So What’s the Big Deal With This Josh Beckett Situation Again?

You all know that I’m fairly new to baseball, finally picking a team to follow and hopefully becoming a fan. And with my new found enthusiasm of the sport I’m following the major headlines around the league and all that jazz. So can someone please explain to my feeble baseball mind why Josh Beckett not pitching for the Red Sox on the team’s dime is such a big deal? I get the whole wanting your best pitcher to start opening day and all that, but if he’s having spasms and shouldn’t travel 14 hours to pitch in a glorified exhibition, why is everyone making a fuss? I would think that the Sox and their fans would rather he stay out and get his back injury straight for, you know, the entire season and not just one game.

So I’m asking, why all the hubbub? Besides the standard it’s the Sox so ESPN has to cover every little detail about every little thing every player does while on the team. I mean, there’s gotta be an explanation, right?

12 thoughts on “So What’s the Big Deal With This Josh Beckett Situation Again?

  1. It’s not just simply Beckett missing the Japan trip. It’s a combination of

    (1) Beckett missing the Japan trip,
    (2) Schilling being out until August and maybe never pitching again, and
    (3) Matsuzaka probably missing the Japan trip.

    What was supposed to be a rotation of Beckett, Matsuzaka, Schilling, Lester, and Wakefield is now a rotation of Lester, Wakefield, Buchholz, Tavarez, and…I don’t know, maybe Tito can pitch. A kid who’s never pitched a full major league season, the personification of a heart attack, a kid who’s pitched a total of 22 2/3 major league innings, Julian !@#$ Tavarez, and Kyle Snyder or whoever. Ladies and gentlemen, the Boston Red Sox.

    Obviously, this doesn’t last because Beckett will get better and Matsuzaka’s wife won’t be in labor for months on end (presumably). And it isn’t a huge deal because whoever pitches 1 and 2 in Japan will pitch 1 and 2 in Oakland because of the three-game exhibition series in LA that falls in between. Maybe, overall, it’s better that Matsuzaka and Beckett miss this trip because they won’t be affected by the travel as much as everyone else will once the home opener comes and they begin a string of 20 straight games without off days. (Thirteen of those twenty are against NYY, Anaheim, Detroit, and Cleveland. That’s a tough schedule to come home to.)

    But I think that’s why everyone’s freaking out: it’s the combination of all this crap hitting at once, not just Beckett missing the Japan trip.

  2. Beckett was sorta moaning and complaining about the Japan trip in the off-season anyway, so to be honest I wasn’t really surprised about the … uh … timing of his injury. On a more selfish note I will be in Boston for the Sox/Yanks series in mid-April and if he gets out of his first two scheduled starts as has been rumored there is an excellent chance he will pitch a game that I am in attendance in. My Red Sox fan friends are daring me to rock the Yankees cap and Beckett t-shirt simultaneously at Fenway. Love the player, hate the team. :)

  3. It is not just that he is our best pitcher, he is also our hottest, and that’s why the loss is so enormous. When he’s healthy and pitching well he’s happy and when he’s happy he’s all sarcastic and fiesty and HOT but now that he’s hurt he’ll be all snappy and sullen and less HOT so I hope he gets better soon.

  4. Thanks for the explanation guys. Still, I say freak out when he can’t pitch in September, not March.

    Trish-It’s like you’re looking for danger right there.

  5. Nah–back in the eighties I wore a Bucky Dent jersey into Fenway. If that didn’t get me killed I think the Yankees cap/Beckett shirt combo should be okay, but thanks for thinking of me. :)

    And yes, KP–a happy Josh is a sarcastic, f-bomb-dropping 6’5″ bunch of screaming hotness. WHY MUST HE BE ON THE *^%$#@) RED SOX?!?!?!

  6. Pam, a few extra pounds this early in the season does not take away the fact that he is hot!! Maybe this minor setback is his wakeup call. Forget about Japan, he’ll get back into pitching & be ready to rock again this year. A bumpy start means nothing to a team like the Red Sox, it’ll just be a time for the young guys to step up. We know they have good teachers, now is the time to prove themselves!

  7. You’re missing the point SA. The central is going to be an absolute slugfest between the Tigers and Indians. The days of the wildcard coming out of the East are just over. The Red Sox and Yankees aren’t 5 or 10 games better than each other. They are 1-2, with the variance this year looking like it’s going to come down to a bounce of a ball, or the wind on a lazy flyball that just keeps carrying. When you play in a division as the Red Sox do, against the biggest payroll in baseball (yes, I’m a sox fan, yes, we spend a lot too, no, I’m not hiding the face), EVERY. GAME. COUNTS. When you absolutely have to win your division (at least, the way I see it this year) to get into the playoffs, one game against a crap team like the A’s in April that your Ace should absolutely dominate is important.

    You’ve also undoubtedly never lived in or around Boston. We could make a mountain out of an atom, not even a mole hill, when it comes to sports news. Beckett is one of the faces of the team, who just came in 2nd in the Cy Young, looks like the reincarnation of Jack Morris circa 91 in the playoffs, and to top it all, is actually a likable guy. So people (see, uneducated fair weather bandwagon fans who just hopped on because we won in 04 and 07 and wear those hell forsaken pink hats and don’t remember Danny Darwin, Frankie V, and Brian Rose) panicked.

    The Sox don’t need a 5th starter until April 13th, and will run with a 4 man of Lester Wakefield (in japan) Buchholz Matsuzaka and possibly Colon (who has looked about as good as one can expect Colon to look these days) or Tavarez as a spot 5th or long relief. I think Beckett doesn’t move from FL/MA until that April 13th series, by which point his “back” should be fine.

    When you play for October, April matters. Beckett not “Finding his fastball” in March is a legitimate concern, and should be viewed as such. Welcome to being a Sox fan. It almost never makes sense, the triumphs and travails are plenty, and the emergencies are unending. May the ride continue to be sweet, because it’s about time the sweet/bumpy dichotomy swung back the Sox way.

  8. P.S.- If that came across adversarial or accusatory it wasn’t meant to be. I just wanted to give you all sides of the story from my perspective, a lifelong Sox fan living and working in Boston, and that of the newcomers.

    @LA- What’s wrong with a gut? It says “I make enough money that I’ve let myself go” or “I love beer”. Those are both awesome messages *frowns* Ok ok, you’re right, it’s gross, I suppose I’m just particularly proud of the fact mine does an awesome William Shatner impression

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