Mike from Attleboro: Beckett has earned right to be booed

773664.jpg

Mike from Attleboro: Beckett has earned right to be booed

As Josh Beckett left the mound with an injury during Tuesday nights game, he got what he has been receiving and deserving of all season long: a chorus of boos from the Fenway Faithful. Now the question being asked is; was it right? Was it right to boo a player coming off the field with an injury?

My answer in this case: Absolutely.

Beckett has been a consistent disappointment since the SS Red Sox started to take on water last September. Unfortunately for fans, First Class White Trash is apparently allowed to board the life boats first, because both Beckett and John Lackey survived the offseason purges. While numerous people lost their jobs, because Beckett and company didnt feel like acting professionally, Josh continued to simply collect his checks and enjoy his valuable time off.

Some fans and maybe even some front-office members thought that all the vitriol that was sent Becketts way would serve as motivation for the headstrong right-hander. They hoped that maybe this would be something that spurred Beckett to rededicate himself and show up to camp committed to succeed and in shape, much like David Ortiz did.

How wrong they were. What Red Sox fans got instead was a difficult, entitled diva who stubbornly wanted to prove to everyone that he could do things his way. He didnt care that he was, at the very least, partly responsible for sending strength coach Dave Page and manager Terry Francona to the unemployment line. He would eat whatever he wanted, work out as he saw fit and do it without a hint of remorse. So far this season, that attitude and the hubris born from it has blown up in his chubby face.

Fans are now so completely fed up with him that they wanted him & his Casey Donahew Band bottle opener shipped out at the deadline, for pennies on the dollar if need be. The return on that deal didnt matter. It would have been a classic addition by subtraction deal.

So when Josh Beckett wasnt traded and then took the mound yesterday evening, the powder keg was primed and the fuse was just waiting to be lit. The rainy, midweek game would provide no refuge for Beckett either. Pink hats are a lot of things but waterproof isnt one of them, and the nights precipitation washed any fair-weather make up off the face of Red Sox Nation. Only the diehards remained and their almost universal disdain for Beckett is white hot.

So when Beckett gave them the slightest excuse to show their discontent, the loyalists obliged, with relish. A major and obviously catastrophic injury would certainly have drawn a different reaction from those assembled. But back spasms are the type of injury that tend to plague the sloth and doughy, so there should be no remorse given or required. Becketts 18-hole rehab assignment earlier this season rightly denied him any benefit of a doubt. As the saying goes, you reap what you sow and last night Becketts back prompted the harvest.

This wasnt Jets fans cheering as Chad Pennington was injured. Chad Pennington was an obviously game and dedicated player. The numerous injuries he suffered in his career were as serious as his attempts to come back from them. Penningtons play was the only discernible source of discontent for Jets fans and they cheered his injury for the same reasons they retired to Gate D for halftime sexual harassment, because they are unrepentant Cro-Magnons.

The booing Beckett got was a frustrated fan base giving the object of their discontent the reception he deserved because in addition to his numerous other missteps, he had committed the cardinal sin: Not caring. You can suck. You can suck hard. But you better look like you give a crap while doing it. This season, there is no public impression that Beckett cares about anything but his off days. Personally, I dont think Beckett was upset that he had to leave the mound. I bet he was more disappointed that after the game he wouldnt be able to outrun Peter Abraham to his car in the team parking lot.

Josh Beckett shouldnt be a sympathetic figure today. His performance and his attitude have put him front and center in the fans cross hairs. Last nights booing was just a reflection of that. Injury or no injury, the fan bases response was just as unvarnished as Becketts are to the press. Unlike his paycheck or his job security, the vitriol from Red Sox fans is the one thing Beckett has made the old fashioned way this year. He earned it.

Jones-Molina WBC spat is a clash of cultures . . . and that's great

wbc-adam-jones-032417x.jpg

Jones-Molina WBC spat is a clash of cultures . . . and that's great

The Adam Jones-Yadier Molina verbal skirmish is as predictable as it is annoying.

Was every cultural nuance for the 16 World Baseball Classic teams explained in a booklet the players had to memorize before the tournament?

No? Then it’s amazing there weren’t more moments like this.

Jones, the Orioles outfielder, said Team USA's championship game win over Puerto Rico was motivated by Puerto Rico's choice to plan a post-tournament parade for the team before the final game.

As Jones was raised, parades in pro sports are for championship teams. Red Sox fans are likely aware of this.

As Jones was raised, discussing a parade before a title is secured suggests overconfidence. Rex Ryan fans are likely aware of this.

After an 8-0 win for the U.S., Jones revealed the parade was used as bulletin-board material.

"Before the game, we got a note that there was some championship shirts made -- we didn't make 'em -- and a flight [arranged],” Jones said. “That didn't sit well with us. And a parade -- it didn't sit well with us."

But apparently, Jones didn't know the full context of the parade. It was reportedly planned regardless of whether Puerto Rico won.

One Team USA teammate of Jones whom CSNNE spoke with didn't believe that, however.

"It was called a champions parade that got turned into a celebration parade once they lost," the player said. "I think they just don't like getting called out by Jones, but all Jones did was tell exactly what happened."

Jones’ comments weren’t received well.

Puerto Rico's going through a trying time, a recession, and the entire island rallied behind the team.

“Adam Jones . . . is talking about things he doesn't know about," Molina told ESPN’s Marly Rivera. "He really has to get informed because he shouldn't have said those comments, let alone in public and mocking the way [preparations] were made.”

No one should be upset Jones explained what he was thinking.

Jones actually asked MLB Network host Greg Amsinger, “Should I tell the truth?”

Yes. It’s better than lying.

Look at the reactions across the WBC: the bat flips, the raw emotion. Honesty conveyed via body language.

People in the U.S. are starting to accept and crave those reactions. The WBC helped promote a basic idea: let people be themselves.

Jones said what was on his mind. We can’t celebrate bat flips and then say Jones should keep his mouth shut.

But there's an unreasonable expectation being placed on Jones here.

He heard about a parade -- which is to say, a subject he wouldn't normally think twice about or investigate before a championship baseball game.

Plus, it gave him motivation.

Why is Jones, or anyone with Team USA, more responsible for gaining an advance understanding of Puerto Rico’s parade-planning conventions -- we're talking about parade planning! -- than Puerto Rico is responsible for keeping U.S. norms in mind when making and/or talking about those plans?

No one involved here was thinking about the other’s perception or expectation. It's impossible to always do so.

But that’s how these moments develop: what’s obvious to one party is outlandish to the other.

Now Molina, Puerto Rico's catcher, wants an apology.

"He has to apologize to the Puerto Rican people," Molina told ESPN. "Obviously, you wanted to win; he didn't know what this means to [our] people."

Jones can clear the air with an apology, but he doesn't owe one. And he definitely doesn't owe one after Molina took it a step further.

"I'm sending a message to [Jones], saying, 'Look at this, right now you're in spring training working out, and we're with our people, with our silver medals,' " Molina said. "You're in spring training and you're working . . . you have no idea how to celebrate your honors, you don't know what it means.”

Team USA had no parade. Manager Jim Leyland made clear how the U.S. was celebrating, by recognizing those serving the country.

The silver lining here is how much attention the WBC has drawn, and how much conversation it can drive. People care, a great sign for the sport -- and its potential to foster better understanding across cultures.

Internationally, the sport is on parade.

Wright extends scoreless streak to 9 1/3 innings in Red Sox' 10-7 win over Pirates

Wright extends scoreless streak to 9 1/3 innings in Red Sox' 10-7 win over Pirates

The angst surrounding the David Price- and (possibly) Drew Pomeranz-less Red Sox starting rotation may have eased a little -- or a lot -- on Thursday.

Steven Wright extended his string of scoreless spring-training innings to 9 1/3 by blanking the Pirates for 4 1/3 innings in his third spring-traing start, leading the Sox to a 10-7 victory over the Pirates at SkyBlue Park.

Red Sox-Pirates box score

Wright allowed two hits -- the only two hits he's allowed this spring -- with one walk and three strikeouts.

Several of his pitching brethren, notably Heath Hembree and Robbie Ross Jr., didn't fare nearly as well. (See box score above.) But the Sox -- using what may be their regular-season batting order for the first time -- bailed them out with a 16-hit attack, led by Dustin Pedroia (3-for-3, now hitting ,500 for the spring). Mookie Betts, Hanley Ramirez, Jackie Bradley Jr., and, yes, Pablo Sandoval each added two hits. Sandoval also drove in three runs and is now hitting .362.

Xander Bogaerts went 1-for-4 in his return to the Sox from the World Baseball Classic.