The combination of baseball and golf is a relationship that has been enjoyed by pitchers in MLB for many years. Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz will attest to that. The three former Braves stars often competed against each other on the links.
However, their golf games didn't quite raise the ire of fans quite like that of Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Josh Beckett's recent round of golf.
One day after Beckett was scratched from his next start due to soreness in his lat, Beckett went golfing with teammate Clay Buchholz.
When that tidbit of news hit the press, the reaction was swift and immediate.
The fact that Beckett got lit up by the Cleveland Indians on Thursday night didn't help matters any.
In Boston, perception is reality. The beer-drinking, chicken wing-eating clubhouse fiasco that became such a newsworthy item last year gave fans a reason to hate after the Sox' spectacular free fall in September.
And this year, with the Sox off to a 12-18 start, the ire of the fans hasn't lessened.
Anything that is perceived to be questionable is going to be brought to bear, and in Beckett's case, playing a round of golf two days before missing a start is certainly perceived to be a questionable act, regardless of how it is thought of by team management.
It's all fine and good that manager Bobby Valentine doesn't think Beckett's round of golf hurt him in any way, but try telling that to a Red Sox fan base that already has a low opinion of player accountability.
Doug Mead is a featured columnist with Bleacher Report. His work has been featured on the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, SF Gate, CBS Sports, the Los Angeles Times and the Houston Chronicle. Follow Doug on Twitter, @Sports_A_Holic.