KANSAS CITY Manager Bobby Valentine, emphasizing that he hadn't yet had an opportunity to talk to Josh Beckett, didn't want to say a lot about a report that Beckett had played golf last Thursday, two days after being scratched from his next scheduled start because of a sore lat muscle.
The story, which said Beckett went golfing with teammate Clay Buchholz, was first reported by 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston.
"I haven't talked to Josh about this yet," said Valentine, "so it's really not . . . I'm not sure I can really comment on it, other than to say that, physical issues? He had a sore lat; he wasn't an injured player. I know that. And we'll take it from there.
"I'm sure that Josh wouldn't do anything that's going to jeopardize his team or his season. I know that."
Beckett was not with the team in Kansas City, having flown home earlier in the day in preparation for his scheduled start Thursday at Fenway against the Cleveland Indians. Next-day starting pitchers frequently fly ahead of the team when late travel is involved.
Earlier, Valentine appeared slightly more critical of Beckett when, appearing on WEEI Radio for his weekly appearance, he was asked if he would be upset to learn that Beckett played a round of golf.
"If that was the case," said Valentine, "I would say that was less than the best thing to do on that day off."
Valentine also added: "I'm trying to sort out my feelings. Golf is as much a part of the pitching culture as the curveball, I know that for sure. You know, when we decided for Josh not to make his start, it wasn't that he was injured. It was just a precautionary situation. His lat was a little tight. Again, I don't know the specifics of this situation. I don't know if he was out in a charity match and just putting or if he was wailing away or if he felt that might have loosened him up. I have no idea what the situation actually is so it's hard for me to comment on it."
Buchholz, who threw a side session in the bullpen at Kauffman Stadium Wednesday afternoon, initially said he would speak with reporters after he threw.
Later, as he walked off the field, he told reporters seeking comment that he didn't want to talk about the incident.