Defending Josh Beckett for Playing Golf
A report has surfaced from 98.5 The Sports Hub that Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett played golf last Thursday, a scheduled day off for the Red Sox. No big deal right? Well to some it’s turning into a major catastrophe considering that Beckett went to Bobby Valentine a couple of days earlier and said that his lat muscle was sore, leading to Beckett missing his start on Saturday.
Many fans and some mainstream media members are ripping Beckett apart over his actions. They claim that Beckett has disrespected his teammates by golfing when he declared he had a sore muscle and was subsequently skpped in the rotation. My thought is, who cares if Beckett was golfing.
Seriously? I understand that Boston is a fishbowl media market and a player can’t have a BM without it being analyzed and evaluated but do we really care what Beckett does on his off day? It’s not like he went water skiing or skydiving, two sports that bring more risk than golfing. The Big Show on WEEI.com suggested that maybe Beckett was riding in the cart with his buddies, or maybe working on his short game, something that doesn’t require much exertion. Just because he may have been spotted at the golf course doesn’t mean he’s guilty as most want him to be. Why are we so quick to judge before we have all the facts?
To say he disrespected the game and his team is unfair given the facts that he was not told to refrain from working out and played catch the following day. Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe reports that Beckett admitted he felt fine after the catch session. Manager Bobby Valentine even said that Beckett’s start was skipped as a simple precautionary measure, proving that the seriousness of his lat muscle soreness was mild at best.
The team didn’t want to risk further injuring one of their top pitchers (on most years) and skipping a start was the right decision at the time especially when you consider Beckett threw a whopping 126 pitches in his last start.
It’s easy to criticize Beckett if he did play golf on the off-day when he was deemed the ring leader of the chicken and beer scandal that has left a black mark on this organization. His ego is the size of Texas and he’s done what he’s wanted since he came to Boston. The owners and management have never stepped in and tried to corral Beckett or his behaviors, just as long as he pitches well. Even that has only gone right every second year so while you have a professional acting like a self-loathing bigot and you don’t agree with his actions, he’s not the only one to blame.
The last thing this team needs is another off-field distraction that the players will now have to address. How about we let these guys focus on baseball and winning a series in Kansas City tonight and forget that Josh Beckett may have played golf last Thursday.
If Beckett had declared he couldn’t make his next start then perhaps the golf story would have some merit, but he’s scheduled to start Thursday night at home so who the hell cares. It’ll be a shame if Beckett gets booed from the crowd over this when he takes the mound tomorrow night. If his performance during the game stinks then boo away.
Now let’s play ball and win some damn games.
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