BOSTON (CBS) — New Dodgers pitcher Josh Beckett was welcomed back harshly to the National League, surrendering a home run to the first batter he faced while wearing Dodger blue.
After the game, he received another somewhat unfriendly welcome, though this one came from a member of the Los Angeles sports media.
T.J. Simers, a sports columnist for the Los Angeles Times, had technically already introduced himself to Beckett over the weekend with some prodding questions, to which Beckett didn’t respond all that nicely. Beckett told Simers that if he pitches poorly, it will probably help Simers write a better column.
Well, on Monday night, Beckett didn’t exactly pitch poorly (3 ER in 5.2 IP), but he did give up a home run to the first batter he faced. That was just one of the topics covered in their several exchanges over the course of about a five-minute session with the media after the Dodgers’ 10-0 loss in Colorado. Below are some of the highlights.
Simers: Were you thinking that ball would ever come down from the first batter you faced?
Beckett: Um. I figured it would eventually.
Beckett: Yeah, I figured it would.
Simers: What’d ya think, at that moment, as you’re standing out there, Dodger debut, second pitch and … ?
Beckett: I thought I made a pretty [expletive] pitch. That’s what I was thinking.
Simers: That’s your choice of words?
Simers: After giving up so many runs that you have in the last three games, did you feel like this was progress?
Beckett: I felt like I made some pitches when I needed to, and then didn’t make some when I needed to.
Simers: How’s that different than normal?
Beckett: You try to make the majority of ‘em.
Simers: I don’t understand your answer to my question. How’s that different than when you normally pitch?
Beckett: Well, you see, you’re gonna have about four or five pitches every game that you have to make. And if you make the majority of them, you usually pitch good.
Simers: I’m trying to understand your mind-set, though, as you’re out there as a new Dodger, and a guy just kills the ball off you like that.
Beckett: It happens. It’s the big leagues.
Simers: Well … yeah, but it’s not supposed to. This is the Rockies, you’re supposed to be a dynamo. It’s not supposed to start like that.
Beckett: Yeah. No it’s not. … I didn’t draw it up that way. It just happened.
Simers: I suspect not.
Beckett: I had it going differently in my head.
Simers: Did ya?
Beckett: Oh yeah.
Simers: What’d you have happening?
Beckett: Weak ground ball to first base would’ve been nice.
Simers: OK. So when the ball is leaving the park as quickly as it did, did you make an adjustment?
Beckett: Oh, he hit it too high. It didn’t even leave that fast.
Simers: Yeah, that’s true. Good point. … He killed that ball.
Simers: That didn’t do anything to you?
Simers: What’d you learn about this team today, besides the fact that they can’t score?
Beckett: They can score. I’ve seen ‘em score. Since I’ve been here, they’ve scored. … Ten runs in three days. That’s not too bad.
Simers: Against the Marlins and Rockies?
Beckett: Sure. It’s the big leagues. That’s what happens in the big leagues.
Simers: You gotta get more than that.
Simers: Are you on your best behavior now?
Simers: Is this what we’re always gonna get?
Simers: So I can play this tape to you again and again over the course of time?
Simers: And it’ll still work?
Beckett: You bet.
Simers: That’s a promise?
Beckett: Well, I don’t promise anything.
Simers: OK. So my tape’s no good then?
Beckett: I can’t believe you’re still using a tape anyway.
Simers: I’m 61 years old, it’s the only tape I know how to use. I never figured out those things.
Simers: You promised me if you didn’t win the game it’d be a better column, and now I’m struggling a little bit here. Shouldn’t you pick up a chair or throw it or something? Because these guys have filled me in on what you were like in Boston.
Beckett: Yeah I threw a lot of chairs at them.
Simers eventually wrote his column, titled, “Fair or fowl, Josh Beckett can be who he wants to be with Dodgers,” in which he concluded that Beckett “has every chance now to be who he wants to be here. And we’ll just document it as he goes.”