Josh Beckett Faces The Music
Josh Beckett faced a media firestorm earlier this week over declining performance and concerns about his attitude.
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Josh Beckett needed a strong performance on Thursday when he took the mound for the Red Sox against the Indians. He was facing a storm of criticism for hitting the golf course while supposedly injured and a growing backlash from fans wondering what happened to his excellent play of seasons past.
But it was not to be as Beckett was booed off the mound after giving up 7 hits and 7 runs in just 2 1/3 innings. So how did he respond when he finally faced the music and took questions from the media following the game?
“I spend my days off the way I want to spend them,” Beckett said defiantly. “My off day is my off day. We get 18 off days a year. I think we deserve a little bit of time to ourselves.” Even the smallest amount of contrition probably would have gone a long way toward soothing an increasingly angry fanbase, but Becket’s tone-deaf remarks will probably ensure that his stock in Boston will continue to plummet.
In a season increasingly resigned to dysfunction, Beckett’s start last night amounted to the latest and biggest controversy that has fans seeing red. Red Sox fans already endure some of the highest ticket prices in baseball. They are renowned for their loyalty and passionate about their team, and many of them probably do not get 18 vacation days a year. Many of the working folks filling the stands would also note that baseball players don’t seem to work much during Novermber, December and January.
Coming on the heals of news from earlier this season that Beckett and others had enjoyed fried chicken and beer in the clubhouse while the Sox blew their lead and lost the season last year, fan outrage has reached a breaking point and Beckett’s complete lack of sensitivity will not help him quash this controversy any time soon.
Then on May 3rd, Beckett played a round of golf with Clay Bucholz on the Red Sox off day, something that would not have been newsworthy if not for the fact that the team had already announced that he would miss his start two days later due to a strained lat muscle. News of this didn’t reach fans until Wednesday, but Beckett was mercilessly pilloried in papers and on talk radio leading up the game Thursday when fans expressed their outrage by booing as Beckett made his exit from the field.