Josh Beckett Booed Off The Mound
Boston Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett must have lasted longer on the golf course than he did on the mound Thursday night. The embattled Red Sox ace was booed off the field at Fenway Park when he was pulled after just 2 1-3 ineffective innings against Cleveland Indians.
Already in hot water with Red Sox fans when the story surfaced that Beckett was hitting the links with his sore lat, which came a day after he was scratched from his scheduled start because of stiffness, he was booed often as the Indians tagged him for seven runs and seven hits, including two homers, while building a 7-1 lead. The Red Sox went on to lose 8-3.
One fan yelled “FORE!” when Michael Brantley lined a foul ball down the right-field line, but all the chuckles quickly subsided when Brantley doubled to left-center. It was the second straight double for the Indians, ending Beckett’s night.
Fans cheered when Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine came out of the dugout and immediately signaled to the bullpen for lefty Andrew Miller.
“I think it was directed at me,” Beckett said. “Smart fans.”
In his postgame interview, Beckett grew more terse each time his golf outing was mentioned.
“We get 18 off days a year,” he said. “I think we deserve a little bit of time to ourselves.”
Beckett was unrepentant about his golf outing, saying what he does on his day off is his business. But what he failed to understand, it seemed, was that fans were upset about him golfing when he was supposedly too sore to pitch rather than about him simply hitting the links on a normal off day.
Beckett’s off-the-field decisions and commitment to the team have come into question before.
After last season, it was revealed that he was among a group of pitchers who ate fried chicken and drank beer in the clubhouse during games on days they didn’t pitch.
Valentine said before the game that Beckett was scratched from a start last week with stiffness, which he didn’t think would be made worse by golfing.
The Red Sox are off to a 12-19 start and are last in the AL East.
Beckett entered 2-3 with a 4.45 ERA in five starts.