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Josh Beckett reportedly injured thumb by catching it in a door

Josh-Beckett-DodgersLook, we know weird injuries are an important part of baseball culture. It wouldn’t be spring training without hangnails, pitching machine incidents, or sliced fingers. But is it just me or does this year already seem worse than ever? Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Josh Beckett is the latest victim.

Beckett could miss his scheduled start on Friday as he continues to recover from a sprained thumb. A thumb injury is nothing unusual for a pitcher, but the way it happened is what makes Beckett’s injury such a classic spring training debacle. Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times reported that Beckett caught his thumb in a set of doors leading to the clubhouse a little over a week ago.

“I come back from thoracic outlet syndrome and this is what I’m dealing with,” Beckett said.

The 34-year-old righthander had a bullpen session on Tuesday but said he is still having trouble gripping the ball. Beckett made just eight starts last season for the Dodgers because of injuries, compiling an 0-5 record and a 5.19 ERA. He hopes to be ready when the team comes back home after playing in Australia.

As we know, Beckett is not the only pitcher to have bad luck with clumsiness this offseason. Jake Peavy lost a battle with a fishing knife, Francisco Rodriguez hurt his foot by stepping on a cactus, and Hisashi Iwakuma injured his finger by catching it on a pitching net. Like I’ve said before, these guys really could use a plastic bubble.

H/T Hardball Talk

Carlos Beltran throws Josh Beckett out at first base from right field (Video)

Welcome back to the National League, Josh. Those of you who somehow missed all the stuff about pitchers pounding beers and hawking down fried chicken in Boston last year may not know this, but Josh Beckett isn’t exactly a model of fitness. Watching him swing a bat during interleague play when he was with the Red Sox was always entertaining. However, Beckett actually ripped a solid single to right field during the third inning of the Dodgers-Cardinals game Thursday night. His problem was getting down the line.

Carlos Beltran, who has a pretty strong arm, scooped the ball up in right and was able to gun Beckett out at first. Since Beckett is fat, we aren’t surprised. Since this type of thing rarely ever happens at the MLB level, it was still fun to watch. Perhaps Josh should just go back to leaving the bat on his shoulder.

Josh Beckett says negative Boston media ran him out of town

The Boston media are never going to be kind to those who don’t deserve kindness. In fact, they are even pretty hard on those who do. Whether Josh Beckett was mistreated by writers and reporters or not during his tenure with the Red Sox depends on your viewpoint. Either way, Beckett seems to think it was the media that ran him out of town.

“Once they want you out of there, they want you out of there,” Beckett said Tuesday according to WEEI.com. “By them, I don’t necessarily mean the fans. There are certain people in the media who painted me out to be a monster with horns, and that’s just not the case. I said that in my press conference, people out here hear from certain media members that [portrayal].

“They don’t write what people say because that’s not how they want perception to be. They’ve done it to a lot of people. I got a text message from one of the head security guys over there. He’s like, ‘You’re not the first person I’ve seen this happen to.’ Once those people want you out of there, they want you out of there. They’re going to keep on, keeping on, keeping on until they get what they want.”

Adrian Gonzalez already expressed a similar opinion when asked about his experience. Beckett, who was an enormous part of the Red Sox World Series run in 2007, compared himself to former closer Keith Foulke. Foulke led Boston through the playoffs in 2004 and was eventually forced out in 2006 after he started struggling.

“You just try and be yourself, and if that’s not enough, what are you supposed to do?” Beckett asked. “Act like somebody else?”

While I’m not going to say the Boston media has treated Beckett fairly over the past few seasons, you would be generalizing far too much if you blamed the media for his departure. Ultimately, it was Beckett’s poor performance on the mound. He was 5-11 with a 5.23 ERA before joining the Dodgers. Whether its was an attitude problem, a physical problem or both, the Red Sox decided to pay Beckett like an ace when they signed him to a four-year, $68 million extension and he did not pitch like one. Had he pitched well, none of this would have happened.

Josh Beckett reportedly went golfing after team announced he’d miss start with injury

Josh Beckett’s judgment is being questioned once again. The Red Sox pitcher reportedly went golfing a day after the team announced he would miss a start because of a troublesome lat and shoulder.

According to 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston, Beckett had stiffness in his lat and shoulder after throwing 126 pitches last Sunday against the White Sox. The team determined on Wednesday that he would miss his next scheduled start, apparently against his will. Manager Bobby Valentine reportedly wanted him to take the week off while Beckett believed he was fine to make the start. That likely explains why he reportedly felt well enough to go golfing with teammate Clay Buchholz on Thursday.

Even if Beckett believed he was well enough to make his next start, this still comes down to him not using the best judgment. If he had shoulder and lat issues, and the team told him to miss a start to recover, then going golfing is not the best way to heal.

Beckett was one of the ringleaders when it came to slacking in the clubhouse last year during Boston’s meltdown. It looked like he was changing his ways in February, but now we’re left questioning him again. Beckett is 2-3 with a team-leading 4.45 ERA. He’s made four good starts since being bombed in his season debut, but he has plenty of room for improvement. So does his buddy Buchholz, who’s been terrible to start the season.

Josh Beckett rips Curt Schilling: The game’s a lot easier from over there

In a lot of ways, Josh Beckett became public enemy number one when the Red Sox went through their meltdown last season. Many believe he was the main force that pushed Terry Francona out the door, and it wouldn’t shock me if that was true. Beckett knows that, and he knows he will need to get along with Bobby Valentine this season in order for the Red Sox to be successful. That’s why when Curt Schilling said things weren’t going well between Valentine and the Boston players, Beckett was not happy.

“I haven’t seen him around this year,” Beckett said during an interview with WEEI Thursday. “Is he one of our pitchers? Like I haven’t seen him around this year. I didn’t know he was going to be one of our pitchers. I haven’t seen him around here. I’d think if somebody knew that much they’d probably be a little closer to it.

“Game’s a lot easier from over there (as a media person), I think. As far as him speaking about how things are being run, I haven’t seen him around here to where he would know that much.”

Beckett also added that things are going “great” with Valentine and that he likes some of the adjustments he has made with the pitching staff and their preparation. He said his legs have never felt this good coming out of spring training and credited it to the stretching and workouts Valentine has put into place.

Even if there were problems, Beckett wouldn’t admit it. The last thing the Sox want is the media feasting on perceived clubhouse issues before an inning of the regular season is in the books. There may be tension already and there may not be, but I think we can all agree that it will take a little more than the opinion of Schilling for us to believe Boston is in trouble.

Photo credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

Clubhouse beer leader Josh Beckett shows up early to spring training

As stupid as it may sound, the antics of the 2011 Boston Red Sox could turn out to be a positive thing for the 2012 edition of the team. Heading into 2011, expectations for Boston were through the roof. John Lackey was expected to have a bounce-back season and the additions of Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez made the Sox top contenders for the World Series. Then, September happened. Red Sox fans suffered through the most embarrassing collapse in team history and information about their pitching staff pounding beers and eating junk food in the clubhouse became prevalent. Perhaps all that inspired Josh Beckett to show up early for spring training this year.

“He looked pretty sharp. He looked very healthy,’’ new pitching coach Bob McClure said after overseeing Beckett’s bullpen session.

“That’s a great sign,’’ he said when asked about Beckett showing up five days ahead of schedule. “He wants to win, that’s the bottom line. The stuff that happened last year, it happened. It’s unfortunate but it happened. He’s coming in here with something he wants to do and that’s win the division. I think it shows the rest of the guys how serious they are about wanting to get this thing going.”

It’s Boston. Expectations are still high, but now many of the Red Sox players are seen as slobs who don’t care. If that doesn’t place a chip on their shoulder, nothing will. Beckett recently spoke about the September collapse and said the issues should have remained in-house, but he knows he is considered by many to have been the ring leader.

Unlike last season when they were crowned before even playing a game, the 2012 Sox have more to prove than arguably any team in the league. They have a new manager and will be looking to make up for humiliating themselves at the end of last season. All the beer and fried chicken drama has resulted in people forgetting how loaded with talent their roster still is. If Beckett can emerge as a true ace and guys like Carl Crawford can put it together, Boston could quickly and quietly emerge as the team they should have been last year — the American League’s best.

Josh Beckett says beer story should have stayed in the clubhouse

Josh Beckett has finally responded to the Boston Globe story that called out some Red Sox pitchers for their poor clubhouse behavior during games. Appearing on MLB Network’s Intentional Talk, Beckett said that what goes on in the clubhouse should stay in the clubhouse.

“I think the biggest key is what [Jon] Lester said, we stunk on the field and that was the bottom line,” Beckett said on the show, which is hosted by Chris Rose and former Red Sox player Kevin Millar. “If we would have pitched better, none of that stuff would have even been an issue. And it shouldn’t be an issue anyway because what goes on in the clubhouse should stay in the clubhouse.

“I don’t care who says that or whatever. I’m not saying we don’t make mistakes in the clubhouse. (Millar) will definitely respond to that because, hell, they were drinking Jack Daniels and they won the (2004) World Series. It’s just what goes on in the clubhouse, it’s supposed to stay in the clubhouse.”

Beckett’s probably right that personal team business should have remained private. However, just because it shouldn’t be out in the public doesn’t mean what Beckett and his teammates did should be excused. Their clubhouse behavior was inappropriate and disrespectful to his teammates who were playing during those games. He’s also overlooking the point that maybe they would have pitched better had they been better prepared.

I’ve been a big Josh Beckett fan for a long time, but I have to wonder how much more he could have accomplished if he had a better work ethic. He’s had far too many down seasons and missed too many starts for a pitcher with his talent.

Below is a video of the interview:

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