FORT MYERS, Fla. In a weekend interview, Red Sox right-hander Josh Beckett claimed there were snitches in the clubhouse and distractions in his personal life.
Baseball players, just as those in all walks of life, will very likely have to deal with personal issues with varying degrees of severity at one time or another. Sometimes they are happy distractions, sometimes unpleasant.
Becketts wife delivered the couples first child the day after the season ended.
Yeah, he just got caught into the distraction thing, said David Ortiz of Beckett. Theres a lot of things going through your head and this is not an easy thing to do. His wife was pregnant and the unexpected can happen. So it can stress you out a lot.
If Beckett was distracted, it wasnt obvious to everyone.
I didnt notice it, no, said Daniel Bard. He looked the same last year as he did the two years before it. It obviously didnt affect him on the field too much. He was a Cy Young contender pretty late into the season. I thought he had a great year. He had a kid on the way and that was awesome for him. But I didnt notice any difference.
How does a player keep issues from his personal life from creeping into the clubhouse and onto the field?
Well, just make sure you have the baby in April, Ortiz said with a laugh.
I don't think you can ever keep it completely out, Bard said. Everybody has their issues. You wouldnt be at this level if you didnt learn how to separate things. Usually if there is something going on off the field, if its serious in nature, it's going to affect you on the field in some way. I just dont think anyone can completely rise above it. But most guys at this level are pretty good at separating personal from professional and getting everything they need to do done every day.
Still, Ortiz would like to have what happens in the clubhouse stay in the clubhouse.
Definitely, Ortiz said. I think that should by the number one rule. So the organization can take over and little stupid things sometimes doesnt blow up and people look at it bigger than what it is. I think everything that happened here in the clubhouse should stay here.
It happens the way it happened last year, Ortiz said.
Hopefully, this organization, they take care of business with that. But just do the right thing.