The level of local goodwill that Josh Beckett built with his historic 2007 postseason faded over time, and all but disappeared in the 2011 chicken-and-beer fiasco. And there's no doubt there are plenty of people -- a local talk-show host, most notably -- reveling in his 0-5, 5.91 start for the Dodgers.
But only the most heartless among us can be happy with the shocking news, as reported by the Los Angeles Times, that Beckett's career may be over.
"Any time something like that happens to your arm or you start losing feeling and stuff . . . you think about [retirement] for sure," Beckett, who is on the disabled list after four to five weeks of numbness in the fingers on his right hand, told the Times. "I don't really want to think like that right now. I want to think about figuring out a way to deal with this."
He underwent an MRI earlier this week, the results of which will be reviewed by a hand specialist on Monday. The fear, no doubt, is an aneurysm, or something similar causing nerve impingement and/or reduced blood flow.
"I'm concerned," said Beckett. "I've never dealt with anything like this for this amount of time. We'll just have to see what happens there."
During his time in Boston, Beckett deliberately built a wall around himself with a detached, tough-guy persona; he wanted no sympathy and asked for none, and -- as a result -- didn't get any when things went sour. It's too bad, because he certainly wasn't the only culprit in the Red Sox' 2011-12 disintegration.
Now, facing his athletic mortality in L.A., he's displaying a little of the human side he worked so hard to hide when he was here. It would be nice if we reciprocated.