Josh Beckett May Be Forced Into Retirement Due to Numbness In Fingers of His Pitching Hand


Josh Beckett has had a nightmare season for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He is 0-5 with 5.99 ERA. Nothing has gone right for him. Recently it got worse. Beckett was shut down with numbness in the fingers of his pitching hand, surely putting his career in jeopardy and possibly ending it.

Apr 9, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Josh Beckett (61) sits in the dugout before a game against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

“Any time something like that happens to your arm or you start losing feeling and stuff . . . you think about [retirement] for sure,” Beckett, who is on the disabled list after four to five weeks of numbness in the fingers on his right hand, told the Los Angeles Times. “I don’t really want to think like that right now. I want to think about figuring out a way to deal with this.”

To be fair, this is a question that must have been weighing on his mind for quite some time. Bosox Injection’s Earl Nash, in a July 2012 column titled “You’re Josh Beckett, Family Man and You’re Dreaming About a Trade To Texas” published a revealing quote. As reported by Nash, Beckett said, “Baseball isn’t my No. 1 priority anymore. 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.”

"I’m not implying that Beckett is copping out. What I’m saying is that given his frame of mind dating back to mid-season last year, he may not have the will to want to come back from this latest injury, especially given his remarks to the Times."

Although things got rough for Beckett in his latter years with the Red Sox and Red Sox Nation, early on he pitched in Boston during a very successful stretch in the team’s history, only to leave New England frustrated after the chicken and beer scandal of 2011, injury and increasingly poor performance.

Thanks Josh. When you came to Boston as a World Series winning phenom from the Marlins in 2006, you lived up to your billing. You had solid seasons in 2006, 2009 and 2011. You ate up a lot of innings until injury got the best you. In 2007 you were hands down the best pitcher in Major League Baseball with a 20-7 record and a 3.27 ERA. Without you there would not have been a 2007 World Championship. You never made excuses and in post-game conferences took yourself to task more often than most pitchers do. Yeah, things got sloppy in the end but, hey, that’s the way relationships go sometimes.

If this is your curtain call, I’ll choose to remember the good times and the thrills you gave a fan base who had just gotten the taste of winning out their mouth in 2004 and were starving for more.