The natives are getting restless. That’s an understatement, especially when it comes to Josh Beckett and his pitching performances that go back to late last season. He did not win back any fans with his first start of the season, the one in Detroit where he couldn’t contain the Tigers from belting five home runs off him. In fact, it’s made the curious case of Josh Beckett more concerning with the possibility that his thumb is not 100%.
Now he’s scheduled to start the home opener for the Red Sox and anything less than a fine outing will have Red Sox Nation foaming at the mouth. One caller on WEEI on Thursday went as far as to say he has a rubber chicken and he won’t be afraid to throw it should Beckett struggle. First question that comes to mind is “why do you have a rubber chicken?” Ok, I’m not going there.
Beckett has a big ego, that’s no surprise to anyone who has followed his career. But when he’s on his game he backs up his arrogance with dominating performances, making all the off-field shenanigans acceptable. Last year that all changed when the Sox squandered their lead in September and Beckett was named the ring leader of Beer Gate. He spoke to the media about it and admitted to making mistakes, even if it was slightly unemotional.
He’s even vowed to try and win back some fans this year and the only way he can do that is to go out and pitch the way he did for the first five months of last season. Anything else just won’t do and the fans will let him hear about it.
If Beckett can go out and deliver a fine performance and the offense rally around him, maybe the club could use that as a turning point to the season. He’s been labeled the ace of the staff before, but that now belongs to Jon Lester. What Beckett can do is prove he’s a leader and that he wants to win in Boston. Couple that with a bounce back effort on Friday and Beckett will be on the road to winning some fans back.
Do you believe Josh Beckett is capable of turning the Sox season around on Friday?