A daily accumulation of history and present as I follow the 2011 year through the baseball season and reflect on the glories and disappointments of the greatest game on Earth.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Josh Beckett

Winter does strange things to people. In Upper Darby, about an hour and a half from where I live, it seems that a pizza shop owner decided to engage in food terrorism against his competitor when he (Nickolas Galiatsatos) decided that to truly make Nina's Bella Pizzeria stand out against its competitors was to make sure they had mice in their bathroom. While they weren't dead, the little furry rodents could have been a problem, but alas, it was found out RIGHT AWAY, so he was arrested.
Fortunately, baseball has no live rodents today, but it seems that teams are finding ways to sabotage themselves. And so the injuries from a winter of too much rest (for example, the heft of Miguel Cabrera's 240 pound frame as he prepares to dress up as CC Sabathia for Halloween) keep on coming.
Yesterday, Josh Beckett took a shot to the head while attempting to catch a ball in the outfield. As a result, it wasn't even a standard straight off the bat intense straight away hit back. Nevertheless, the Red Sox continue to play it safe with their front of the rotation pitcher.
This only makes sense since Beckett has struggled a lot with injuries. Since 2001, he has had exactly 3 30 game seasons (add 1 29 game season to that if you're feeling generous).
He was dominant in the playoffs in 2003 and 2007, but since then... He's been to one all star game, and he currently makes $68million through 2014.
He does strike out a fair bit of guys, but his ERA is only above average. Nevertheless, his wins come from playing for an offensively stacked team that usually gets it done at the back end of the bullpen (save last year).
OK, so he's a part of the team and he made 2007 happen, and he did set the Yankees down in Yankee Stadium for Game 6 of 2003, but at some point, history is history.
If the Sox are going to win this year, we can't have stupid accidents like this. We can't pay for guys like Mike Cameron, who is never healthy anyway. We need Jacoby Ellsbury in the lineup. We can't have aging stars manning the corners because nobody else will take their contracts. We need guys like Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis to be healthy.
And if news seems bad for the Red Sox, how about the Cardinals losing Chris Carpenter to a hamstring injury?
So my 2 favorite teams that are made up of some seriously fragile individuals seem to find that spring training can really suck for your entire outlook - unless you remember it's a 162-game schedule.

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