Jim Rogash/Getty Images
BOSTON, MA - MAY 10: Josh Beckett #19 of the Boston Red Sox throws in the first inning against the Cleveland Indians at Fenway Park May 10, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts.
I have found it kind of refreshing to see a guy like Josh Beckett get his media comeuppance after virtually making a career out of being a jerk. It takes a lot to thoroughly antagonize a Boston Red Sox fan, but in the space of one week Beckett seems to have turned himself from pitching savior to Public Enemy No. 1 after being unable to make a start because of a muscle pull and then showing up on the golf course the next day.
Then, to stink it up on the mound the next day and take a “screw you all” stance when asked about it by the media. How dare they interfere with one of his “18 days off a year?" (Pause here for spit-take and "what the ..." reaction)
Beckett is pulling down somewhere over $400-thou per start and he doesn’t owe anyone anything. Particularly when it comes to what he did and why on one of his “18 off days” -- not counting the three and a half months he gets off between seasons. Four and a half months if his team doesn’t make the playoffs -- as the Red Sox did not last year. You’ve just got to feel for a guy like that.
I think that it says something about Giants and A's management that, with very few exceptions, they have avoided taking on guys like Beckett who turn a clubhouse into a toxic dump.
Unfortunately, because of guys like Beckett, you just don’t hear about the many good guys like Pablo Sandoval, or Javier Lopez and the like. Jackasses like Becket just seem to get all the ink.
Most of us among the “unwashed” media would rather have boils lanced than be in any locker room interviewing a guy in a towel about either throwing or hitting a back-door slider. It’s just our job. Much as it’s the player’s job to answer the inane questions.
And every time I read about a guy like Becket it makes me glad I live and work here where we seem to be surrounded by athletes who are good guys and a healthy atmosphere of when our team wins we can say, “Great. Where are we gonna eat?” And if our team loses we can say, “Aww. Where are we gonna eat?”
And, as I sit here on this glorious sunny day in San Francisco I can only be thankful that I live here and Josh Beckett lives in Boston. And may possibly have just duck hooked his entire career into a bunker from which he cannot escape.
Barry Tompkins is a frequent contributor to CSNBayArea.com and Chronicle Live.