FORT MYERS, Fla. — There was a little more personal accountability in the words of Josh Beckett this morning at JetBlue Park in contrast to an MLB Network interview he conducted with former teammate Kevin Millar two weeks ago.
“The bottom line is my last two starts. They just weren’t that good. I’m not saying we didn’t make mistakes because we made mistakes in the clubhouse, but the biggest mistakes I made was not pitching well vs. Baltimore. I was prepared to pitch every time I went out there. I just didn’t execute pitches when I needed to,” Beckett said.
Concerning the fans ire toward him as the poster child for poor conditioning and the beer drinking and chicken eating that went on, Beckett said, “I can’t control that. That manifests itself somehow. I can’t control that.
“I think for me — I can only speak for myself — I think that we had lapses in judgment. I had lapses in judgment. I can’t speak for everybody else. I want to keep at it that. I can’t speak for Jon (Lester), or John (Lackey), or Clay (Buchholz) or Wakey or anybody. It’s pretty much I want this to stay about me. That’s how I feel about it.”
Asked why he couldn’t stop the lapses he said, “I had some things going on. I was distracted. I think that was the biggest thing. Going forward I would definitely change.”
Beckett was asked later what he meant by distractions and when someone suggested parenthood for the first time he kept it general once again.
Beckett said he never missed a workout and was 100 percent and “I was ready to pitch every time, but I didn’t execute my pitches the last two starts.”
Beckett was pressed about what mistakes were made in the clubhouse and he would only reiterate, “We made mistakes in the clubhouse and that’s about as far as I’ll go talking about the clubhouse.”
He did say he understood the fans’ anger.
“Absolutely, I’ve been a fan of things too. We were the best team in baseball for about five months. We’re just as let down as they are. That doesn’t make it right. We were very let down as well.”
Concerning being portrayed as out of shape, Beckett said, “I put on a little bit of weight. I don’t have a reason for it. I’m looking forward to going forward from here.”
Asked if he was more upset about his actions than who leaked the news of the sophomoric behavior in the clubhouse to the media, he said, “I’m upset with myself for lapses of judgment but there’s also some ill feelings toward some people."
He wouldn’t say who those people were.
He admitted he and the team needed to win the fans back.
“Yeah, absolutely we need to earn that trust back. I think they are the best fans in baseball. There’s some good and bad but they’re the best fans. We definitely have to win their trust back and the only way to do that is to go about our business as we did in previous years and win ballgames. I think that’s the best thing,” Beckett said.