After last September’s epic Red Sox collapse amid reports of players not caring, you’d think Josh Beckett, of all people, would be toeing the line and watching his P’s and Q’s this year. You’d be wrong.
Let's get you up to speed. Last Wednesday, May 2, the Red Sox decided to have Beckett skip his next start because of some stiffness and soreness in his shoulder and lat muscle. This came after a 126 pitch outing the Sunday before. Nothing particularly unusual here. Rest, skip one start and be good for the one after that.
Come on, this is Josh Beckett we’re talking about here. The king of not caring about anything else but himself.
The day after deciding he was too sore to do his job he went golfing. Save your "golf isn’t exactly a contact sport" comments. Swinging a golf club involves a whole lot of turning and twisting of the back and shoulders.
Josh Beckett is being paid $17 million to pitch this season. $17 million. Take a second to digest that.
For that $17 million Beckett is asked to take the mound every fifth day. Assuming 35 starts, Beckett gets paid $485,714.29 per start. Beckett should damn well make sure that his is as ready as possible for each and every one of them.
In between those starts Beckett should still conduct himself as a professional, which brings us back to last September. I don’t care if you’re not in the game. You should still be on the bench and involved in that game. It’s your job for pete’s sake. It’s not too much to ask that you are present for it during the critical three and a half hours of that very well paying job.
Last September was hardly the first time that Beckett has shown disregard for his teammates during games. Jack McKeon had to deal with this when managing Beckett for the Marlins. McKeon got so tired of looking down the bench and not seeing players there, including Beckett, that he locked the clubhouse door and made the players ask him for a bathroom pass.
The disregard for professionalism disgusts me.
Beckett made his return to the mound last night. Red Sox fans are so glad he decided to grace the bump with his presence. His job performance? 2.1 innings, seven hits, seven earned runs and two walks.
I know that pitchers golf a lot on their off days. And that’s okay. But for him to be sore and go golfing two days before missing a start is at the minimum bad form. It looks bad. And for $17 million this year Beckett should care about that.