March 25, 2011

Beckett: 2010 Was Toughest Year Of His Life

Josh Beckett spoke at length with Rob Bradford about what went wrong in 2010 and the mental and physical adjustments he has made and continues to make for 2011:
Last year was definitely the toughest year on me mentally, physically, everything. I've never endured a year like that. I had some great things happen to me in my personal life, but the physical limitations in my professional life made it the toughest year of my life, professionally, non-professionally, whatever. ...

I was missing the power at the end (of the delivery). I had some good [starts], and those were probably ones where I used my secondary stuff a lot better. The bad starts were the ones where I tried to throw fastballs by guys when I didn't have that power. I feel like I'm getting that back.

I had to re-train myself this offseason after I got into some bad habits. ... I have had to make some small adjustments this spring. it's still not 100 percent comfortable. ...

Things are much better than they were last year. I would literally lay awake nights after I pitched wondering how I was going to be able to do it again pitching like that. What could I do to compete better? And that's when the stubbornness set in. Just do what you've always done, that's what I was thinking. ... At some point last year I should have had to make an adjustment. I wish somebody would have just given me an ultimatum. "You do this or I'm kicking you in the [midsection]." But everybody handles things their own way. I should have done it to myself. I shouldn't have needed anyone giving me an ultimatum.
On the back page of this year's Maple Street Press Red Sox Annual (which I received yesterday and will post about soon), twelve contributors to this year's edition are asked: Who Is The Key To The Red Sox Meeting Expectations In 2011? Here is the breakdown of answers:
Josh Beckett 7⅓ John Lackey 1⅓ Clay Buchholz 1⅓ Jonathan Papelbon 1 David Ortiz 1
Buchholz was rocked by the Marlins yesterday, allowing 11 hits and 11 runs (six earned) in only four innings. Florida won the game 15-7. Jarrod Saltalamacchia was the hitting star for Boston, banging two doubles and a home run and driving in four runs. Jacoby Ellsbury and Jed Lowrie each went 2-for-3; LBJ hit his 3rd dong.

I felt like one of those days that, even ahead in the count, every time I made a mistake it got hit. But hopefully all that stuff is out of the way. I've got a little work to do.
HH makes his final spring start against the Rays on Tuesday.

The pitchers for the season-opening series in Texas (which starts a week from today!!!):
0401 - Lester / C.J. Wilson
0402 - Lackey / Colby Lewis
0403 - Buchholz / Tommy Hunter
Terry Francona says the Red Sox will figure out who will grab the final two spots in the bullpen over "the next couple of days". Jonathan Papelbon, Bobby Jenks, Daniel Bard, Dan Wheeler, and Tim Wakefield seem as though they have spots locked up, so the competition is between these nine pitchers still in camp: Hideki Okajima (3 options remaining), Alfredo Aceves (2 options), Scott Atchison (1 option), Michael Bowden (1 option), Matt Albers (no options), Rich Hill, Andrew Miller, Dennys Reyes, and Randy Williams.

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