In the middle game of a three game set between the Boston Red Sox and the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards earlier this week, a rubber match was taking place between Boston's Josh Beckett and Baltimore's Jeremy Guthrie.
That is, until O's outfielder Luke Scott smashed a 425-foot two-run homer onto Eutaw Street in the bottom of the fourth to break the scoreless tie.
Understandably, Scott admired his ball as it carried off into the night. Who wouldn't? If you hit a ball that far, you're going to want to see it go.
Unless your name is Josh Beckett.
The Red Sox' pitcher didn't appreciate Scott watching his hit fly, and appeared to be yelling at Scott as he stared him down multiple times as he rounded the bases, and even after he reached the inside of the dugout. The game's plate umpire, Fieldin Culbreth, had to calm Beckett down.
In Scott's next at-bat in the game against Beckett, the pitcher didn't retaliate, though that could be due to the teams being caught in a close ball game, as well as a sure-fire ejection had Beckett drilled Scott.
After the game, Beckett told reporters on the subject that "Those things have a way of working themselves out."
So is Beckett planning on drilling Scott the next time the two teams meet? Or will he have a fellow pitcher do so?
On the flip side, this is what Scott had to offer to reporters when asked about it after the ballgame: "When I got into the dugout, the guys said he was yelling or something like that. I've got all the respect in the world for Josh Beckett. He's one of the best pitchers in the game. I respect every pitcher who takes the mound against me. He is a tremendous competitor, and there are emotions. I'm an emotional person, so I can understand people getting emotional."
What's so bad about one admiring a lengthy home run they hit? Personally, I'm not exactly sure. If I were a pitcher and someone beat me in that fashion, I would understand them wanting to give it an extended look.
That's baseball, as well as life. People naturally want to take a look at their accomplishments, and for Beckett to get upset over it further proves that he has the emotions of a pre-teen going through puberty.
Beckett is well known for being one of baseball's most notorious cry-babies, and though there have been all too many examples proving as much, one sticks in my head.
I can't remember what season it was, but my guess is between three to five years ago. It was, again, a game at Camden Yards between the Sox and the Birds with Beckett on the bump.
Melvin Mora, a longtime Oriole during the last decade, was on second, taking his lead, when all of a sudden, Beckett turned around and started walking towards Mora, shouting at him the whole time.
I don't remember specifics, such as if the benches cleared or if Beckett was stopped by umpires/teammates before he reached Mora, but I do remember that no punches were thrown. It was a rather controlled incident, in terms of a baseball altercation.
I also remember why Beckett suddenly became incredibly pissed off.
He claimed that Mora was stealing his catcher's signs, something that Mora denied post-game, was very obviously not doing, and that happens in baseball all the time by the players. It's part of the game, just like how New York Yankees' captain Derek Jeter faked being hit by a pitch in a game late last year between his team and the Tampa Bay Rays. Teams find any way they can, within the rules of the game, to get a leg-up on the competition.
Again, that's baseball. For Beckett to react the way he did was simply childish.
God only knows why Beckett feels that he needs to be the unwritten rule police on the diamond. If he decides to retaliate against Scott the next time the two meet, it'll just be another example of the man's immaturity.
The time to unnecessarily retaliate was in Scott's next at-bat, which as I said, he failed to do. But a better alternative would be for him to grow up and play the game of baseball, not throw a fit over it. He should try to put a K next to Scott's name the next time he faces him, instead of a HBP.
Apparently, Beckett can't handle getting beaten in a game very well, and if I were a part of the Red Sox' management, I would have looked into getting him help for that a long time ago.
And just for the record, did he ever have a problem with Manny Ramirez and/or David Ortiz for doing the exact same thing so many times over the past decade? Didn't think so.