Bobby Valentine Says Josh Beckett ‘Pissed Off’ At Him Over Slow Pace Comments

Maybe reporters are making way too much of the dynamic between Josh Beckett and Bobby Valentine before their new relationship even starts, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t slightly concerned as a Red Sox fan.  Beckett was said to be a malcontent in the Red Sox clubhouse last season.  In fact, a number of Boston sources even believe he is partially responsible for driving Terry Francona out of town.

With that in mind, the history between Beckett and Valentine is a bit alarming.  As you may know, Valentine ripped Beckett during a Sunday Night Baseball broadcast last season for taking too much time between pitches.  It’s a complaint Beckett has heard from a number of people, but it doesn’t sound like he has completely gotten over hearing it from Bobby V.

“I did reach out to Josh, and he didn’t want me to say anything so I’m not going to say anything other than after he got through telling me how pissed off he was, we had a really good conversation,” Valentine said Wednesday according to WEEI.com. “I’m not going to say anything about it.”

Alas, Red Sox fans get their first glimpse of what life with Bobby V. is going to be like.  Valentine wears his heart on his sleeve and is not very good at keeping issues in-house.  Even if Beckett is still angry with him over the comments he made, it would probably be best if the new manager worked through the issue behind closed doors.  Saying Beckett is still pissed about it might make him sound unreasonable and can be construed as throwing him under the bus.

Valentine has inherited a team of talented players with a poor reputation — a group which also was reportedly unhappy with his hiring.  If Bobby V. is capable of keeping quiet, his best bet would probably be to keep the media in the dark more often than not.

Jack McKeon Locked Josh Beckett, Brad Penny Out of Clubhouse During ’03 Marlins Games, Gave Pee-Pee Cards

The Boston Globe reported Wednesday morning that a handful of Red Sox pitchers regularly drank beers and hung out in the clubhouse during games. Apparently that is nothing new for veteran pitcher Josh Beckett.

Former Marlins manager Jack McKeon told The Palm Beach Post that he had to lock the clubhouse during games for his 2003 World Series team because players such as Josh Beckett and Brad Penny would go in there to drink and hang out. He also created bathroom passes for players to use during games.

You can’t make this stuff up.

McKeon created poo-poo and pee-pee cards for players to take if they needed to use the bathroom. He says that was effective in curbing the fun.

McKeon says he considered implementing a similar system while managing the Marlins this season, but he never had to go that far. His story shows us that players screwing around during games is nothing new. It also makes us wonder if someone like Josh Beckett could avoid stupid injuries like this if he trained harder.

And if all the funny baseball pranks we’ve shared over the years didn’t already show you how immature some players can be, McKeon’s treatment of the ’03 Marlins confirms it. A story like this is funny, but actually kind of sad.

Forearm bash to Eye on Baseball

Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, John Lackey Reportedly Drank Beer, Played Video Games During Red Sox Games

Shortly after the Red Sox completed their historic collapse on the final day of the season, the reports of clubhouse problems emerged. Some Red Sox pitchers were accused of drinking beer during games. Adrian Gonzalez complained about the team’s arduous schedule. David Ortiz said some players probably didn’t care about the team losing. Apparently those were just a taste of the overall problems going on in Boston.

The Boston Globe published a lengthy report early Wednesday morning that detailed many of the team’s issues.

The Globe says pitchers Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, and John Lackey drank beer, played video games, and ate fried chicken during games. While the rest of their teammates were working hard to win games, these guys reportedly were bro’ing out like a bunch of frat boys on spring break. It must be noted that the practice reportedly began in 2010. The team experienced some success despite the pitchers’ careless ways, but it appeared to have burned them late in the year. Beckett managed to have a good season this year, but Lackey was awful again, and Lester struggled in September. They trio also reportedly cut down on their exercise routines this year.

These players clearly weren’t working as hard as they could be, and it makes us wonder how good they could be if they trained the way professional athletes should. It also explains owner John Henry’s “nutritional issues” euphemism regarding the team.

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Josh Beckett the Latest of Many Pitchers to Hurt Themselves While Swinging

In MLB, there is one main difference between the American League and the National League. In the AL, designated hitters are allowed but in the NL they’re not. That means pitchers don’t have to bat in the AL so their only job is to pitch. In the NL, more is asked of the pitchers because they have to bat too. Does the AL have it right? Should pitchers only be concerned about throwing the ball and not hitting it?

This idea has been debated for years and has been sparked by the injury to Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett who was placed on the DL because of a back injury. Beckett of course hurt his back while swinging in preparation for interleague play where he’d be forced to hit. Now if this isn’t downright pathetic, I’m not quite sure what is. When you play baseball at a professional level, you should have a certain level of athleticism. Unfortunately Beckett isn’t the only pitcher who’s been hurt swinging a bat (or trying to) over the last few years. Let’s take a look at some of the pitchers who need to stay on the mound and out of the batter’s box:

American League

1. Josh Beckett, Boston Red Sox – Beckett injured himself before the start of May 10th’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays by taking practice swings. Let’s examine this a little more closely shall we? Beckett was swinging the bat before a game against who? The Blue Jays? Ah, another American League team that he doesn’t have to hit against anyways. This makes my head hurt. The Red Sox said this was because the pitchers are getting ready for interleague play. The Red Sox’s first interleague game is on Sunday at Philadelphia. So, Beckett was practice swinging for a game that was 13 days away at that point? And now he’s on the DL. That is just plain dumb.

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Jose Canseco Blackmailing Magglio?

Straight from the YHTBFKM Files comes this story. (hint: you have to be … kidding me). Actually I don’t know why this would come as a surprise when we’re talking about a dude who was so desperate for money he tried to sell himself off as the grand prize in a reality TV show. But yeah, this report really trumps most of the stories I’ve come across recently. From the NY Times:

Jose Canseco, the former major league slugger and admitted steroid user who exposed other players in his 2005 best-selling book “Juiced” offered to keep a Detroit Tigers outfielder clear in his next book if the player invested money in a film project Canseco was promoting, according to a person in baseball with knowledge of the situation.

A former ghostwriter on Vindicated, which is scheduled to be published at the start of the baseball season, said Canseco planned to name Ordonez. He was the most prominent, said Don Yaeger, a former Sports Illustrated associate editor who reviewed all of Canseco’s materials in December.

Now it is worth noting that Magglio says he never had heard from Canseco directly but he had been receiving messages from a friend of Canseco’s. Now the obvious question that must be on everyone’s mind at this point … Jose Canseco has friends??? I see Sir Steroid at the gym every so often, and the only friend he has is that toned blond doing chinups on his biceps. Seriously though, would you really put it past Jose to do this? I sure wouldn’t. One more thing — I thought Jose had goods on A-Rod. What happened to that? Wouldn’t A-Rod have been the most prominent name in the new books if that were the case? Guess not.

I Guess Jeff Kent Didn’t do Steroids

He’s just one of those guys — the kind you hate when he’s on the other team, and the kind you, well, begrudgingly accept when he’s on yours. Actually, for my family, it was quite easy to not only accept Jeff Kent, but moreover, embrace him when he came to the Dodgers. The man works hard, stays out of the spotlight, shows up everyday, and is a superior hitter. You have a team full of Jeff Kents — odd as that is to imagine — and you have yourself a championship. One other aspect about Jeff Kent that goes often overlooked is his genuine honesty. T.J. Simers was able to break the wall that usually shields Kent from most reporters, and through Simers, we’ve received a great look at who Kent really is. And from his latest comments, it appears as if Jeff Kent accomplished everything in his Hall of Fame career cleanly:

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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