When Josh Beckett left the Red Sox as part of a huge salary dump two years ago, Boston fans lined up at Logan Airport to make sure the leader of the BoSox chicken-and-beer brigade took that season’s win-loss record of 5-11 and 5.23 ERA, and his golf clubs, and got on the plane to Los Angeles.
Sunday, the formerly broken-down churl who notoriously played golf despite a bad back that kept him off the mound at Fenway and who now toils for the Dodgers, pitched a no-hitter against the Philadelphia Phillies. After striking out five and walking two in a 128-pitch effort, however, the righty who started the game with a 2.89 ERA in eight starts in 2014, preferred to chat about golf and his outing at the perennially top-rated course in the U.S.
Asked Beckett if he took special pride in being first pitcher to throw a no-hitter minus one rib. He preferred to talk about his golf game.— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) May 25, 2014
Beckett: "I played Pine Valley 2 days ago. .. I wonder if I’m 1st guy to play No. 1 golf course in country then throw a no-hitter? Probably"— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) May 25, 2014
For fans of Boston, a team that finished last in 2012 and won it all a year later may have the distinction of going from worst-to-first-to-worst after Sunday’s 10th straight loss cemented its cellar-dwelling status, dredging up the rotten past and how this malcontent and that layabout wronged us, is as New England as the Green Monstah and clam chowdah. So when news of Beckett’s feat hit the east coast, it was difficult not to rehash the lout’s first game back after hitting the links two years ago -- a 2-1/3-inning, seven-earned-run, two-homer affair that sparked this memorable Q&A between the meatball artist and ESPN’s Gordon Edes:
Edes: Did the golf business have any impact on how you pitched?
Beckett: None. None.
E: Anything to say about the golf business?
B: No. I spend my off days the way I want to spend them.
E: Any regrets?
B: My off day is my off day.
E: Given that you were skipped a start with what was described as a tight lat muscle, do people have the right to question why you were golfing?
B: Not on my off day.
E: Do you understand the perception that leaves when the team is playing as poorly as it is?
B: We get 18 off days a year. I think we deserve a little time to ourselves.
So, yeah, way to go, Josh.