Is It Important That Josh Beckett Speaks To The Media?

The Red Sox dropped another one in Texas last night, as Josh Beckett pitched decently before giving up the go-ahead run in the 7th inning on a wild pitch as the Rangers beat Boston 5-3.

Following the game, Beckett once again did not make himself available to the media, a fact that was decried in the usual fashion by the scribes. I’ll say it again, in my opinion, some players are just better off not talking to the media, and I think Beckett is one of those players. Some can say he’s ducking accountability by not speaking with reporters, which I can see, but I think he’s actually saving himself from further trouble by muzzling himself in these situations.

What’s he going to say in these situations? What possible insight could he deliver in one of these sessions? He’s not that type.

Peter Abraham gamely attempted to explain last night why it’s important for Beckett to speak to the media:

I do find it a little undignified that they chased Beckett out to the bus, but the effort was made, I guess. (How did that go down, exactly? “Hey, Beckett’s not here! Think he went out to the bus? Let’s go find out! Yeah! Let’s go! There he is! Get him!!“)

Clarification – Abraham was the only reporter to go outside to seek Beckett, and walked (not chased or ran) up to him after he was done with his family. What happened then is described below in his Extra Bases entry on Beckett:

Beckett left the clubhouse before reporters were allowed in. A team official said he was not available. But Beckett was spotted in the concourse outside the clubhouse, posing for photos with family and friends.

Beckett was approached as he was walking alone to the team bus. He said he was trying to throw the pitch for a strike and “just yanked it.” He refused to answer further questions.

Beckett left it to his teammates and Valentine to speak about a mistake they didn’t make. That lack of accountability has become a common practice for Beckett this season. The righthander is now 5-9 and has one victory in his last nine starts.

Abraham went on further about why he feels Beckett is wrong not to speak to the media, and had quite a conversation with a few fans on Twitter about the situation. Here are a few, but it’s worth checking out his timeline for more. @PeteAbe

Look, I get it. I know why reporters want to talk to Beckett after the game, and I agree that at least attempting to find out more about the wild pitch that lost the game is important to them.

At the same time, I don’t buy the whole argument that Beckett not speaking places a greater burden on his teammates to answer the questions, and I find the notion of complaining about it on Twitter afterwards a bit unseemly.

Josh Beckett is not a popular figure around these parts, (Gerry Callahan said this morning he’d root for Penn State ahead of Beckett at this point.) I’ve had enough of his act on the field, and I think he and the Red Sox would be better off parting ways at this point. His attitude is horrible, and his performance has not been good enough for him to behave the same way he did when he was successful.

But I also understand why he would not wish to speak to reporters, and that he would likely only get himself in further trouble if he did speak with them extensively.

If they can get 75 cents on the dollar for him in the trade market, I think the Red Sox need to seriously explore that.

The idea that the Red Sox still fancy themselves contenders, and perhaps point to a team like St. Louis of last year as an example of how a team can sneak into the postseason and win it all is scary. I don’t know much about how the Cardinals were last year, but I suspect they never went through the type of turmoil and inner upheaval that this Red Sox team has. I also suspect that the Cardinals were in general, a band of over-achievers, whereas this group of Red Sox are under-achievers. The comparison is flawed. I don’t see the Red Sox putting together any sort of sustained run over the final two plus months of the season.

However, I don’t see the Red Sox making any major moves before next Tuesday. They will stick with what they have, and we will be stuck with it for the rest of the season.

Ever since the Celtics were eliminated by the Miami Heat, the Red Sox have been the only game in town, and it has been a painful six weeks or so.

With the Patriots beginning training camp today, we can shift focus, if desired, off of the nightmare that is the 2012 Red Sox and onto presumably more pleasant things with the Patriots.

Check all the activity from the first day of camp over at PatriotsLinks.com.

  • Classless

    Pete Abe, carrying the cross valiantly for us fans.

  • Timby007

    The Cardinals making it in last year was due in large part to the Atlanta Braves’ near historic collapse. I say near historic because the Red Sox actually HAD an historic collapse last year. Do you think the Red Sox are more like the Cardinals of last year or themselves of last year?

  • Joe

    Doesn’t PeteAbe work for the organization that had Bob Hohler run out of town with his tail between his legs rather than do a scheduled web chat the day he ran his hatchet job on Terry Francona?

    I don’t think I’ll take his or his organization’s advice on how to “face the music” during adversity.

    • bsmfan

      To be fair, if the Herald got the scoop on this, even CSNNE, they would have ran with it. No?

      The “We got scooped on the big dirt” is more important than “lets consider the source of who is shoveling the horse poop”

  • latetodinner

    Bruce…other than one sentence I completely agree with you. The problem is we have been arguing about this one sentence for about 15 years now. You wrote:

    “At the same time, I don’t buy the whole argument that Beckett not speaking places a greater burden on his teammates to answer the questions, and I find the notion of complaining about it on Twitter afterwards a bit unseemly.”

    I think that if you believe Beckett makes his money playing baseball then you come down on your side of the argument and believe that he is not and should not be obligated to explain his performance. If you believe, like I do, that he makes his money because he of the FAME associated with playing baseball, then people like me believe he is obligated to explain himself to those who are generating the fame that allows him to make multi millions of dollars. The advent of the guaranteed contract has created a class of people who feel they are entitled to fortunes regardless of performance. They feel they do not owe explanations for failure because they are elite.

    I say this behavior infuriates the fans who ultimately pay the bills. It is indeed unprofessional. You ask what should Beckett say. He should say, “I hug the curve and did not spot my fast ball which resulted in yet another loss.” He should say “I am embarrassed by my performance, and I will rededicate myself to the team and to my craft so that i stop sucking”. A little humility goes a long way. However if he wants to continue with the arrogance and condescention whereby he thinks he is under no obligation to answer questions and explain his behavior, then I think it is perfectly fair game for the Fame machine to openly question and call him out.

    • mc3

      I agree with latetodinner. I’ve been to one game this year, I paid a lot of money for my family to see Beckett put up this line vs. Cleveland in May:
      2.1 IP – 7 H – 7 ER

      Now, he and the Red Sox don’t “owe” me anything, but I’m not going back (or tuning in much either) until something changes.

      Bruce, you seem willing to enable him with ” I think he’s actually saving himself from further trouble by muzzling himself in these situations” and “He’s not that type”. My bet is that he knows how to be civil and humble, but he simply chooses not to.

      It’s ok for us to expect more from him than that. Like latetodinner said, “we’re paying the bills”.

      • whitey b

        The Red Sox payroll is $185 million to $190 million, give or take. Even a season ticket holder isn’t coming close to covering a secretary’s salary, let alone a player’s, so there’s no point in acting like they owe us something.

  • http://twitter.com/awesomeneil Neil O’Callaghan

    When he has spoken his mind, he tells us about how many off-days he actually has, and how baseball just isn’t that important to him. So let’s cut to the chase: Beckett not speaking to the media is more about saving himself from himself than anything else.

    Ultimately though, my fear is that this team wins juuuuuuust enough games that they still foolishly believe they are buyers not sellers. At this point, I believe it’s going to take a catastrophic meltdown by someone inside the clubhouse to wake management up.

  • whitey b

    Do your homework. The Cards were a disaster last summer. LaRussa was retiring; Pujols was being hounded over his impending free agency; LaRussa was in a running dispute with a talented player (Rasmus) whom he eventually ran out of town; the team was underperforming; etc. The Yankees came from farther down in 1978 and that’s with no wild card. If I had quit when the feds came down on me, I’da been sittin in a jail cell for an extra 17 years. Never, never give up.

  • JonB

    Everyone knows that the only guy in the media Beckett will talk to is his BFF water carrier, Rob Bradford. Maybe Rob can take his buddy Josh on another fishing trip to help him clear his head.

  • Linda Austin

    The only thing I ask from these players is consistency.
    Don’t want to the talk to the media??
    Fine …..but that had better be the case win or lose.
    I don’t want to see Beckett yapping it up if he pitches well and wins a game but running away like a felon if he losses.
    This two-faced approach is when the accusation of “low character guy” gets rolled out and justifiably so.

  • Gerhard Schwedes

    Let’s assume that Beckett didn’t walk out. If PeteAbe doesn’t ask him about the wild pitch, he’s not doing his job. So it’s nice to know that he wants to do his job even if it involves asking players uncomfortable questions. If Beckett isn’t there, Pete isn’t doing his job if he just throws up his hands. So he has to ask someone else. Reporters help create and reinforce interest in the team, which is how the team makes money to pay Beckett’s salary. You can’t force Beckett to talk but when he doesn’t, he bites the hand that feeds him. I’m with PeteAbe on this one, Bruce.

    BTW – when did Shaughnessy resign as Lucchino’s chief propagandist?

  • bsmfan

    What ever happened to the remark from.. (I forget who) .. that said certain local outlets/papers don’t even send reporters on road trips anymore because of cost/lack of interest?

    I know the Globe/Herald will be there but I don’t think these were ever pointed out. What are they doing now, then?

  • LenToDInner

    When William Wallace told the English how they had to apologize to every family in Scotland on their way back from England…I want Beckett to do that. ANYTHING short of it I will continue to hold my breath like a 5 year old

  • remyngtin

    all of a sudden , Boston media is playing Paparazzi to kim kardashian… errr , Beckett