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Report: Josh Beckett played golf before missing Red Sox start

Posted by Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff  May 9, 2012 02:15 PM

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Move over chicken and beer. Golf has been entered into the Red Sox mix.

According to a report by 98.5 The Sports Hub's Hardy, Red Sox righthander Josh Beckett played golf in the area last Thursday afternoon, two days before he was scheduled to miss a start against the Orioles because of stiffness in his latissimus muscle.

The Sports Hub's Michael Felger said the report had been confirmed when he opened the Felger and Mazz show today, but that Hardy did not reveal the name of the golf course to protect his sources. Clay Buchholz was reportedly golfing with Beckett on the off day for the Red Sox.

After Beckett's 126-pitch effort last Sunday in Chicago, the Red Sox announced that Beckett's next start would be skipped because the righthander admitted he had soreness in his lat muscle. He also admitted that the situation existed before his last start.

"I don't know that I'm aware of it," Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said of the golf report during his weekly appearance on WEEI's Big Show today. "I'm aware of the story being out there... No, I haven't gotten to Josh about that yet and I'm trying to sort out my feelings. Golf is as much a part of the pitching culture as a curve ball, I know that for sure.

Valentine stressed that Beckett wasn't shut down with an injury after his last start.

"When we decided for Josh not to make his start, it wasn't because he was injured," Valentine said. "It was a precautionary situation because his his lat was a little tight,"

Valentine said he needed to get specifics before he could comment on the situation.

"Again, I don't know the specifics of the situation," Valentine said. "I don't know if he was out at a charity match, just putting, or if he was whaling away and felt that might have loosened things up. I have no idea what the situation actually is, so it's hard for me to comment on it. ... If that was the case [that he played golf, drove the ball], I would say that was less than the best thing to do on that day off."

Beckett addressed the situation that had the Red Sox recommending he skip a start last week.

"It's kind of been there for about a week, kind of leading into my last start," Beckett said. "On your start day, you can always make yourself believe that things are better than they are. I really wanted to pitch. I just ended up making things worse."

Beckett is scheduled to make his next start Thursday against the Cleveland Indians at Fenway Park.

"He threw (Monday) and said he felt fine and was ready to go," Valentine said earlier this week in Kansas City, where the Sox are taking on the Royals.

The Globe will attempt to speak with Beckett and Valentine later this afternoon in Kansas City. Check our Extra Bases blog for updates.

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