The Sports Hub co-host Scott Zolak tweets that the golf story is "100% IRONCLAD" and that Beckett was playing at a local course with Clay Buchholz.
Beckett admitted that the lat muscle was bothering him before his last start, in which he threw a career-high 126 pitches. Beckett admitted that he kept the soreness from the team and that throwing all those pitches exacerbated the situation: "I really wanted to pitch. I just ended up making things worse."
The day after the alleged golf date, Beckett played catch at Fenway Park and said he felt fine. Bobby Valentine said that Beckett also threw on Monday "and said he felt fine and was ready to go". Beckett is scheduled to start tomorrow night at Fenway against Cleveland, and is in (or on his way to) Boston tonight.
If Beckett was golfing, either the lat muscle was not that bothersome, or he was risking further injury by swinging a golf club. Neither choice paints Beckett in a positive light.
From Bobby Valentine's weekly interview on WEEI:
I'm trying to sort out my feelings. ... When we decided for Josh not to make his start, it wasn't because he was injured. It was a precautionary situation because his his lat was a little tight. ... I don't know if he was out at a charity match, just putting, or if he was whaling away and felt that might have loosened things up. ... I would say that was less than the best thing to do on that day off.And ...
SoSHer Gambler7, 2:08 PM:
Gary Tanguay on with Felger now says Beckett during the last home stand refused to do the work he was supposed to with the rest of the pitchers, said he didn't feel like it, refused to listen to the strength coach. Went into the clubhouse instead.When you consider that Beckett was one of the main chicken-and-beer boys and admitted to a lack of focus last September, the perception (or reality) that he has freely given the finger to two managers and his teammates in less than three months of playing time will be more than enough - coupled with his less-than-stellar pitching performances and expected taciturn response to questions - to ignite a sizeable firestorm of media attention.