Friday, October 14, 2011

Blasting Beckett’s Buffet Bemoaning

Josh Beckett has taken a lot of heat lately. Unfortunately hardly any of it is deserved.

Let’s start out with the obvious. I’m not Josh Beckett. You’re not Josh Beckett. I’m not a major league pitcher. You’re not a major league pitcher. I am not one of the top 50 in the world at my job. Neither are you. So, we need to stop comparing Josh Becket to ourselves. It’s not even close to a fair comparison.

I’ve heard the complaints. “I wish I could play video games at my job.” “If I had a beer while I was on the clock, I’d be fired.” People need to stop. Josh Beckett isn’t at your job. You may have noticed, but different occupations have different rules and responsibilities. Beckett isn’t a stock boy at Wal-Mart. There’s no time clock for him to punch in the dugout. Becket is paid to do one thing, and only one thing. Pitch well every fifth day. If he does that, we should all be happy. If he does that, I don’t care if he’s doing body shots off of Yankees fans in the clubhouse between innings of a game he’s pitching in. (His wife may, but that’s her problem.) It’s the same reason that a CEO of a company can take a long lunch, when a person in the mailroom can’t. The CEO is less expendable. It’s that simple. Sorry.

Beckett has also had his dedication questioned lately. After all, he’s said that baseball isn’t his top priority. He has a wife and child now. They have taken priority. Why is this bad? I remember a few years ago a certain Yankees third baseman said he had more dedication because he was childless. He could be at the gym way more than other players. He was roundly criticized. Trot Nixon was especially vocal asking why picking up his kids from school made him less dedicated. So, it was apparently ok for the ultimate “dirt dog” to put family first. Why are we questioning Beckett when he does it too?

Last year, Beckett made 30 starts. As the fourth starter, that means he only “missed” two. He pitched to a 2.89 ERA. The best of his career. Yup. I never would have guessed either. His WHIP was 1.03. I’m not exactly sure what else we should be looking for from him. As far as I’m concerned, he should do everything in 2012 exactly as he did in 2011.

And I mean everything.


  1. I love Beckett. I generally take pride in defending him from naysayers and I would never ever complain that his family is a priority.

    The problem is, when we needed him most, he wasn't pitching well every fifth day. His ERA/WHIP in September? 5.48/1.3. He deserves criticism for putting up numbers like that against teams like the Orioles.

    I respect that you're defending him, and a lot of the criticisms are absurd, but I don't think he gets a complete pass just because he was a great pitcher for five months out of the six-month-long season.

  2. Lots of people get passes for only playing well for five months. Heck, Johan Santana won a Cy Young or two after being downright pathetic is April. Didn't everyone say when the Sox were losing a bunch in April that those games count as much as all the others? So, if every game counts, I give Beckett credit for pitching damn well over the course of the season. Just because his bad outings happened to bunch together doesn't mean he had a bad season. What if he had a 5.48 ERA in June instead of September? Does it matter? 2.89 over an entire season tells me WAY more than 5.48 over a month. After all, it's 2.89 even including the terrible September. Which means he was even better the rest of the year.

    If he wants to pitch like that, he can keep a drumstick in his pocket while he's on the mound for all I care. And, he certainly shouldn't need anyone defending him.

  3. If it were June instead of September, and the season ended exactly the same way, I would still criticize the one month that he failed to pitch like himself. Everyone has bad games once in a while, but for a pitcher of Beckett's calibur to have such a bad month... well, it just makes people question what happened.

    That being said, if he has the exact same season next year, I'll be happy with it... I'll be happier if the rest of the team does 10% better than they did, but I'll be happy either way


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