Craig Kimbrel won't be attending Fenway Park ceremony Tuesday

Rob Bradford
April 08, 2019 - 3:37 pm

Everyone wants Gronk. Understandable. But it wouldn't have been the best choice.

When it comes to picking the perfect person to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at Fenway Park Tuesday there is one candidate who would have stood out head and shoulders above all else: Craig Kimbrel.

Unfortunately, that is not going to happen. According to a source, Kimbrel has chosen not to attend the pregame ceremony at Fenway Park celebrating the Red Sox' 2018 world championship.

Kimbrel is, of course, the unsigned relief pitcher who remains a free agent. He has spent much of his time this offseason working out at Babson College, still living in the Boston area. The time for the Red Sox to show interest in bringing back the closer has come and gone. They have made it clear for some time that the kind of allocation of resources it would take to ink Kimbrel were not in their plans. And when it became clear throughout the first 11 games of the season that finding a closer was the least of the Sox problems than any murmurs regarding a reunion were immediately silenced.

Assuming the reliever doesn't sign with another team prior to the home opener's pregame ceremony Kimbrel would have been a perfect option to toss the first pitch after accepting his World Series ring. 

But as has learned the problem is that he won't be there.

Let's not forget what Kimbrel did not only in the World Series run but throughout his three years in Boston. The righty saved 108 games in 119 chances, totaling a 2.44 ERA and .146 batting average against. In his 184 1/3 innings, he struck out 305 batters. All things considered, this would be the perfect send-off.

Here are some of the previous first pitch participants for the Fenway Park home opener: