Josh Beckett ended his appeal and accepted a five-game suspension at the behest of the Red Sox, a decision he disagreed with because he feels he would be proven innocent. Beckett, who had been appealing a six-game suspension levied by Major League Baseball, wanted to go ahead with a hearing, but the Red Sox told him to accept the five games because it will end the matter and not significantly affect Boston’s starting rotation.
“Everybody has to answer to somebody, and my boss told me this was the best thing for the ball club,” Beckett said. “If it was up to me, obviously, we would have gone through with this whole thing, because I don’t think I deserve even one game. When your boss tells you that something is best for the whole group, that’s what we do.
“I don’t support this at all. If it was up to me, we would have gone through this whole process. It could have eventually been a lot worse if we had gone through with the whole thing. Everybody has got to answer to somebody. When your boss tells you to do something, you do what’s best for the team.”
Beckett will pitch Saturday against the Yankees. He would have pitched Friday, but because the Red Sox get a day off Thursday after a two-game series against the Twins, Jon Lester, today’s starter, will pitch Friday on normal rest.
“I understand that,” Beckett said. “I don’t support this thing, because I truly believe I don’t deserve one game. It’s unfortunate. Other people don’t always see it the same way you see it.”
By his “boss,” Beckett referred to both manager Terry Francona and general manager Theo Epstein, Beckett said. The Red Sox agree with Beckett’s sentiment — that the pitch he threw at Bobby Abreu’s head last Sunday was unintentional and he deserves no suspension — but they believed taking the five games would be the best approach.
“I don’t think that the organization felt like it was ever going to get lessened more than five,” Francona said. “Regardless of how we feel about what happened, once the decison was made to overturn the umpires, looking at past history and how the league feels about, regardless of what kind of case Josh stated, I don’t think they go below five, because they want you to miss a start.
“Once it came to a point where got to five over the phone, it probably seemed like the best thing to do for the ball club. It’s still probably for the betterment of the ball club to not take a chance and having a hearing come up in the middle of start.”