Josh Beckett was on Toucher and Rich this morning, ironically, to promote a golf tournament that he’s playing in, but T&R got the chance to dig deep into some of the storylines that he was involved in during his Red Sox tenure.
Why’s it ironic? If you can recall, back in that dumpster fire of a season in 2012, the Red Sox skipped one of Beckett’s starts at the beginning of the season, the same way that Beckett and many of his teammates skipped Johnny Pesky’s funeral, but then attended the Beckett Bowl later that night. I’ll never forget that. Anyways, back to the topic at hand. The Red Sox skipped Beckett’s start, because of a back injury, and he got busted playing golf, while he was supposed to be nursing his “injury”. Twenty-seven holes to be exact. Here’s how Beckett recalls what happened.
“I wish everybody would have known the whole story,” said Beckett. “I’ll finish with this … Aaron Cook had an opt-out in his contract, I was pitching terrible – which is my fault – so we made up an injury so that [the Red Sox] could call him up, so he didn’t opt out and go to the Yankees. That was a thing, but I don’t think that that’s actually legal to do. I don’t think you can just phantom DL somebody.
“That’s the whole thing that I had a problem with is that nobody really stood up, and that’s when I knew it was kind of the end [of my time in Boston],” he added. “You don’t have anybody in the organization backing you either … so that’s when I knew, this is what the end looks like.”
There are several problems with Beckett’s little phantom DL stint story, but I’d say the biggest problem is that he never went on the DL. All they did was skip his start.
And the part about how “I was pitching terrible” so they made up an injury for him, that’s not true, either. Here’s what actually happened. Beckett gave up 7 earned runs in his first start of the season that year, and then he had an ERA of 2.93 over his next four starts, which brings us up to the start that was skipped. Start by start, here are the number of earned runs that he allowed: 1, 3, 2, 3, and he averaged seven innings per start over that span. He wasn’t pitching poorly at all. The part about the Red Sox needing to create a roster spot for Aaron Cook is actually true — probably the only part of his story that is — but Beckett to the DL wasn’t the corresponding move. Jose Iglesias was optioned to Pawtucket to make room on the 25-man roster, and then Carl Crawford was transferred to the 60-day DL to make room for Cook on the 40-man roster.
The beginning of the end for Beckett in Boston wasn’t when they put him on the disabled list, as he described, because that never actually happened. The beginning of the end for Beckett in Boston was when they skipped his start with a back injury, and then he proceeded to plenty 27 god damn holes of golf, and then famously told the public to fuck off by saying, “I spend my off-days the way I want to spend them. My off-day is my off-day.” THAT was the beginning of the end for you, Josh. The Red Sox didn’t run Josh Beckett out of town. Josh Beckett ran Josh Beckett out of town.