May 11, 2012

Beckett: "I Spend My Off-Days The Way I Want"

Josh Beckett:
I spend my off-days the way I want to spend them. My off-day is my off-day. ... We get 18 off-days a year. I think we deserve a little bit of time to ourselves.
Gordon Edes, ESPNBoston:
Beckett foolishly thought it was about golf.

It was never about golf. It was about giving a damn, or at least offering the illusion of doing so. ...

Thursday night was the first opportunity for Beckett to explain himself. But that was beneath him. ...

Defiant to a hurtling-off-the-cliff fault. ... Beckett evidently believes that even giving an inch is tantamount to surrender. ... He could have demonstrated some level of concern ... But no. Not Josh Almighty Beckett. ...

If he's going down, he's going down swinging, even if it means offering one of the lamest arguments ever put forth by a player, one certain to invite anger and ridicule.
Peter Abraham, Globe:
It's easy to be outraged about Josh Beckett and crack lame jokes about fried chicken, beer, and golf. Knock yourself out.

But the problem isn't Beckett. The problem is that nobody with the Red Sox — from ownership down to his assorted pitching coaches — has required him to be accountable or demanded that he change. ...

Every person in his professional life has given him a free pass because he was so good. Did you expect him not to use it? ...

If Valentine wants to, he can make life difficult for Beckett and demand change. But given the way the Red Sox have treated Beckett since he arrived in 2006, there is nothing to suggest that will happen.
John Tomase, Herald:
Josh Beckett does not do contrition, which is fine. ... The erstwhile Red Sox ace typically ignored the sound and fury that accompanies pitching in Boston, but hurling last night in the wake of a controversial golf outing, he seemed rattled from the start. The result was one of the worst nights of his career. ...

Afterward, Beckett redefined stubborn in his refusal to even acknowledge a perception problem.
Nick Cafardo, Globe:
[S]houldn't you exercise a little discretion?

I mean, you already have the beer and fried chicken stigma.

You didn't tell your manager about the lat discomfort before he left you in for 126 pitches.

Then you have to skip a start.

And then you play golf?

Beckett was supposed to be this team's pitching leader, but right now he's nowhere close to that.
Buster Olney, ESPN:
When the story about the chicken and beer broke, they wanted to hear Beckett throw himself on the mercy of Red Sox Nation. They wanted to hear an unqualified apology, and unqualified accountability, rather than griping about snitches.

Beckett didn't give them this. ...

[T]hey wanted an explanation from Beckett as to why it might have made sense for him to be golfing while being unavailable to pitch -- in the same way that an employer might wonder why someone calling in sick was seen partying on television at a ballgame.

Beckett didn't give them this. ...

There is a disconnect between the Red Sox fans and Beckett, reflected in the boos that he heard as he came off the mound, and even in the Boston front office, the question of whether Beckett has irreconcilable differences with the team for which he pitches should probably be asked. The Red Sox should probably begin exploring trade avenues.
Eric Wilbur, Globe:
[D]uring last night's postgame press conference, Beckett gave everybody - fans, the front office, media members - a reason to run him out of town with a ferocious vigor not seen in this town in years.

Beckett's smug defiance encapsulates everything we need to know about the 2012 Boston Red Sox, an over-privileged, under-achieving group of players who have become enemies to nearly every baseball-loving fan in Boston. ...

It's not that Beckett doesn't get it, he just doesn't care, and that is the most damning characteristic an athlete, someone who gets paid millions of dollars to achieve his greatest heights possible in order to help his team, can possess. ...

If Beckett is here next month, it's a clear sign that the Red Sox don't care what you think either. ...

I have never witnessed a more hated team in Boston than the 2012 Boston Red Sox ...
Bobby Valentine:
I've never seen a pitcher get hurt playing golf.
Ben Cherington:
Josh has always been accountable for his performance on the field. I don't believe his outing tonight was affected by anything he did or didn't do on our last off day. I expect he'll pitch well five days from now.
Clay Buchholz, Beckett's golf partner, was asked if he could see why fans were upset:
Not really. I really don't.


eric said...

i know this one should make me angry. i even WANT to be angry. but less than not surprising me, this takes wind OUT of my sails, rather than fueling any fire.

the fire needs to be relit. with positive news. the pilot is out.

BrooklynTrolleyBlogger said...

"Whatever - I do what I want!" - quote, Eric Cartman

matthew said...

Looking over the 40-man roster, there are some subtractions I wouldn't mind seeing. Granted, the return value on some of these would be limited at this point, so they might not be practical:


Right now, I'm pretty much with eric. My interest level is too low to be angry.

Pokerwolf said...

I'm calling it right now. If the Sox only have a "so-so" season (end up in third), then we'll hear the standard arguments:

"It's a new GM and manager..."

If they do worse than that, this response is going to be one of the first things that people bring up.

If things don't change, I don't see how we'll even get third in the AL East this year. All the other teams are too good for us to catch up, even if we do string a bunch of wins together. Yeah, I'm being a Negative Nancy. But, that's because I'm not being given any glimmers of hope from the team or the front office.

Jim said...

I'm still waiting for the "inside baseball" guy (or gal) who can explain why Beckett is pitching like shit.

Section 36 said...

Good for Beckett. I was hoping that for the home opener, he'd use the entrance song "Hell Yeah, I Like Beer." I like to think that the only reason he didn't was because of the language. Why do we care that he likes to eat, drink, and play golf? Doesn't 90% of the world like those things too? He owes us no explanation, especially after the career year he had last year.

laura k said...

Why do we care that he likes to eat, drink, and play golf?

We don't, as long as it doesn't interfere with his job performance.

Doesn't 90% of the world like those things too?

And if that 90% allows their love of beer and golf to interfere with their job performance, and they're called on it, is that fair?

We are not Beckett's employers, but professional athletes do answer to fans, and we do have a right to expect them to do their best.

Section 36 said...

I'm pretty sure Beckett is giving us our best. Last season, according to BR, Beckett had the fifth best WAR (5.5) by an AL pitcher. Even when he was drinking beer on days he didn't pitch and eating food in the clubhouse. It doesn't look like it interfered with his performance very much to me. As for the golf, if you want to argue that he pitched poory on Thursday because he played a round of golf a week earlier, that's just crazy.

laura k said...

As for the golf, if you want to argue that he pitched poory on Thursday because he played a round of golf a week earlier, that's just crazy.

If anyone was arguing that, it would be silly. But no one here is doing that. And he did pitch well last season, which AFAIC has nothing to do with what's happening now (although it does to some people).

Beckett had an injury that caused him to miss a start. He supposedly refused to do his training, but was able to play golf. That's not the same thing as a healthy player who is doing well playing golf on his day off.

We cannot be sure that his lack of work between starts is related to his piss-poor performance, but it's reasonable to make the connection.

allan said...

Despite a solid 2011 overall, Beckett's two worst months by ERA and WHIP were August and September. His September ERA was 5.48. In each of his last two starts, he gave up 6 runs to the fucking Orioles.

He said his concentration during September was elsewhere - he also apparently slacked of on training and gained a bunch of weight - and he said that if bothered you as a fan, then you could go fuck yourself.

allan said...

Dan Roche:
"Was told by a #RedSox source that Beckett felt he was fine and wanted to pitch last Sat, but team told him to take the day off. #wbz"


So why did Beckett not pitch on Sunday? And why did this information not come out until a week later?

It still doesn't add up. Either the tight lat was a lie for giving Beckett a day off and Cook a nedded start (no reason to lie about that, though) or this simple explanation is bullshit (if he was fine, why not pitch the next day (and give everyone an extra rest during the 20/20 stretch) or toss an inning or two in the 17-inning marathon)?

allan said...

Some reading posting at SoSH and shared here (Ihave not read them):

Jon Couture and Joe Posnanski

allan said...

Beckett talked with WEEI before Friday's game. LINK

"I don’t want to be part of a reality show. ... That’s not what I’m here for. I’m here to win baseball games and we’re not doing a good job of that. ... I want to part of the solution, not part of the problem."

Maxwell Horse said...

Even though his comments in the WEEI interview were sort of cryptic, it actually made me think that maybe this whole thing has been misrepresented to paint him as more of a villain than he deserves. I get the impression that Beckett was trying to be a "team player" by going along with the idea that he should miss a start, some kind of stupid ruse that the front office cooked up, and everything blew up after that. He was never asked to pitch in the 17-inning game, and apparently would've been turned down even if he'd offered.

If true (and it may not be), it sort of reminds me of the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode where they encounter a space anomoly that knocks out the entire crew. When they wake up and go about their business, Picard slowly begins to realize that Data is lying about what happened in the time after they were knocked out. The episode culminates with Picard threatening to have Data dismantled to see what has gone wrong in his wiring that he would disobey a superior officer's commands (which is a hell of a U-turn from Picard's previous stance that Data deserves the same rights as a human being ala the "Measure of a Man" episode). Then they discover that the only reason Data was "lying" to Picard this whole time was because he was ordered by Picard himself to lie to them when Picard and the crew woke up, and it was for their own good so that they would never return to the space anomoly and discover the xenophobe alien race that would kill them all. And it just made poor innocent Data look bad when he was really trying to be good ...

So yeah, in this case, Cherington and Lucchino are Picard, Beckett is Data, and the fans are the audience. And Bobby Valentine's crazy experiment with having Aviles bat leadoff is just like Beverly Crusher's experiment trying to get moss samples to thrive in the dead vacuum of space.

And the only reason that Beckett chooses to look like a bad guy instead of just admitting that he was never really hurt in the first place when he missed his start but just went along with that plan to be a team player, is because his "programming" (i.e. he's an stubbord ass) won't allow him to.

Also, Jerry Remy is a Ferengi.

Or not.

Tom DePlonty said...

Also, Jerry Remy is a Ferengi.

You just won the Internet today, for me anyway.

laura k said...

But the real question is: was the Star Trek TNG episode filmed or made digitally?

Maxwell Horse said...

It was filmed. (The evils of digital only overtook mankind around 2005 or so.) Then the filmed footage was transferred to videotape before going through post-production editing. Then the product was broadcast in analog. The interlacing of the analog broadcast both preserved and enhanced the sense that one was seeing a breathing world, a sense already instilled in the initial 24-frames-per-second filming of the show.