Friday, May 11, 2012

A Different Take on Beckett

I don't like Josh Beckett. I never really have, but:

Josh Beckett is one of the most talented pitchers the MLB has ever seen. He has a career ERA of 3.88, 1,647 strike outs and a W/L average of .599 (.628 with Boston). He deserves days off and shouldn't apologize for what he does during those days. His start was skipped in favor of bringing up Aaron Cook, from my understanding. It's that simple. He didn't lie and say he felt tightness so he could get on the golf course the next day. He was skipped. This is a non-story had the Sox gotten that win, but then certain "sports journalists" would have nothing to write about so there's your latest Beckett-Diva story.

But he pitched 3 innings last night and gave up 7 runs.


Relax. The man's supposed to be in a hyperbaric chamber on his off days? C'mon. His post game interview was dripping with contempt and petulance, but you know what? You Boston fans (myself included) are a different breed. You're like foaming from the mouth rabid when one of your players (from any team) is less than perfect. Spoiled much? One day he's a king among men for pitching 7 shut out innings, another day he's a team cancer. Make up your minds and stop being Shaughnessy's Sheep mmkay?

I have respect for his talent, but I cannot friggin stand Beckett. I want to. Don't get me wrong. I've always wanted to. I mean seriously, anyone who makes a few members of the Philly pitching staff look like little bitches is aces in my book. His comment to Francona after his first bomb: "Oh yeah. I can hit." I loved it. It was confidence and tenacity and just the right amount of arrogance.

But he's been exposing himself for what he really is and I love it even more. Why? Because players are not perfect. They don't have to be. I never understood fans elevating players to a level of godliness and then stripping them to the bone at the first failure. This is why I try not to get attached to individual players. They are people, not just expensive flesh in a uniform. Just because they play for your team doesn't mean they owe you apologies or explanations for every personal move they make. They aren't your friend. They aren't your family. They get paid to play for the Boston Red Sox and that's it. Last night I saw tweets praising DLowe for his pitching yet bashing Beckett for his. Why? Because he gave up 7 runs or because he went off the map for his day off? Ya think maybe the golf story had him off his game? It can happen. I'm not making excuses for him, but he is, after all... HUMAN. Even more ironic, DLowe had a DUI not that long ago, but Beckett's the bad guy. C'mon, seriously? These players are human and not all humans are going to be endearing. The amount of flak that Lackey got last year for his problems with his wife was just beyond vile. Since when does he have to answer to fans or media regarding his marriage?? Goddamn ridiculous. I don't like Lackey either, but that's a post for another day.

I don't like Beckett and I don't have to. It doesn't make me less of a fan or more of a fan. I just don't like him. It has nothing to do with golf. It has nothing to do with chicken or beer or any other moronic "story" the Globe wants to force feed the public. He just has a cocky don't-give-a-fuck attitude. Does he have to be all sparkles and rainbows and sunshine? Nope. He has to pitch and pitch well. He is a professional who is paid to play ball. He is not paid to be role model for your kids. He's not paid to answer to you, the fan. He is paid to pitch and pitch well. There is no prerequisite to baseball stating that he needs to put on a happy face with fans. There is no prerequisite to baseball stating that I need to like every member of the team. He doesn't need to be liked.

A little support from the home crowd couldn't hurt though. It's not like it's going to make the current dysfunction in that team any worse than it is right now.

As much as I dislike Mr. Beckett I do NOT want him to fail at his job. I don't take pleasure in his failings, but I do take pleasure in fans realizing that players aren't perfect. If the media could take a break from constantly shelling him he might have the motivation to relax and get back into the game. It seems they've placed sole blame on him for the September collapse. Lackey and Lester are mentioned every once in a while, but it always comes back to Beckett being ringleader. Why? Because you (and self-aggrandizing media) KNOW he doesn't give a shit what you think about him. He knows you know. He knows you know he knows too. He knows he's arrogant. He knows he's selfish. He also knows he's the best pitcher on the team and he isn't going anywhere. Love him or hate him. He's Josh Beckett, ace pitcher for the Red Sox and he is not paid to give a shit about fan opinion.

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