BOSTON (CBS) – For Red Sox pitching coach Bob McClure, the perception that Josh Beckett doesn’t care couldn’t be more wrong.
“You don’t pitch for 11 years as a starter in the Major Leagues and not care. That has nothing to do with it,” McClure told WBZ-TV’s Dan Roche for Sports Final on Sunday night. “I see the guy in the mornings, he’s here early working upstairs, running, doing his core work. A lot of the things that people don’t see (is) Josh works as hard as anybody. He might not work out in front of everybody, but he’s always working. And I think that’s an unfair slight on him.”
Bob McClure On Beckett:
“Because he’s been so good, he’s going to receive more criticism from people,” said McClure. “The thing is with Josh, he’s the one guy when he’s out there you don’t know if he’s winning 5-0 or losing 5-0. He’s a true professional and he’s very strong-willed. I think that’s what’s made him good. I’ll take anyone that is stubborn and convicted in their ways because they’re better pitchers.”
Beckett had stiffness in his lat after throwing 126 pitches in his April 29 start against the White Sox, but didn’t think he needed to miss a start. However, with Aaron Cook needing to be called up from the minors, the Sox told Beckett to take his next start off. The starter received criticism from fans and the media alike after 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Hardy broke the news that Beckett had been golfing just one day after being scratched.
McClure said Beckett hitting the links was blown out of proportion, and it was the timing of the outing that made it appear worse.
“Josh knows his body. I’m not saying I promote that what he did was right; I’m not saying that. If you’re healthy, or the perception is there is nothing wrong with you, there is nothing wrong taking your day off and playing golf,” said McClure. “I think with Josh, it was more bad timing. We wanted to give him a little bit of a breather. It wasn’t so much that there was an injury; his arm looked a little fatigued from Spring Training. It was more of that than being real hurt; just giving him a breather like you might give a hitter a couple days off from the outfield.”
“I think it was taken the wrong way, in my opinion, by the press,” said the Sox pitching coach. “Josh wouldn’t do anything to jeopardize himself and the team. If was just bad timing because he didn’t pitch well. If he had pitched well no one would have said anything.”
Beckett was put under even more scrutiny for not offering up his arm in Boston’s 17-inning game last Sunday. But McClure said having Beckett pitch in that game
“It’s completely contradictory to what you’re trying to do,” he said of the rest they were trying to get Beckett. “There is just no way (we would have pitched him).”