Can Beckett get over his gut?

Can Beckett get over his gut?
August 27, 2012, 8:05 pm
Share This Post

At some point, we'll all forget about Josh Beckett. My guess is that this happens sometime next spring, after the novelty of him playing for LA has worn off and the Sox have (hopefully) moved on to bigger and better things. But for now, love him or most likely despise him, how Beckett fares out west is definitely a matter of interest. At least for me. All things considered, I'm more excited to see how the Dodgers do over this next month than the Sox.

Anyway, tonight in Colorado (Ha!), Beckett will make his first National League start since 2005, and no one will be surprised if he's dominant. That's how these things go, right? Did you catch Adrian Gonzalez's first at-bat as a Dodger? And you know Beckett will be dying to step up and shove it in the Red Sox face.

Then again, there's this: Beckett's still out of shape. And you know what happens every time he tries to rev it up these days his body fails him. Like back on July 29, at home against Detroit, when the Sox were coming off three straight wins, up against Verlander and, we thought, on the verge of turning things around. Beckett came out firing and left limping. His back gave out after two innings, like it was woken up out of a sound sleep: "What in the HELL? Screw this."

So I also wouldn't be surprised if tonight's outing is a short one. Even if Beckett might have the fire back, the gut still exists.

And for that reason, considering the altitude in Colorado, I'm almost more excited to see him try and run the bases. Can you imagine if he hits one into the gap?

In that case, only one of three things can happen.

1. The world's longest single.
2. A pulled hamstring.
3. The sight of No. 19 hunched over puking on second base.

My vote goes to No. 3.

(Beckett's last National League start came on September 23, 2005 and he was dominant in defeat.)

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine