The more time wears on, the friendlier history will be to the legacy of starting pitcher Josh Beckett. The more time that passes, the more we will remember his playoff and World Series heroics and the less we will remember his surly disposition and general lack of likability. In the meantime, the guy comes off like a real jerk. Here are some reasons I see for Rockies fans to greet him with some chilly boos tonight in Coors Field.
If we believe the stories, it looks like he quit on the Boston Red Sox and did not really bother to hide it. That stinks. In two incidents where he technically did not break any rules, Beckett drank beer and ate fried chicken in the clubhouse and played a round of golf after being scratched from a start due to injury. He seemed disinterested in the Red Sox, and while I do not have
much any sympathy for Boston sports fans, I still hate to think he got his way in this trade by quitting on his former team. I do not know if that is how things shook out or not, but we know that Adrian Gonzalez got what he wanted in this trade so it is not much of a stretch to think Beckett got cleared out of town for similar reasons.
Along those same lines, in recent years Beckett has made it look like he hates baseball. The way he carries himself combined with his comment that he “only gets 18 days off a year” ratchet his likability down a couple notches. He looks like it makes him mad to play the greatest game in the world, kind of like Jeff Kent used to. Not appealing.
Next reason to boo Beckett: as Troy Renck of the Denver Post points out this morning, Beckett struck out 9 Rockies in game 1 of the 2007 World Series. You know, the night when the momentum of Rocktober came screeching to a halt and our dreams were shattered. As I continue to write this, I am warming up to boo him from my living room in Rochester, MN.
Another reason: this is a chance to kick Beckett when he is down. At 5-11 on the season with an ERA over 5.00, this will be his low point as he will surely reap the benefits of moving from the AL East to the NL West in the near future. He will improve between now and the end of the season and he very well might make a meaningful contribution to a World Series contender. That means we need to get him while we can. Maybe a little unfriendly welcome tonight will get into his head, cause him to struggle, and defer any type of triumphant arrival for him as a member of the Dodgers.
Finally, there is that disgusting soul patch thing that he wears on his face. In a sport where so many men excel in the facial hair department, his effort is truly a disgrace. BOOOOOOOO!