It’s fine to speculate on the Red Sox making a dramatic move. They can send a message that the behavior that has made Josh Beckett a symbol of the team’s bad start will not be tolerated. But no one has addressed the question of who’s going to want him right now.
The answer is simple.
No one is taking that contract that (including this year) owes him $47.25 million through 2015.
If he was pitching well and with durability, someone would take him; but if that were the case, the Red Sox wouldn’t be 14-19 and in last place in the tough AL East.
They’re trapped on a treadmill and attached to one another.
The same personality traits that have made Beckett such a great post-season performer and good regular season starter have contributed to the problems he’s having now. He won’t back down. Ever. Nor will he fully admit contrition about anything.
Was he technically “right” when he refused to accept full blame for last season’s collapse due to he and his cohorts being out of shape and the beer and chicken consumption in the clubhouse during games?
Yes. He was “right” to imply that they’ve always done the same things and if it wasn’t a problem when the team was winning, it shouldn’t have been a problem when they were losing.
Was he, in theory, “right” to say that his golf outing was on an off day and it wasn’t anyone’s business even after he missed a scheduled start with a tight muscle in his back?
Yes. His day off is his business.
But Beckett misses the point on perception and placating the masses. There’s nothing wrong with saying “I’m sorry” whether it’s sincere or not. Beckett can’t bring himself to do that and, as a result, is under siege because of his arrogance and adherence to the misplaced concept that admitting wrongdoing is a sign of weakness.
It’s a sign of strength and his life would be far easier if he took the tack of accepting responsibility.
Trade speculation is a dead end. He’s staying in Boston not because of beer, chicken, golf or public ridicule. He’s staying in Boston because he’s making a lot of money and has been, at best, inconsistent. He’s pitched well in four of his six starts this season (his golf results are unknown), but teams don’t want that contract and they don’t need the aggravation. The Red Sox aren’t going to get much for him and trading him would put forth the image of giving up on the season—something they will not do until August, if at all.
This cycle will go on and on and the only thing that can help Beckett and the Red Sox is if he starts pitching well. If that happens, options will open. Until then, they’re stuck with one another.