Today we wish a very happy 36th birthday to former Red Sox ace Josh Beckett!
I talk about Beckett a lot. He happens to be a great example to use in several common talking points.
Worried about trading away future prospects? Remember the Josh Beckett-Hanley Ramirez trade. The Sox traded away a young Ramirez, even though he was their top prospect. It hurt to give up on that much potential. It hurt even more when Hanley lived up to just about every inch of it. A perennial MVP candidate is not something you want to see from a player you trade away. But this trade shows that there's something more important than what you give up. It's what you get back. In exchange for Ramirez, the Sox got their ace. A young one too. Beckett would lead the Sox, in every sense of the word, to the World Championship just a couple years later. Even after seeing Hanley fulfill his promise, Sox fans can't help but be happy with the trade. So, when people rush out to mark every prospect in the system as "untouchable" they should remember that every prospect should be available, at a price. Especially if the price is someone like Josh Beckett.
I also mention Beckett when I talk about Pedro Martinez. Josh Beckett is the closest thing I've seen and felt to Pedro. The only difference is that Pedro did it for seven seasons, and Beckett for about seven days. I've often said that the different between Pedro and other Red Sox "aces" like Lester, or Schilling, was the expectation. When Lester took the mound, I expected a well-pitched game, and knew the Sox would have a shot to win. A really good shot. When Pedro took the mound, I knew the Sox were going to win. The only question was whether Pedro would allow even a run. The only other time I've felt like that was with Beckett during the 2007 playoffs. First, he completely shut down the Angels. Then the Indians. Then, the Sox went down 1-3, with Beckett scheduled the next game. Was there anyone who didn't automatically make the series 2-3? Beckett was going to win and send the series back to Boston. The idea of him losing never entered my mind. After he won that one, he embarrassed the Rockies in game one of the World Series. Reminding the hottest team in baseball that he wasn't about to be stopped. Just like Pedro would have.
Is there anything else you need to know about Josh Beckett? He was part of a huge trade. He made us all glad he was. He was absolutely filthy dominant in the playoffs as he won a ring with the Sox.
What else can you ask for?
Happy 36th Birthday Josh Beckett!
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