2012 MLB Trade Deadline logo2012 MLB Trade Deadline

MLB Trade Deadline: Nolan Ryan Would Be the Right Guy to Tame Josh Beckett

BOSTON, MA - JULY 20:  Josh Beckett #19 of the Boston Red Sox looks at the baseball after giving up two runs in the second inning against the Toronto Blue Jays during the game on July 20, 2012 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images
Christopher BenvieCorrespondent IIJuly 30, 2012

On August 4, 1993, Chicago White Sox third baseman Robin Ventura learned a great life lesson: don't mess with Nolan Ryan.

After being hit in the elbow by a Ryan pitch, Ventura decided to charge the mound to confront the wily Texan. At that point, Ryan took Ventura out back to the woodshed, putting him in a headlock and delivering five blows to the cranium of a man 19 years his junior.

For Ventura, it obviously was humbling. For Ryan, it was about respect.

Ventura was ejected, Ryan stayed in the game and pitched flawlessly.

What is the point of rehashing a story from 19 years ago? It's all about respect.

The Texas Rangers have been rumored to have interest in acquiring Boston Red Sox starter (and native Texan) Josh Beckett.

Depending on the source you read, the Rangers are still interested, they are not interested, there is zero chance, there is a two percent chance, yadda yadda yadda.

In other words, your typical trade deadline fodder.

Though Ranger fans would love to see the team make a push for Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Cliff Lee, the price tag associated with him is much too high.

The Miami Marlins have (if you believe them) recently rescinded the availability of their ace, Josh Johnson—probably because he has looked like a fourth starter, not an ace, in recent weeks.

With the Boston Red Sox, the Rangers may have their best and most viable option if they are serious about adding pitching depth before time expires on Tuesday. 

The Red Sox are motivated to move Beckett, whether they admit it or not. While it can be looked at as unfair or unjust, Beckett has become the face of the September 2011 collapse. His name was involved in the whole chicken and beer fiasco and his demeanor is wearing thin on Bostonians.

Beckett is stubborn and arrogant. At times, he comes across as defiant, yet indifferent.

In other words, he's frustrating to watch while the team is underperforming. 

The Rangers do, and should, have concerns about Beckett. To begin with, he is only 5-9 with a 4.57 ERA and a 1.274 WHIP. His K/9 ratio is only 6.8, which is the second lowest of his career. The lowest, 6.9, came in his first year with Boston in 2006.

That said, he is still Josh Beckett.

That is, the same Josh Beckett who shut down the Yankees in the 2003 World Series. The same Josh Beckett who was instrumental in Boston's 2007 World Series victory.

Beckett is built to pitch in October. He could be just the player the Rangers need to finally bring home a World Series victory.

Yes, he is owed a lot of salary. The Red Sox, being the Red Sox, would likely eat most of the salary just to turn the page.

With Nolan Ryan around to knock some sense into Beckett, is there really a downside to him being moved to Texas?

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