Last Wednesday, Josh Beckett was scratched from his scheduled start on Saturday so he could rest a sore shoulder and lat muscle. According to 98.5, he was golfing with Clay Buchholz on Thursday. So why is the supposedly resting Beckett out swinging golf clubs with his teammate?
Because he's Josh Beckett. And these are the Red Sox. And no matter who the Manager is, this is Josh Beckett's clubhouse.
The whole series of events seems odd. Beckett claims that before his start last Sunday, he felt "a little thing going on" in his back and shoulder. Then Bobby Valentine kept Beckett on the mound for 126 pitches. Which seemingly aggravated that "little thing going on," so Valentine shut him down for Saturday's start. Beckett claims he was surprised to be shut down.
But what's Valentine thinking? He goes from throwing caution to the wind on Sunday and letting Beckett throw 126 pitches, to being extremely cautious and scratching him from a start.
And what about Beckett? He complains about soreness and stiffness, but still manages to golf on Thursday? Golf isn't an exhausting pursuit, but it does involve the back and shoulder, and does so in a very weird, start-and-stop kind of way.
If it were another pitcher, it wouldn't be a story. But Beckett has a reputation for soft injuries, and a reputation for having a careless attitude, doing what he wants, and not taking care of himself.
He doesn't care.
Aaron Cook cares. Aaron Cook pitched with his legs half-amputated. Beckett cried about his shoulder, then still made his tee-time with Buchholz.
I'm tired of this type of crap. Maybe I'm overreacting because it's Beckett, but Beckett's track record merits a reaction. This is a guy who has been inconsistent on the mound, and has been a major headache off it. And he's not good enough on the mound to make these character flaws worth it. He's not reliable. He's won some big games in the past, and lost some big ones. He's only occasionally there when his team needs him.
If things for this team don't turn around, it might be time to consider trading Beckett. For anything. Like Nomar in 2004 only worse. I know he's a 10-5 guy and would have to agree to being traded, but just find a team that allows beer in the clubhouse and he might consent.