As Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Josh Beckett walked off of the mound Thursday night, he did so to an impressive symphony of boos from the Fenway Park faithful.
It may have had something to do with his poor outing, as the right-hander gave up seven runs on seven hits, two of which were home runs. It may have also had something to do with the fact that all of this happened in the first two and a third innings of the game.
The smart money is that is because he was scratched from a start on May 2 against the Oakland A's (citing a strained latissimus dorsi), in which Boston lost, 4-2. The very next day, Beckett was found to be a round playing golf in the Boston area.
After last night's game, when Beckett was questioned about golfing while unable to participate in baseball activities, he responded: I spend my off-days the way I want to spend them. My off-day is my off-day.
Beckett also added, We have 18 off-days a year.
The loss dropped the Red Sox to a 12-19 record, in the basement of the American League East and in the midst of a three-game losing streak. Beckett, who is currently making $17 million per year, has a record of 2-4 this year, with a 5.97 ERA, which is the highest of his professional career.
In his first year as the Rod Sox manager, Bobby Valentine has had a share of challenges with the team, since taking over, after last year's disastrous end to the season in an epic collapse. Last month Valentine called out Kevin Youkilis, questioning if he was physically or emotionally in the game.
Shortly thereafter, Red Sox second basemen Dustin Pedroia suggested that Valentine needed to understand how they do things around there.