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Josh Beckett's spin is another wild pitch

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  August 29, 2012 12:12 PM

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ANAHEIM, Calif. If Josh Beckett is going to make things up, somebody needs to call him on it.

Here's what Beckett told WEEI.com about his practice of not talking to the media after some games he pitched this season:

"If you noticed, every start I felt I cost the team a win, I was there. I was there every time. I don't need any credit, which I've never asked for. But if I felt like if I cost the team a game I stood in front of my locker and answered every question everybody had."

Really?

At Texas on July 25, Beckett allowed four runs in seven innings in a game the Sox lost 5-3. His wild pitch in the seventh inning allowed the go-ahead run to score. Beckett did not speak to reporters after the game, twice ignoring requests to comment. He refused a third time when a reporter approached him as he walked to the team bus.

"Got nothing to say," was his response.

Beckett also stayed quiet after a 4-1 loss in Miami on June 11 when he allowed all four runs. Maybe he didn't think those four runs cost the team the game in a 4-1 loss.

There are several other similar examples.

Beckett also claimed that the media was to blame for his image in Boston:

"There are certain people in the media who painted me out to be a monster with horns, and that's just not the case. ... I'm like, well, maybe you should start asking some people who are around me and know me. That's the thing, nobody ever asks them. And if they do ask them, they don't write that. They don't write what people say because that's not how they want perception to be."

Starting in June of 2011, I asked Beckett if he would cooperate on a feature story. My pitch was that for all his time in Boston, nobody really knew the real him. The idea was to speak to him at length along with his family, his friends, former teammates, etc.

I printed out a feature story on Jason Varitek and handed it to Josh, telling him that was the sort of personality piece I wanted to write about him.

I asked him to speak to Varitek if he wanted to know how the story would be handled. I even told Beckett that once the story was written, I would review anything that came up with him to make sure he had every chance to have his say.

Beckett refused at that time. And again in September of 2011, November of 2011, and February of 2012. I tried through his agent and through the team, too. After four tries, there didn't seem any point in trying again.

It would have been a good story to tell, too. Beckett is funny when he wants to be and interested in things beyond baseball. There is something there beyond the Texas Tough Guy image he so carefully cultivates.

Now, after he is traded, Beckett is complaining about nobody doing the very story I wanted to do and still regret not doing. It's disingenuous.

Beckett is not a bad guy. But nobody seems more determined to have people think that he is.

The Dodgers will get tired of that act in time. Just like the Marlins and Red Sox did.

It's too bad, too. The guy has accomplished a lot on the field and his stubbornness sometimes overshadows that.

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