Play Fantasy Use your Fantasy skills to win Cash Prizes. Join or start a league today. Play Now
 
Tag:Josh Beckett
Posted on: February 19, 2012 1:48 pm
 

Polar opposites Beckett, Lester talk collapse



By Matt Snyder


After a historic collapse in September, blowing a huge wild-card lead to the Rays, the Red Sox offseason got off a turbulent start for several reasons, chief among them a revelation that starting pitchers were drinking beer, eating fried chicken and playing video games in the clubhouse during games. So when pitchers and catchers reported to camp this weekend, obviously the subject came up.

With All-Star pitchers Josh Beckett and Jon Lester, there were two different approaches.

Lester came full of accountability and apology.

“We stunk. I stunk. Tampa Bay was better,” Lester said (BostonHerald.com). “I take complete responsibility for it.”

Beckett, on the other hand, gave what the Boston Herald termed "the bare minimum," while also going a bit on the offensive.

“I’m upset with myself for the lapses of judgment, but there’s also some ill feelings toward some people," he said (BostonHerald.com), with "people" obviously being the clubhouse leak that exposed the locker-room activities.

“I’m not saying we didn’t make mistakes, because we did make mistakes in the clubhouse. But the biggest mistake we made was — the biggest mistake I made — was not pitching well against Baltimore. I was prepared to pitch every time I went out there. I just didn’t execute pitches when I needed to.” (BostonHerald.com)

The Herald also called Beckett "defiant" in the face of the questioning while saying Lester was "contrite."

While it's easy to see that anyone would be annoyed for being outed like that, Beckett's outward frustration shows that he isn't fully accountable for the clubhouse actions. He's only sorry he got caught. It's like blaming the police officer for getting a speeding ticket -- Yeah, I shouldn't have been speeding, but I'm mad at the cop for pulling me over. But the cop wasn't the one speeding, just as the clubhouse leak wasn't the one in the wrong in September. If Beckett was truly accountable, he would be acting like Lester, the true staff ace of the Red Sox.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.
Posted on: February 1, 2012 9:57 pm
 

Red Sox 'unlikely' to add starter before spring

Ben CheringtonBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Edwin Jackson and Roy Oswalt are still looking for a new home -- and Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said he doesn't expect it to be in Boston.

FREE AGENT TRACKER

"We won't rule out adding a starter, but I think it's unlikely at this point," Cherington said during a taping of a NESN Hot Stove special (via the Boston Herald). "We're going to keep looking for ways to improve the team, including the pitching staff, but I wouldn't expect any major changes between now and the report date."

Now, not to say anything bad about Cherington, or to suggest he's being anything less than truthful, but these things can always change. Even Cherington noted that while he expects the Red Sox to go into spring with Jon Lester, Josh Beckett and Clay Buchholz as the three definite members of the rotation, the team could add a starter during spring training or during the season. Daniel Bard and Alfredo Aceves will go into spring trying to transition into starters and the team has also taken flyers on Vicente Padilla, Aaron Cook and Carlos Silva.

"We know that teams evolve," Cherington said (via the Providence Journal). "That doesn't mean you don't want to go into spring training with every position perfect and the team filled out, because optimally you would. That's never the case.

"The Cardinals are the obvious recent example of a team [evolving], but you can't count on that. You can't count on that and end up in the same spot they did. All we can do, we have the guys we have now and we'll keep looking for ways to add to that group and we don't know when those opportunities are going to come. We're confident that the group we have has a chance to be really good, and we'll do everything we can to add to that if there are opportunities."

The Red Sox could get Daisuke Matsuzaka back by midseason and also make a move at the trade deadline.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.

Posted on: January 15, 2012 11:11 am
Edited on: January 16, 2012 1:15 pm
 

Red Sox sign RHP Vicente Padilla

Vicente Padilla

By C. Trent Rosecrans


The Yankees add Michael Pineda and Hiroki Kuroda, so the Red Sox have to make a move, right?

They have, but is Vicente Padilla going to move the scales on the AL East balance of power north? Doubtful, but the Red Sox have signed the 34-year-old right-hander to a minor-league contract, CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman reports.

FREE AGENT TRACKER

Padilla was limited to just nine relief appearances for the Dodgers last season with neck problems, but there's word that he's healthy and back throwing in the mid-90s. He has already undergone a physical with the Red Sox, according to Heyman.

Padilla is 104-90 in his career with a 4.31 ERA in 237 starts and 330 appearances in parts of 13 seasons with the Phillies, Rangers, Dodgers and Diamondbacks. Although he served as a reliever early in his career, for the most part he's been a starter, going 97-81 with a 4.33 ERA and 1.362 WHIP as a starter.

As unimpressive as the signing sounds in the wake of the Yankees' moves, it's a low-risk deal for Boston. With Jon Lester, Josh Beckett and Clay Buchholz, the Red Sox don't need help at the top of the rotation, but at the rear, and if healthy, Padilla could fit there in a competition for the fifth spot along with Alfredo Aceves, Carlos Silva, Aaron Cook and others, while Daniel Bard will be given every opportunity to win the fourth spot in the rotation during spring.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.
Posted on: December 18, 2011 2:24 pm
 

Homegrown Team: Miami Marlins

Miguel Cabrera

By C. Trent Rosecrans


What if players were only permitted to stay with the team that originally made them a professional? No trades, no Rule-5 Draft, no minor or major league free agency ... once you are a professional baseball player, you stay in that organization. This series shows how all 30 teams would look. We give you: Homegrown teams. To view the schedule/past entries of this feature, click here.

The new-look Miami Marlins went out and spent some cash on big free agents this offseason, but had that cash been around (or, you know, owner Jeffrey Loria willing to spend it before getting his new ballpark), the team could have kept some of the notable talent in South Florida. While the Marlins sent Josh Beckett and Miguel Cabrera out after winning a World Series, it's intriguing to think of what could have been had the Marlins stayed homegrown.

Lineup

1. Logan Morrison, CF
2. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
3. Miguel Cabrera, 3B
4. Mike Stanton, RF
5. Josh Willingham, LF
6. Alex Gonzalez, SS
7. Brett Hayes, C
8. Robert Andino, 2B

Starting Rotation

1. Josh Johnson
2. Josh Beckett
3. Chris Volstad
4. Jason Vargas
5. Livan Hernandez

Bullpen

Closer - Steve Cishek
Set up - Chris Resop, Chris Leroux, Sandy Rosario, Alex Sanabia, Rick VandenHurk
Long - Brad Hand

Notable Bench Players

The bench is deep and versatile, including young and old alike, infielders and outfielders. Some of those guys include Gaby Sanchez, Edgar Renteria, Ross Gload, Matt Dominguez, Mark Kotsay, Chris Coghlan and Jeremy Hermida. Of those, Sanchez and Dominguez are good, young players that are just blocked by superstars, while the rest are clearly bench players.

What's Good?

Gonzalez, Cabrera, Stanton? Does any pitcher want to face that heart of the order? That's two MVP-worthy players plus the best young power hitter in the game. The bottom of the lineup offers a respite, but it's not like it's a wasteland. The top of the rotation can stand in just about any postseason series, throwing Johnson and Beckett back-to-back.

What's Not?

Of course, once you get past the two Joshes, things get a little easier. And once you get past them to the bullpen, the road gets a little easier, as well. Cishek may one day be a closer, and had three saves last year, but there's a reason the team went out and signed Heath Bell. Morrison probably isn't the first choice to play center field, but he's athletic enough to do it, and having Stanton in right helps out, as well. Cabrera hasn't played third base since 2008, but it was a way to fudge the lineup a bit. 

Comparison to real 2011

The Marlins were 72-90 in 2011, the same as their Pythagorean record. Of course, they didn't have Johnson for most of the season, so it's hard to really predict where he'd be with this squad. This team is probably better than the 2011 team, scoring more runs, but also struggling in the rotation, just as the regular Marlins did. Better than the 2011 team, this team is not as good as the 2012 team is shaping up to be.

Next: San Francisco Giants

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: October 29, 2011 12:03 am
Edited on: October 29, 2011 12:26 am
 

2011 World Series best in a decade

By C. Trent Rosecrans

The Cardinals are the World Series champions, but for one of the few times in recent memory, baseball fans were rewarded with an exciting, entertaining World Series. Looking over the last 10 World Series, there have been some stinkers -- good storylines, but often better storylines than games. Here's looking at the last 10 World Series and ranking them by what happened on the field and on the field only, with 2011, of course, leading the way in a landslide.

1. 2011: Cardinals over Rangers in 7

MVP: David Freese
What it's remembered for: Well, we'll see -- it could be Chris Carpenter's gutty Game 7 effort, Albert Pujols' historic Game 3 performance, David Freese's Game 6 heroics, Tony La Russa's Game 5 blunders, the Cardinals' rally from being down to their last strike twice in Game 6 or even Mike Napoli's amazing series. It's probably too early to tell -- just like it's to early to tell where this one will fall in the list of all-time great series, but we do know for sure right now that it's the best we've seen in a while.



2. 2002: Angels over Giants in 7
MVP: Troy Glaus
What it's remembered for: With the Giants just eight outs from the title, manager Dusty Baker pulled Russ Ortiz with one out in the seventh after back-to-back singles. Baker handed Ortiz the game ball before sending him back to the dugout before Scott Spiezio hit a three-run homer off of Felix Rodriguez. The Angeles rallied for three more runs in the eighth inning to win 6-5 and went on to win Game 7 behind John Lackey.



3. 2003:
Marlins over Yankees in 6
MVP: Josh Beckett
What it's remembered for: Beckett started Game 6 on three days' rest and shutout the Yankees on five hits to clinch the title at Yankee Stadium.


4. 2009:
Yankees over Phillies in 6
MVP: Hideki Matsui
What it's remembered for: Long-time Yankee nemesis Pedro Martinez started Game 6 for the Phillies, but was taken out of the game after giving up four runs in the first four innings and took the loss, while Andy Pettitte recorded his record 18th career postseason victory. It was the last game Martinez would pitch in the majors.



5. 2010: Giants over Rangers in 5
MVP: Edgar Renteria
What its' remembered for: After missing most of the season with several injuries, Edgar Renteria hit a three-run home run off of Cliff Lee in the seventh inning of Game 5 that was enough for a 3-1 victory, clinching the Giants title. Renteria joined Yogi Berra, Joe DiMaggio and Lou Gehrig to have two series-winning hits.



6. 2005: White Sox over Astros in 4
MVP: Jermaine Dye
What it's remembered for: Like the other Sox, the White version had a long drought of its own broken, but White Sox fans never really whined as much as Red Sox fans so it was less celebrated. Although the White Sox swept the series, no game was decided by more than two runs, with Scott Podsednik hitting a walk-off homer in Game 2 off of Brad Lidge after the Astros rallied to tied the game with two runs in the ninth. Podsednik hadn't hit a home run in the entire 2005 regular season, but it was his second of the postseason.



7: 2008: Phillies over Rays in 5
MVP: Cole Hamels
What it's remembered for: Rain. Game 3 was delayed for an hour and a half, while Game 5 was started on Oct. 27 and suspended in the top of the sixth inning with the score tied at 2. The game was completed two days later with the Phillies winning 4-3. It was the first suspended game in World Series history.


8. 2004:
Red Sox over Cardinals in 4
MVP: Manny Ramirez
What it's remembered for: Because the Red Sox broke the Curse of the Bambino, the series itself is remembered more fondly than the play on the field merited. Despite Boston's complete domination of the series and an early 3-0 lead in Game 4 (to go along with the 3-0 series lead at the time), for many Red Sox fans, it wasn't until Keith Foulke flipped the ball to Doug Mientkiewicz for the final out did they believe the Red Sox would actually win the series. (There's also the whole Curt Schilling bloody sock episode that would be in this spot if it weren't for that whole curse thing).


9. 2007:
Red Sox over Rockies in 4
MVP: Mike Lowell
What it's remembered for: Dustin Pedroia led off Game 1 in Boston with a home run and the series kind of followed suit from there. Boston trailed only once in the entire series -- falling behind 1-0 in the first of Game 2, only to win that game 2-1.



10. 2006:  Cardinals over Tigers in 5
MVP: David Eckstein
What it's remembered for: How bad was this series on the field? Well, there were 12 errors committed in the five games and three of the five games featured errors by both teams. There was a game pushed back by rain and the most memorable moment was probably a guy washing his hands. In Game 2, the drama (aided by Tim McCarver's yapping) was the mystery of a mixture of dirt and rosin on Kenny Rogers' hand in the first inning. He went on to pitch eight shutout innings and allowed just two hits in the Tigers' only victory of the series.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.





Posted on: October 18, 2011 11:39 pm
 

Red Sox pitchers, Francona speak on beer-drinking

By Evan Brunell

The Red Sox have issued a statement, attempting to put the beer-drinking controversy to bed. The team is specifically refuting a claim that there was drinking in the dugout that was released Tuesday morning. Terry Francona is part of the statement, asking the team to release one for him, along with pitchers Josh Beckett, John Lackey, Jon Lester, and president Larry Lucchino. The statement reads:
LesterJON LESTER (pictured, right): “The accusation that we were drinking in the dugout during games is completely false.  Anonymous sources are continuing to provide exaggerated and, in this case, inaccurate information to the media.  
 
BeckettJOSH BECKETT (pictured, left): “I cannot let this allegation go without response; enough is enough.  I admit that I made mistakes along the way this season, but this has gone too far.  To say that we drank in the dugout during the game is not true.”
 
JOHN LACKEY: “There are things that went on this season that shouldn’t have happened, but this latest rumor is not true, and I felt that it was important to try to stop this from going any further.”
 
TERRY FRANCONA: “In 32 years of professional baseball, I have never seen someone drinking beer in the dugout.”
 
PRESIDENT/CEO LARRY LUCCHINO ON BEHALF OF THE BOSTON RED SOX: “Tonight our organization has heard directly from Jon, Josh, John, and former manager Terry Francona.  Each has assured us that the allegation that surfaced today about drinking in the dugout during games in 2011 is false, and we accept their statements as honest and factual.
 
“As we continue our internal examination to fully understand what went wrong in September, 2011, we appreciate these strong and clear statements from our players.
 
“It is time to look forward and move forward, rather than allow a reckless, unsubstantiated accusation from ‘anonymous sources’ to mislead the public.”
This should effectively confirm that all these Red Sox pitchers did, in fact, drink beer during games in which they did not pitch. Lester had previously admitted to drinking beer during games.

Can't get enough booze? Read more about the beer-drinking controversy.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeonBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.



Posted on: October 18, 2011 6:02 pm
Edited on: October 18, 2011 8:54 pm
 

Report: Red Sox pitchers drank beer in dugout



By Evan Brunell


A report from WHDH-7 TV's Joe Amorosino in Boston has Red Sox pitchers Josh Beckett, John Lackey and Jon Lester drinking beer during games. That's nothing that hasn't been reported yet, except this report has the beer-drinking occurring in the dugout.

During games in which the three were not pitching, the trio would go to the clubhouse as early as the sixth inning and fill cups with Bud Light beer and drink it on the dugout as games ended.

“Beckett would come down the stairs from the dugout, walking through the corridor to the clubhouse and say ‘it’s about that time’," an employee of the team said. "Beckett was the instigator but Lester and Lackey were right behind him. It was blatant and hard not to notice what was going on with all three guys leaving at once.”

Whether the team was winning or losing was irrelevant to the beer-drinking, and increased as 2011 wore on. Another employee said it was a cause of boredom on the nights all three weren't pitching and "is how they entertained themselves.”

It's difficult to tell whether or not this report is true. If so, it would point to reports that the three were essentially a clique and couldn't be bothered to care about other players on the team on days one of the three wasn't pitching. This much is true: whatever happened, it wasn't acceptable. What if one of them had to be pressed into duty in extra-innings, for example? What about supporting your team and being invested in the game?

Update: Jon Lester, who admitted to drinking beer in the clubhouse, called the reports of drinking in the dugout "completely false," according to ESPN Boston's Gordon Edes.

Read more about the Red Sox's saga with drinking beer during games.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeonBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: October 14, 2011 3:35 pm
Edited on: October 14, 2011 7:20 pm
 

Red Sox owner Henry was against Crawford signing

By Matt Snyder

The Red Sox offseason soap opera added another chapter Friday afternoon when owner John Henry went on a local radio station to discuss his team. The whole thing was a bad idea if you ask me, but hey, it's his organization. He has the right to constantly keep it in the news, even if it's for negative reasons.

Click here to listen to the full interview via CBS Boston.

Red Sox soap opera
The big news from the appearance was easily Henry saying he was not supportive of signing left fielder Carl Crawford last offseason. Crawford signed a seven-year, $142 million contract and then went on to easily have the worst season of his career. Henry is the owner -- you know, the guy who actually pays the players. If he didn't want to spend $142 million, he could have said he didn't want to spend $142 million when the deal actually happened. Henry later said in the interview that ownership doesn't discuss players, only "financial issues." So it's possible he just told his personnel guys how much money they could spend and stayed out of everything. It just seems odd to try and save face for a signing when he's the top dog.

While we're here, it's a bit absurd how much ire general manager Theo Epstein has drawn for the Crawford signing. Yes, he was awful in 2011, but no one had a crystal ball. Here is what Crawford's average season was from 2004-2010: .301/.344/.461, 27 doubles, 13 triples, 14 home runs, 73 RBI, 95 runs, 49 stolen bases. He was also a Gold Glove left fielder and only 29 years old. Considering he'd be moving to a better lineup and better hitter's park, there was every reason to believe he'd be even better. You can say they overpaid for those numbers, and they probably did, but that's what the Yankees and Red Sox do. The fact that Crawford was a bust in '11 is on Crawford, not Epstein, Henry or anyone else. And it will honestly be pretty surprising if Crawford doesn't bounce back with a good season in 2012.

Anyway, here are some more highlights of the interview:

• On the Boston Globe article that said manager Terry Francona was distracted by marital and prescription drug problems during the season: “It’s reprehensible that was written about in the first place,” said Henry (CBS Boston). “If it’s someone within the team, and that’s what it says in the newspaper, I’m upset about it. And I’ve been upset about it.”

• Francona was not fired: “That is just factually incorrect,” Henry said of the firing talk (CBS Boston). “We didn’t fire him. He told us in the first meeting we had with him, he was not the voice to lead this team.”

• Henry said the starting pitching failed, but that Josh Beckett is one of the most competitive players he's ever met. He also said he's going to talk to the team about leadership in the clubhouse.

• On Epstein: "I would have loved for Theo to be our GM for the next 20 years. ... I did everything I could personally to make that happen."

• "I think the chaos that's going on is much more external than internal. The Red Sox aren't in ashes. That's not how we feel about it."

• Henry believes Epstein never saw himself as the long-term GM due to the demands of the job.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com