Well Well Well! Look who decided to show up last night at Fenway Park. The rainy weather conditions did not bode well for Josh Beckett on the golf green which is why making his scheduled start probably took precedent over playing 18 holes. The Texas tough guy celebrated his 32nd birthday yesterday which leaves Red Sox nation curious as to what he might have gotten for presents. Callaway golf clubs? Gift cards to the Cask N’ Flagon and Popeyes? (Is anyone sensing some bitterness?)
All joking aside, Beckett came into last night’s game needing a good performance to be displayed for all to see. Not to prove anyone wrong because that’s not what his own personal job description entails. At the very least it will give him a sense of peace and allow him to continue to believe he is worth the horrendous $15.5 million dollar price tag he sports. Going 7 strong innings allowing only four hits while striking out nine is without a doubt a great performance… but take it with a grain of salt. The patty cake lineup that was on display for the Seattle Mariners is one that I truly believe would make Darnell McDonald look like a modern day Satchel Paige. A few things did strike me as positives about this start with his velocity being one of them. He came right out of the gate throwing 93 mph against the leadoff hitter Dustin Ackley. He combined a better velocity of his heater with an even better command last night as well. Beckett kept the pitch down in the zone habitually instead of throwing the hanging meatballs that were only to be launched onto the Mass Pike shortly after touching batters bats this season. His fastball has been his bread and butter his entire career with him being able to average around 94-95 topping out at 97 mph for the majority of his career. With the amount of innings he has thrown and his age being a factor as well, the days that he throws in the high nineties are long gone. Hovering around an average of 92-93 and being able to possibly reach back and hit 94 on the guns when he needs to has to be the goal at hand for him going forward. It allows the speed differential between his curve and changeup to increase giving him an advantage against opposing hitters. Another big change last night was not allowing him to have his personal catcher in Kelly Shoppach. Bobby V sent the right message by making that necessary change telling Beckett that he needs to be able to work with both catchers especially since Saltalamacchia is viewed as the starter. It was no secret how well Beckett and Varitek worked together in their tenure together but the captain was notorious for mastering the art of game calling. Beckett has built a reputation as someone that takes shortcuts and is lazy with working out which is why in my opinion he loved having Tek there to do all the preparation for him which leads me to my final point.
Because of his strong ego and sense of entitlement Beckett has rubbed a lot of his fans and people in general the wrong way. He never has and never will take accountability for doing something wrong off the field. You would hope that as a human that he has some ounce of pride in his obese body that will allow him the ability to compete and be successful going forward in his career. Being able to win 15 games this year is something his current team needs if they are going to have any shot at making it to October. That’s all depending upon if the almighty blister that has appeared so frequently in his past doesn’t show up mid July. Or allowing other off field things to cloud his judgment as well, but in my opinion the future is inevitable for him. He needs to be shipped far far away from this city either at the deadline or at season’s end. His attitude is an enigma that burns through this clubhouse like wildfire and it’s affecting the rest of the team. He helped this organization accomplish its second world series victory in the last 90 years to which the fans and ownership are grateful for but that’s in the past. He is not the same pitcher or person he was five years ago. Whether his bloated ego has totally encompassed his ability to make proper judgments or he is exemplifying the pressures of being a full time dad and an athlete I am not sure. Either way the three stooges In the front office need to look at their business investment realizing that if this situation is not properly dealt with in the future this team will suffer immensely.
About the Author
Written by Jefferson Mills
I am a 22 year old aspiring sports journalist. I graduated from Hofstra University with a BA in Broadcast Journalism and was born and raised in Norwood, MA, twenty minutes south of the great city of Boston. Sports consume my life in every which way as I have been an athlete since the age of 8 playing organized football, baseball and basketball throughout high school and have been an avid die-hard Patriots, Bruins, Red Sox and Celtics fan. I Interned for the "Mecca of Sports Radio" WFAN 660 AM while in college and also interned for News 12 Long Island. Working as a member of the hardest working sports department in one of the most talented college radio stations 88.7 FM WRHU is the one thing I am most proud of when it comes to my work in the field. My passion and work ethic define who I am as a writer, person and friend which is why I hope to become successful in the sports Broadcasting spectrum in years to come.