BOSTON (CBS) –Josh Beckett remained with the Red Sox after Tuesday’s MLB Trade Deadline, much to the chagrin of Boston fans.
Many of them blame Beckett for the “toxic” atmosphere in the Red Sox clubhouse, a sentiment Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan said the team’s ownership also feels.
Passan joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s The D.A. Show Wednesday night, and said it’s pretty simple why Beckett is still a member of the Boston Red Sox.
“Because nobody wants him,” Passan said. “There is a difference between being able to move him, and to move him for what they think is the right price. I think there is definitely some personal feelings involved with this one where they don’t want to eat the entirety of the contract. They know how bad that would look, and they know that extension – even at the time – a lot of people thought it was too much for Josh Beckett to be getting. I think they want to do everything they can to dump that contract without eating a lot of the money.”
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“Is that actually going to happen? Tough to say at this point unless the guy goes out and pitches his ass off for the next month or so,” he continued. “There is still not going to be anybody that wants him at the price the Red Sox are peddling him.”
What is it that makes Beckett unmovable? Is it his attitude or the nearly $38 million owed to him over the next two years?
“I think more than both of those things it’s his stuff. He’s just not a good pitcher right now,” said Passan. “His fastball averages 90-93, and Josh Beckett averaged 93 last year. The fastest fastball he’s thrown in the last month was 93.5 miles-per-hour. His average fastball was 93, and the hardest he can throw this year is half a mile-per-hour over that. He was up in the high 96’s last year.”
“I think teams will take on a player that has talent, but is getting paid a lot. I think teams will take on a player with a bad attitude, but is still good. But when that skill erodes, and you’re not sure it’s coming back, that’s when a guy becomes toxic. That to me is what teams are so leery about.”
Beckett had to leave Tuesday night’s start against the Tigers in the third inning with a back spasm, and left the mound to a sea of boos from the Fenway crowd.
Were Red Sox fans right to boo an injured player, given it was Josh Beckett?
“Can you be right but also be tasteless and cruel? That’s kind of how I look at it,” said Passan. “You have every right in the world to boo whoever you want to, as long as you don’t mind looking bitter. The reason for being bitter, I get it; Josh Beckett is the face of the collapse last year and I think a lot of the problems this year. They had every right in the world to do it, and I don’t blame them for it.”
“I think through actions — or rather inactions — in the past, I think he earned it,” said Passan.