KANSAS CITY — Full disclosure: I like it when Josh Becket gets feisty with the media.
Too many athletes face the cameras, microphones and notebooks and try their best to be boring. They’re well-coached by their teams or agents to talk without really saying anything. Given the 24/7 news cycle and rush to judgment that exists, you can’t really blame them.
But Beckett says what he wants to say how he wants to say it. He doesn’t care and and it’s beautiful.
Question: “What did (Alex) Gordon hit in his first two at-bats?
Beckett: “Why would I want to talk about those? We just won the game. Why would I want to talk about a home run that I gave up?”
Then later on, Beckett went on a rant about the schedule. From July 22 to Aug. 29 the Sox are set to play 37 games in 38 days in six states and three time zones.
They went from Seattle to Fenway Park, had a day off, then played three games in a span of 28 hours before going back on the road for eight games in eight days. Beckett wants to talk to the person who decided that doubleheader on Tuesday was a good idea.
“Our travel hasn’t exactly been great,” he said. “I know that our offense is taking a lot of flack for that. How can you not be tired with the [expletive] that we went through the last week and a half? I don’t know how they do it. There’s been several days where a couple of these guys have played and I don’t know how they did it.
“This travel has been horrible. I don’t know who the [expletive] made that doubleheader that day. They [the Rays] come back one more time. We haven’t exactly been treated fair here the last week or so. That doubleheader being the most glaring thing for me. I’m not real sure how that gets thrown on that day.
“I don’t know how they expect them to still score eight runs after coming back from Seattle, having half an off day and then go get ’em for three games in a day and a half. … I don’t who the [expletive] agreed to that. It was the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen.”
Daniel Bard, the player rep, explained that the Sox players didn’t have a choice under the rules of the collective bargaining agreement. The Sox, he thinks, were trying to avoid a five-game series with the Rays in September.
“It wasn’t the best planning,” Bard said.
Surely some of you are thinking that the players are spoiled and quite often they are. But speaking from experience, travel does wear you down after a while and surely trying to play baseball at a high level can’t be the easiest thing to do when that’s the case.
It’s just good to see somebody willing to speak his mind regardless of the subject. When Josh talks, you can’t be sure what he’ll say and these days, that’s refreshing.