Josh Beckett Drops F-Bomb on Reporter After Game

Following his Game 5 masterpiece (what else is new?), Beckett cruised to the podium for the usual five minute borefest known as a postgame media conference. Only this one had a little spice to it. Needless to say, his Ozzie Guillen choice of words caught everyone off-guard, and certainly those at ESPNEWS who were broadcasting live. The following short video is Rated R, you have been warned:

Hmm, I’ll bet he was happy to have his friend flown in there for free! Gotta love that salty Beckett — probably explains why he’s able to nut-up so well in the clutch.

More Inappropriate Language on LBS:
Ozzie Guillen Drops F-Bomb on Mike North Show
Brian Billick Has a Potty Mouth
Tony La Russa Gets Into it with a Reporter

Die, Danny Vinik, Die

I loathe you, Danny Vinik.  You are the anti-Steve Bartman, the next Jeffrey Maier. Danny Vinik ended the game for the Angels, making the play of the night for the Red Sox — outside of the Manny Ramirez walk off that’s headed to Canada — snagging that foul pop up from Jeff Mathis.

At the time, the Angels were up 3-2 in the game, with one out and men on the corners. If Mathis catches the foul ball, there’s two out, and then the Mike Lowell fly out to center ends the inning. Instead, Man Ram wound up walking, bringing up Lowell with only one out. That was it, game tied at 3, and the Angels couldn’t score any more runs. Matter of fact, they’ve only scored in one inning this entire series. That was their only chance — to be up 3-2 and hold it the entire game. Danny Vinik, you stink. More pics of the great grab after the jump.

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Jonathan Papelbon Does the Irish Jig

I just don’t even know what to make of this video. Is he drunk? Is he high? Is he just that giddy? Either way, he’s challenging Joakim Noah for the biggest clown yet. Brace yourself:

Napoleon Dynamite would not be proud. Thanks to 100% Injury Rate for the vid.

That Was Definitely Blood on Curt Schilling’s Sock

End the speculation. It was definitely blood on the sock. No question about it. And I will dissect every aspect of it:

First, the surgeon explains it all himself (but of course the skeptics would say he’s part of Schilling’s click).

Second, an interview on Cold Pizza with a spokesman for the Hall of Fame, where the sock is on display, says it was definitely blood. The spokesman cited the fact that the stain on the sock has changed color — from bloody red to now brown over time — as his evidence that it was not paint. If it were paint, not dried up blood, then there wouldn’t be any color change.

Third, Schilling was in an intense amount of pain. Sure he’s egocentric, pompous, and has an opinion on everything, but that doesn’t change the fact that he was truly hurting. Anyone who was watching can tell you that it was not an act.

Lastly, my inside sources tell me it was no joke when Schilling was on the training table getting ready for the start. I’m told the only thing he did to capitalize on the attention was to publicize some charity organization with initials (KALS appears on his shoe).

So what is the rumor all about you ask? Why then would Gary Thorne mention that the bloody sock was a hoax? Why would he cite a story from Doug Mirabelli as his source? Because Mirabelli probably did tell it to him. But Thorne fell for it. He got duped. He was the broadcaster who ran with it.

Sure Schilling probably trumped up the incident. Doesn’t he strike you as the guy who would give you the phone numbers for all his old coaches and friends if you were profiling him for an interview? Of course. But that doesn’t mean the sock wasn’t truly bloody.

My guess is that Doug Mirabelli, not unlike many other ballplayers, is sick of Curt Schilling and Schilling’s ego, Schilling’s opinions, as well as Schilling’s over-dramatizations. I bet he mentioned it in a casual setting as a facetious jab at Curt. Unfortunately, it appears as if someone took it seriously. That’s just my guess.

But one thing I’m not guessing about, is whether or not that was blood on the sock. It was.

UPDATE: The quote from Hall of Fame spokesman Jeff Idelson has now hit the wire, as has the story

Jonathan Papelbon Is Nails

After all the back-and-forth garbage throughout the off-season and Spring Training, it was easy to see after last night’s game why the Red Sox moved Jonathan Papelbon back to the bullpen. The stud closer was uber-clutch in closing out the 3-2 victory over the Rangers, preserving the win for Curt Schilling, and bailing out Joel Pineiro in the process.

Papelbon entered the one-run game with one out, and runners on the corners. It would be one thing if he had to face Nelson Cruz and Gerald Laird, but what Papelbon had to face was a completely different story. Papelbon had to get out two of the league’s finer hitters in Michael Young AND Mark Teixeira. The young closer proved himself to be a regular Hoodini, freezing Young on a heater that grazed the outside corner, which Young called a “great pitch,” and then getting Tex to pop out to end the inning.

Finally dealing with nobody on in the ninth inning, Pap over-matched bonafide major leaguers Sosa, Blalock, and Wilkerson in order to end the game. Needless to say I was ridiculously impressed by Papelbon’s goods and his ability to put together a five-out save in a pressure situation.

It’s easy to see why Boston moved Papelbon back to the closer spot — regardless of who the closer competition was (Timlin, Pineiro, et. al). Papelbon throws heat, has a dirty breaking ball, and he has the mental composure to dominate hitters late in the game, no matter the situation. It was performances like last night that make me confident in my Red Sox World Series pick, but also worry me that Francona will be tempted to overuse Jonathan who seems so adept at converting four-or-more out saves. Regardless, I won’t hesitate to say that Jonathan Papelbon probably has as big of nuts as any closer in baseball.

Baseball Preview: Boston Red Sox

Last year’s record and finish are in parenthesis with projected improvement/decline indicated by plus or minus.

Boston Red Sox (86-76, 3rd in the AL East) +11 games

Get Crunked: Manny and David Ortiz are the best 1-2 punch of any lineup in baseball. Those guys are studs, and the rest of the lineup is solid, not spectacular, but solid. The pitching rotation is pretty studly, just looking at Schilling, and Josh Beckett, who should rebound and adjust to the AL East. Dice K appears to be pretty good and should have success. Papelbon was as good as any closer in baseball last year and he’s back in that role. The lights are bright in Boston.

Party Foul: The bullpen is a bit of a mystery. The have two castoffs from the Angels in JC Romero and Brendan Donnelly, who weren’t at their bests last year. Joel Piniero is trying his first season as a reliever. The other issue for Boston are the injuries. Coco’s had em, Varitek was slowed by one last year, and needless to say, JD Drew is an injury waiting to happen.

Big Papi has tremendous power and a knack for hitting in the clutch

What’d my GM do: He totally reworked the bullpen, bringing in Piniero, Donnelly, and Romero. He signed JD Drew to a huge $70 million deal over five years. They also signed Julio Lugo to a 4 year $36 million deal, pretty hefty for the shortstop who looked so poor the second half of last year. Oh yeah, and there was that whole Dice K signing thing. Over $50 million to negotiate with the guy, and over $50 million for a six year deal. The contract really isn’t too large, it’s just the posting bid that makes the entire transaction seem so expensive.

Lay it on me Straight: The hitting is pretty godly, just because of Manny and Big Papi. The rotation is also the best in the league. The bullpen is the question mark for the second year in a row, but it should be more stable than last year.

So where my boys gonna finish right now: Barring injury, they should win the division and win more games than any other team in baseball.

Can we be better than that: Damn, I just said they’re going to have the best record in baseball, what more do you want?

Terry Francona wants Papelbon in Pen

Red Sox manager Terry Francona leaves no room for question – he wants Jonathan Papelbon to be his closer. Of course he does. Papelbon was nearly un-hittable last year – giving up just 7 earned runs (7!!) in over 68 innings pitched, only 3 home runs, and only 53 base-runners. Clearly Jonathan won't have that type of success as a starter – or anything close to it, but he can still be successful. While Francona will feel much more secure handing the ball to Papelbon in the 9th (or sometimes 8th), 200 innings of Papelbon at a 3.60 ERA (which is feasible) is more valuable to the Red Sox than 68 innings of 0.92 ERA. I may not be a doctor – and I don't quite understand how starting is better for his health than closing (maybe because it allows for a set regimen) – but I go with whatever the experts say. Jonathan Papelbon is a bright star and the Sox need to do whatever it takes to keep him healthy. (repeat after me, no Kerry Wood, no Kerry Wood…). Press play on the file below to hear Francona's statement saying he would prefer to have Papelbon in the pen.