefield also received good news when the Boston Baseball Writers Association of America announced plans to name an annual award after Wakefield thanks to his many charitable contributions. Wakefield won MLB's annual Roberto Clemente award for 2010 in honor of his charitable contributions.
"It's very special," said Wakefield. "I joked when I found out. Normally they name awards after dead guys. I'm not dead yet. I'm excited. It's a very special thing."
-- Evan Brunell