BOSTON Manager Bobby Valentine had not had a chance to Josh Beckett about his May 3 golf outing before Beckett left Kansas City to return to Boston Thursday. The manager did talk to the right-hander today.
Yeah I talked to Josh, Valentine said. Hes ready to go, feels great. Im looking forward to the performance.
Valentine said it was not a big deal for Beckett to golf, despite the sore right lat that had scratched Beckett from his scheduled start on Saturday.
Ive never see a pitcher get hurt playing golf, Valentine said.
Again, I didnt think he was injured when he was skipped.
Valentine, though, acknowledged the perception of some fans that Beckett's golf outing was ill-advised.
Perception? I like everything to be perceived in the right light, Valentine said. Everything we do to seem proper.
There has been much anger from fans directed at the team this season, though. Valentine said he expected it.
I was pretty prepared for it, actually, because I was told there was a lot of negative feelings about last year, he said. The first month of play we havent done anything to erase those feelings. We have to play better and I think itll get better.
Its all my responsibility. I dont think because we were hurt . . . every game weve played I think the guys effort has been terrific and we just havent come up with enough victories and its all about my responsibility.
But much of the anger has been directed toward Beckett.
Im not sure I understand it totally but I understand frustration for sure, Valentine said. I understand desire for excellence and I have the same frustration and anger at myself for not meeting the standard. I understand some of it. Cant say I understand all of it because I wasnt here for last year.
Beckett is 2-3 with a 4.90 in five starts this season. Valentine said Beckett, who has not pitched since a loss on April 29 in Chicago when he matched a career-high with 126 pitches, could have restrictions tonight.
Depends on how it goes, Valentine said. Just as long as he doesnt have an excessive inning hes probably real close to being normal. Try not to get an extended last at-bat, thats for sure.