BOSTON (CBS) — Josh Beckett was a Cy Young candidate and World Series hero for the Red Sox in 2007 and will always be remembered for that season. But his tenure in Boston did not end well at all, with the 2011 “Chicken & Beer” fiasco dominating media coverage and Beckett ultimately being shipped out in the 2012 blockbuster trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers amid a poor season.
One of the negative moments that left a lasting impression on Beckett, however, was the 2012 controversy surrounding Beckett’s golf outing on his off day, which was ostensibly played with a lat injury. Speaking to 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich Thursday morning, Beckett revealed a fascinating detail that may change your perception of the entire situation.
“I wish everybody would have known the whole story,” said Beckett. “I’ll finish with this … Aaron Cook had an opt-out in his contract, I was pitching terrible – which is my fault – so we made up an injury so that [the Red Sox] could call him up, so he didn’t opt out and go to the Yankees. That was a thing, but I don’t think that that’s actually legal to do. I don’t think you can just phantom DL somebody.
“That’s the whole thing that I had a problem with is that nobody really stood up, and that’s when I knew it was kind of the end [of my time in Boston],” he added. “You don’t have anybody in the organization backing you either … so that’s when I knew, this is what the end looks like.”
Beckett faced a media firestorm over his purported lat injury and did himself no favors when he had a particularly testy exchange with reporters and infamously barked, “My off day’s my off day” – all over what was apparently a phantom injury.
On Toucher & Rich, Beckett repeatedly referred to the treatment of players by media and fans on the way out in Boston, which is often harsh and unfair, but also complimented Red Sox Nation for the passion that causes such extreme highs and lows.
Beckett also addressed the 2011 “Chicken & Beer” controversy, the Red Sox’s 2007 World Series championship season, and his upcoming celebrity golf tournament in Bermuda. Listen to the full podcast below: