Josh Beckett Is Untradeable

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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.

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 not.

It’s a sign of strength and his life would be far easier if he took the tack of accepting responsibility.

He won’t.

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.


After The Fenway Party, There Was a Game

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I didn’t see it, but by all accounts the Red Sox did a great job with their celebration of Fenway Park’s 100th anniversary.

You can read and see clips of the event here on

Here are other notables.

Manager irrelevant.

If Terry Francona, Joe Torre, Joe Maddon, John Farrell or Connie Mack were managing this Red Sox team, there would be less public feuding but the results wouldn’t be much different.

This is what Bobby Valentine was saddled with: a GM who didn’t want him; a dysfunctional, enabled and highly paid group of players; a starting rotation with questions from positions 3-5; a bad bullpen; injuries; and black holes in the starting lineup.

Valentine was expected to cause controversy and the expectation was so intense that when he said something seemingly innocuous (and by insider accounts, true) about Kevin Youkilis it was treated as if he’d said Ted Williams was overrated.

What do the masses want Valentine to do?

What can he do?

A firestarter might be needed.

Under no circumstances do I think Ivan Nova was throwing at Youkilis when he hit him with a pitch in the bottom of the 6th, but in the situation the Red Sox are in, intent doesn’t matter.

They need a spark and with Alex Rodriguez batting second in the top of the 7th, it was the perfect setting to retaliate.

“You hit my third baseman? I hit your third baseman.”

If it starts a fight, so much the better. The Red Sox need something to bring them together and maybe a brawl is it.

Joe Girardi wants you and everyone else to know how smart he is.

In theory I suppose I understand why Girardi decided to begin the bottom of the 9th inning with a sidearming waiver wire pickup Cody Eppley.

The Yankees had a 4-run lead and the conventional wisdom is not to use your closer when it’s not a save situation.

But after Eppley allowed a leadoff single to Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Girardi called on Mariano Rivera to finish the game.

In spite of it being—in the grand scheme of things—a relatively meaningless game in April, in reality, it wasn’t.

On a day where the Red Sox and their fans were still in bliss at the celebration, why give them the opening to stage a comeback? How galvanizing would it have been had the Red Sox rallied—against the Yankees no less!!!—on such a day? All the acrimony within the organization would’ve been replaced with the joy of a huge win against their hated rivals and possibly save the Red Sox spiraling season.

It was a needless and self-indulgent risk.

For a smart man, a good manager and baseball man Girardi does some notoriously idiotic things in what appear to be repeated attempts to show how smart he is.

I’m the “don’t mess around” guy and can’t stand overthinking and overmanging. I thought we were past the “save situation” nonsense especially with teams like the Yankees who have intentionally shunned conventional baseball orthodoxy in favor of objectivity.

Keep your boot on their throats; don’t open the door; hold them down and keep them down. The best way to do that is with Rivera.

What’s Rivera there for?

Girardi’s overmanaging has gotten the Yankees in trouble before and he could conceivably have done it again yesterday. It wasn’t just unnecessary. It was stupid.