Valentine: Beckett a "professional"


Valentine: Beckett a "professional"

BOSTON The firestorm caused by Josh Becketts golf outing two days before he was skipped in a start because of a sore right lat muscle and a week before he was pummeled by the Indians Thursday night is still broiling.

Beckett took the loss last night, going just 2 13 innings and giving up seven runs, his shortest start since going 2 13 innings while giving up eight runs on Aug. 17, 2008, to the Blue Jays.

Before Fridays game manager Bobby Valentine said Becketts health was not an issue, and that Beckett may have been tipping pitches to the Indians.

I think mechanically, based on the information Ive got back, is that his mechanics are all right, Valentine said. But Josh seems to think that Cleveland is on him more than others and there might be something that hes doing that is signaling their effectiveness. Were investigating that. Healthwise he was fine. He said he felt great and today he was actively pursuing the answers to the problems.

Looking at video to see whywhen the cutter came in to the left-hander they always were out in front of it. Thats suspicious.

But with the backlash on Becketts choice of off-day activities still swirling, Valentine was asked if there was anything he could do about that.

I dont think that I am making a determination on what people are doing during their off days unless it affects the performance of them on the field and it seems that he was healthy when he played and it seems like it didn't hurt him, Valentine said. Would be very tough for a manager to start legislating what guys do when they're away from the park.

I think there are things that have been thought about since this has happened by everyone concernedin terms of right and wrong and what to do next time.

Perhaps it is the perception of the situation.. Choosing to play golf two days before a start will be skipped, the day after Valentine announced Beckett would be skipped certainly doesnt look good.

Again, that gets into the semantics thing, Valentine said. If you're injured, you can't do it. If there's an injury involved, you can't do anything away from the park that can do anything that might continue to cause more pain.

Valentine said the reason Beckett was skipped was to be cautious rather than because of a specific injury. Beckett threw 126 pitches, matching a career high in his previous start. After that start, he said his lat was bothering him before the outing.

I didn't think it was a physical thing as a reason he was skipped, Valentine said. I thought it was a cautionary thing. Right from the first day that I saw we were going to do it, I said it was 126 pitches and he had some lat stiffness. I was in the training room with him when they were digging into his lat and he said, Yeah its a little sore right in there, and I said, Im not taking a chance this time of the season.

Thats all that me personally is going on. I even heard the day that we skipped him, the day that Aaron Cook pitched, that he was feeling good enough to pitch that day.

Valentine considered bumping Beckett back, rather than skipping his turn, but that would have altered the rotation and other starters schedules.

I did but that would have caused everybody else to have to move up and we had a situation with Cook that was a coincidentally convenient thing, Valentine said. We had to make a decision whether to keep him or not to keep him and what we were going to do with him if we kept him and it just seemed like the stars were aligned to keep him and have him pitch in that spot.

Valentine said there had been some thought of using Beckett in the 17-inning loss to the Orioles on Sunday, but after quickly conferring with pitching coach Bob McClure during the game, that move was decided against.

At some point there was a thought but it didn't come to fruition, he said.

Cook had an opt-out date of May 1. It was announced on May 2 he would start in place of Beckett, with Beckett getting skipped.

We were all intrigued about Cook staying or leaving before we knew what he was at the major league level, Valentine said. We were all dealing, wrestling with that situation.

Valentine had been critical of Beckett in the past, as an analyst for ESPN. Since joining the Sox, he said he has found Beckett to be professional.

Josh has been a real professional to talk to, Valentine said. Hes seems like hes always on the same page in conversation. Hes with the guys, hes making jokes in the food room when I go by, hes shagging balls and seems to have fun. Seems to just be a regular to me.

Red Sox score 7 in 7th to beat Rangers 9-4

Red Sox score 7 in 7th to beat Rangers 9-4

BOSTON (AP)  Dustin Pedroia waved home the tiebreaking run on a wild pitch, then singled in two more during Boston's seven-run seventh inning on Wednesday night and the Red Sox beat the Texas Rangers 9-4 for their third straight victory.

Chris Sale (5-2) struck out six, falling short in his attempt to become the first pitcher in baseball's modern era to strike out at least 10 batters in nine straight games in one season. He allowed three earned runs, six hits and a walk in 7 1/3 innings and received more runs of support in the seventh inning alone than in any previous game this season.

Sam Dyson (1-5) faced seven batters in relief of Martin Perez and gave up four hits, three walks - two intentional - and a wild pitch without retiring a batter. Mike Napoli homered for Texas, which has lost three of four to follow a 10-game winning streak.

David Price dodges media after 2nd rough rehab start

David Price dodges media after 2nd rough rehab start

If only David Price could pitch as well as he dodges the media.

The Red Sox lefty bailed on a typical post-start media session with reporters in Pawtucket on Wednesday, after his second minor league rehab outing in Triple-A was another dud.

As Price comes back from a nondescript elbow injury, difficulty retiring minor league hitters doesn't combine well with difficulty facing questions. He sat in the mid-90s in his second rehab start with Pawtucket, but allowed six runs, three earned, in 3 2/3 innings. He struck out four and walked one.

The PawSox were at home at McCoy Stadium against Triple-A Louisville, a Reds affiliate, and Price heard some heckling. Postgame, he wanted to hear nothing, apparently.

Per CSNNE’s Bill Messina, who was on site in Pawtucket, the media was waiting outside the clubhouse for Price, as is standard. 

PawSox media relations told the media to go to the weight room, where Price would meet them. As media headed that way, PR alerted reporters that Price was leaving and did not want to talk. Media saw a car leaving, but there was no interview.

On the mound, Price’s velocity is there, but the command is not. The Red Sox would be unwise to bring back Price before really two more minor league starts — one to show he can do well, another to show he can repeat it.

Price’s ERA in two starts for Pawtucket is 9.53. He’s gone 5 2/3 innings and allowed six earned runs, while striking out eight and walking two overall.