Reporting Dan Roche
BOSTON (CBS) — Josh Becket has accomplished a great deal in his MLB career. He is:
– a three-time All-Star
– a two-time World Series winner
– the 2003 World Series MVP
– the 2007 ALCS MVP
– the owner of a 7-3 record with a 3.07 ERA in 14 postseason games
– the winner of 12 or more games six times in his 12-year career
Beckett has battled through injuries over various parts of his career as well. He gutted his way through an oblique injury to pitch in the 2008 ALCS. In fact, since arriving in Boston for the 2006 season, he’s pretty much been a gamer. And, for whatever reason, he’s elected not to tell the fans what was exactly wrong with him when he was hurt.
In that way, Beckett is a throwback. He also likes to carry around that stubborn Texas mentality. One of his idols is the great Kenny Powers from the HBO series “Eastbound and Down”. He likes … and laughs at a ballplayer’s crazy side.
With that said, I think Beckett is misunderstood.
Beckett has made his share of mistakes while here in Boston. For whatever reason, he fell out of shape last September. But, I will tell you that his heart has been in the right place.
Josh Beckett cares. He cares about winning. He cares about his fellow pitchers and teammates. He cares about Red Sox fans. He cares about his family.
Beckett hasn’t changed all that much since arriving in Boston. He certainly doesn’t throw as hard as he did when he first got here, but he’s adjusted. Last season, as a pitcher and not a thrower, he made 30 starts and went 13-7 with a 2.89 ERA. That was the fifth-lowest ERA in the AL last season.
Off the field, Beckett tried as best he could to explain and apologize for the September collapse. It was hard for him (like Fonzie on “Happy Days”) to say the words, “I’m sorry.” That’s just his nature.
I’ve had several conversations with Josh, asking him why not go out there and lay out your heart for Sox fans to see? He won’t do it. He says his words will get twisted whatever way the media wants and it won’t come out right.
It’s too bad the fans don’t get to hear Beckett talk pitching. He loves it.
He also loves pitching in Boston. Everything about it, too. He told me he “loves the highs as well as the lows.” He says it’s much better pitching in that kind of an environment than in a place where nobody cares.
So, all this leads me to the question — why?
Why boo Josh Beckett when he gets hurt? I think he’s given it all he has here in Boston.
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And, you know what? Maybe you feel if Beckett gets traded then it will help take a lot of the pressure and anger out of the Sox clubhouse. I can’t really argue with you because it may indeed clear the Sox clubhouse problems if one or two guys left. Fine.
But, the guy was hurt. Injured. You would think that may happen somewhere else, not in Boston. But it did. Maybe Sox fans thought it was a minor thing, but there’s no excuse for it.
You can say all you want about how bad the Sox have been this season. However, Josh Beckett doesn’t deserve what he got last night. Not for what he’s done here.
Follow WBZ-TV’s Dan Roche on twitter @RochieWBZ.