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.

Media Storylines For Patriots Camp

With Patriots training camp starting up tomorrow, the epic struggle between the fearless media corps and Bill Belichick’s evil empire begins anew.

Beyond the usual day-to-day reporting of practices, transactions and that day’s player profile, what can we expect to hear a lot about during this camp?

The Spectre of 16-0.

Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com has already predicted that the Patriots will run the table in 2012. In the regular season. He has them losing the Super Bowl (this time to the Packers) once again.

Prisco, who has been known to take pleasure in tweaking Patriots fans in the past, no doubt enjoyed making this prediction, and is reveling in the attention it is receiving. It has already been a topic of discussion on the local airwaves and in the local papers and will continue to be, at least until the Patriots lose a game.

Joint Practices and the Preseason Game with the Saints.

I’m already cringing at the references to this one. Expect to be overloaded with Spygate/Bountygate comparisons. Expect some “CheaterBowl” references. You can be sure that there will be plenty of talk about how the Patriots got off easy, and the taped Rams walk-through will be referred to as a fact. I’m not looking forward to that week.

The Status of Andre Carter/Loss of Mark Anderson

We’ll hear plenty of speculation about whether the team is going to bring back the defensive lineman who was so productive for them last season before being lost to injury. The conversations will accelerate if it appears that the Patriots are not generating pass rush from the defensive end position. Last year, many dismissed the signings of Carter and Anderson as of little importance. This year, the same people may be moaning over the fact that they are not here.

Laser Focus on Rob Gronkowski

Many sets of binoculars will be focused on the ankle of the Patriots tight end, and his status at every practice will be one of the first things mentioned. Whether he plays in preseason games will also be a subject of debate. After getting the big contract, there will be plenty of speculation about his focus, especially coming off the busy offseason he just completed.

Is Wes Welker Unhappy?

You can be sure that Welker’s contract will be mentioned at least a few times every day. He will be watched, scrutinized for any signs of discontent or unhappiness. The contract will be brought up to him, numerous times. His production will be watched, and any deviation in either direction will have people say that the team should either give him a 5-year $100 million contract, or cut ties with him at the end of the season.

Reduced Media Work Area

As Mike Reiss noted over the weekend, the Patriots are expanding their weight room into the area that formerly served as the media workroom. The media will now work out of the two-story press box, and I can already hear the griping that will result from this. Even if there is no inconvenience whatsoever.

The Curse of the Super Bowl Runner-Up

This may not be as big a topic as it might normally be, given as how the Patriots really re-loaded this offseason, while many teams that make it to the Super Bowl think they’re close enough, and usually bring back the same team the next season. Expectations are sky-high, but any rash of injuries during camp, and this line of talk will be trotted out quickly.

Worst Defense in All of Football

I’ve heard this one plenty already, (though in reality, the Packers slipped behind the Patriots at the end of the season to finish last in the NFL’s total defense numbers.) and early on, you can expect plenty of talk about whether they have made enough improvements to the unit. The losses of Carter and Anderson will be mentioned, and whether the rookies can make any sort of contributions to this group.

Any Other “Issue” That May Pop Up.

In 2007, Randy Moss pulled a hamstring during the first week of camp, and was not seen again. This led to rampant speculation that he might not even make the team. He then went out and had one of the greatest seasons ever by a wide receiver. A veteran stalwart might retire. Brian Waters might not show up until the week before the opener.  All sorts of things could happen which will suddenly take the conversation away from the relevant stuff, (you know facts, anecdotes, and quotes) and give the talkers plenty of material for hours of inane debate.

Twelve Points For Patriots Training Camp

by Chris Warner

Off-season, off-season, free agents, rookies, whatchathink, whaddyaknow, blah, blah, blah.

Enough. Let’s do this …

Jones-ing For Athleticism: Before we speak of rookie Chandler Jones, a quick anecdote about last year’s defense, focusing on fan (and BSMW) favorite Rob Ninkovich. Playing against an AFC East rival, Ninkovich made two plays that defined the 2011 season defensively. On one play, he read a misdirection play, avoided the block, and ran toward the outside. Due to his lack of quickness, however, the back eluded contain and gained a first down.

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