Mike from Attleboro: Beckett has earned right to be booed

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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.

Farrell suspended one game for last week's run-in with umpire

Farrell suspended one game for last week's run-in with umpire

BOSTON -- Red Sox manager John Farrell has been suspended one game because of Saturday night's scream-fest with umpire Bill Miller, when Farrell objected to a balk call made on Fernando Abad that led to an Angels run in the seventh inning.

Farrell is to serve the suspension on Tuesday night. He has also been fined.

Farrell and the umpire couldn't have been much closer to each other's face, and some contact was made.

"There was contact made, yes. I didn't bump him though," Farrell said a day later. "The tip of my finger touched his shirt."

Miller has ejected Farrell three times, more than any other umpire.

"No, honestly I didn't even know that, someone's brought to my attention that it's been the third time," Farrell said Sunday when asked if that history played in. "I don't have a tote board of who's done what and how many times

Improved Matt Barnes dealing with much more than mechanics

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Improved Matt Barnes dealing with much more than mechanics

BOSTON — Matt Barnes has been coping with more than just a few bad outings on the mound, and he’s asking for help.

The Red Sox set-up man made some mechanical corrections that paid off in the eighth inning Monday night, when he struck out all three Twins he faced in a 4-1 Red Sox win at Fenway Park.

“I just simplified the mechanics,” Barnes said afterward. “Two days ago, I was trying to get with more of an up, down, and out approach. I felt better in that outing. I know I gave up a run and walked the one guy, but I felt better around the zone. And then just kind of went into a slide step, doing what Andrew Miller was doing.”

Barnes allowed four runs spanning his previous three outings, retiring just four batters while walking five. But Barnes has had a lot more to worry about than just a brief professional rut. 

He’s been devoted to helping his girlfriend, Chelsea, through the unexpected loss of her father, who was diagnosed with cancer and suffered a stroke

"Her father passed away [May 27]. That’s why I wasn’t in Baltimore for the two days [in early June], I was at his funeral,” Barnes said. "It’s tough, dealing with that, and she’s obviously having a hard time with it. She’s got her good days and her bad days. But it’s not easy. He was sick for a little while, and unexpectedly passed a lot faster than anybody ever expected him to. So, it’s been tough. She’s been alright, considering.”

There are a ton of medical bills still to be paid. A fundraising page has been set up to help the family with some large medical bills, and Barnes has asked on Twitter for people to spread the word if they’re able to.

“I’ve been able to spend a lot of time with her which is nice,” Barnes said of his girlfriend. “Everybody who’s helped out with donations and spreading the page, I couldn’t be more grateful, and she couldn’t be more grateful.”

Barnes is a big leaguer, but he’s still young and making the major league minimum. For every $1,000 total donated, Barnes plans to send a signed baseball to a random donor.

“I felt like it was a nice way, if they’re going to help me out, I can at least do that in return for them,” Barnes said.