“Texas,” the word brings places of remembered beauty to your mind, heart, and spirit.
And you wonder: “Would Boston be willing to trade me to the Rangers?”
You imagine how it might be: pitching for the team owned by your childhood idol, Nolan Ryan; being back in your social element; it would be like finally going home; you could head off more often to your Herradura Ranch, a 7,000 acres for deer-hunting, outside of Cotulla; Holly and the baby would be going home too.
You’re Josh Beckett, family man, and that is your new identity; you were once the “Phenom” pitcher out of Spring High School, where Kenny Humphreys was the first coach to really understand you.
Then, you became “Star Pitcher Florida Marlins,” pitching on the mound and “playing the field.”
Then, your life changed forever on Valentine’s Day, 2010, when you proposed to Holly Fisher, a longtime friend from your hometown of Spring, Texas; you went way back to High School days with her.
About a year later you and Holly got hitched in Vegas and then along came your first child .
A few weeks before the baby arrived you introduced the world to “Josh Beckett, Family Man” and announced that your family was your first priority:
“Baseball isn’t my No. 1 priority anymore,” you said. “Everybody goes through that change. Some people might go through that change before that even happens, but I definitely find myself thinking about [Holly and the baby] whereas a lot of times I used to be thinking about how I was going to get this guy out, or what I needed to do that day. They’re my central focus.”
Your transition from “Josh Beckett, Major League Pitcher” began to shift to “Josh Beckett, Family Man” began during Holly’s first trimester, when you recognized that there was something else that you wanted just as bad as making it as a pitcher in The Show:
“Maybe a couple of months into the pregnancy, it started to become real…When you first find out you’re pregnant, there are a lot of different emotions, but it’s not quite real yet. But then you get a couple of months in and you go to the doctor’s appointment once a month, check in on the baby, do that first ultrasound, and it becomes real then. You realize that person is going to completely depend on me and it literally wouldn’t live without us. It’s something I’m really looking forward to. Since the time I’ve wanted it, I’ve wanted it bad.”
You’re Josh Beckett and pitching for the Rangers, in Texas, would make things nearly perfect for you and your family. Should you call Holly and talk to her about it? Nah, why get her hopes up, until it was even possible. But, you could call your agent, Micheal Moye, and ask him to approach the Red Sox about a possible trade with Texas…You hit the speed dial button the number that starts with “404” and you get the secretary; you ask her to have Mike give you a call “ASAP! It’s urgent!” You toss the cell phone on the bed and turn the volume down on the baseball highlights.
You’re Josh Beckett and you know that your trade value is as low as it has ever been in your stellar career. Maybe you could talk to Nolan Ryan? He’d understand why you would perk right up in Texas. He would understand why you have been so uncomfortable here in Boston. Then, he might be willing to put a little more on his side of the trade and make it happen.
Hell, the Red Sox, especially these crazy fans, would be glad to see you leave. The guys would be glad for you; you always got along with your team mates. This was one of the most tightly-knit teams you had ever played on. Lester would definitely miss you…Hell, maybe they could do a package deal with you and Jon both heading to Texas!
You’re Josh Beckett and you don’t hate the fans, the bosses, the GM, or even Valentine. This is just a very bad fit for you. What was that song on the jukebox at the bar?
“There ain’t no good guys. There ain’t no bad guys.
There’s only you and me, and we just disagree.”
You smile and muse: “I’m a barbeque guy and they boil their meat up here; I like my Tex-Mex salsa, but these Yankees won’t eat nothing spicier than catsup. I like my privacy, but the Boston media act like they have the right to be are all up your butt, 24-7. Heck, they were probably up in the trees at the golf course, when I just wanted a day of peace and quiet.
And that Peter Gammons, they treat him like a god up here. He says that Lester is not happy in Boston and, even though Jon puts up a tweet to the contrary; but, up here in Red Sox Nation, who will they believe?
Gammons goes on that radio show with them two guys. Felger and Massarotti and they all agree that I am not a ‘top-of-the-rotation starter’ anymore. Really?
Gammons says: “He is what he is now. He’s a fourth starter…That’s what his stuff says he is. And if he gets five out of six quality starts, which he has, then he’s pitching above really what his talent is.” Really?
You’re Josh Beckett and it hurts your feelings to hear them say that crap and you think: ‘Fourth starter, huh? Trade me to Texas and I’ll show you clowns a #1 starter—an “ace”!
You’re Josh Beckett and you speculate about what that trade might look like; you remember that the jackass on that website…Bosox Injection… who wrote something about a 3-way trade, where you would go to Texas. You use Google and you find the post; you read the lead:
“Josh Beckett, metaphorically, has evolved from a hemorrhaging hemorrhoid to a rectal cancer that will kill any chance the Red Sox will get out of the Recovery Room and be alive for the Playoffs.
Smart money says that Josh would leap at the chance to go home to Texas.”
“Well, Earl Nash, you got that last part right, asshole!”
You page down to the part where he lists the trade details:
“RED SOX GET:
Wandy Rodriguez *[Sox and Astros split remaining 2012 salary; $2.5 million each.]
Josh Beckett *[Sox and Rangers split remaining 2012 salary; $4 million each.]
Lars Anderson [1b]
Jose Iglesias [SS]
Kolbrin Vitek [3b], Rank: 8, ETA: 2014, 23, R/ R, 6′ 2″, 195 lbs
You’re thinking out loud:
“Yeah, that could almost work; the Astros might want another prospect or two, but, it could work…SHEE-IT !” you shout and thrust your arms toward the hotel ceiling.
You’re Josh Beckett and you laugh at the irony that: “This jerk, Nash, has been all over my ass since Spring Training and now, he may have come up with a way to get me the hell out of here and all the way to Texas!”
“If this trade works out, when I get to Texas, maybe I’ll send that jackass some fried chicken and a case of beer, or maybe venison from the first deer I get…no, maybe I’ll have it stuffed for him…no, just the hind end and…”
You’re Josh Beckett, Family Man and you’ve got a call on your cell phone; you haven’t been this excited, about pitching, in years. Maybe, your goin’ home…
PHOTO CREDIT: Original image from http://bustedcoverage.com/2011/01/25/nightcapper-sorry-l; altered by Earl Nash using PhotoShop
Topics: 1B, Agent, Baseball Insider, Ben Cherington, Bobby Valentine, Brett Myers, Cotulla; Holly Beckett, Danny Knobler, Earl Nash, Felger And Massarotti, Herradura Ranch, Houston Astros, Jed Lowrie, Jon Lester, Jose Iglesias, Josh Beckett, Kenny Humphreys, Kolbrin Vitek. [3B], Lars Anderson, Micheal Moye, Nolan Ryan, Peter Gammons, Spring High School, SS, Texas Rangers, Valentine's Day, Wandy Rodriguez, WEEI, You’re Josh Beckett, “Phenom”