The MLB trade deadline passed and the Red Sox will be holding on to arguably the most hated athlete in Boston, Josh Beckett. There was speculation that Beckett may be traded to either Texas or Atlanta yesterday, but Boston Globe writer Nick Cafardo reported yesterday that Sox G.M. Ben Cherington decided not to move the struggling pitcher.
Now, for all those members of “Red Sox Nation” who don’t like Josh Beckett, hear me out. Keeping him may end up being a good idea. Let’s forget about all the beer and fried chicken and golfgate. With the amount of money he is due per year through 2014 (15.75 million), you’re just not going to get anything of value in return. Yes, I’m looking at you, Brent Lillibridge
That being said, The Sox are “stuck” with a pitcher that has a pretty damn good resume.
I’ve always been a Josh Beckett fan dating back to his days with Florida, and even through his struggles in Boston. I’ve debated with friends why the Sox should keep him. I’ve even eaten at Popeyes Chicken to see what all the fuss was about and to be honest with you, if I had a Popeyes Chicken across from my work – like there is at Fenway – I’d have a bunch of points on my rewards card too.
Regardless, Beckett’s numbers speak for themselves.
He’s a three-time All Star who picked up a World Series MVP in 2003 with the Marlins and an ALCS MVP in 2007 with Boston. In 2007 Beckett came in second place for the Cy Young to C.C. Sabathia.
Can you guess who came in third place in the Cy Young voting in 2007? No? Well it was Beckett’s drinking buddy and fellow Popeyes rewards club member, John Lackey.
But forget that fat lard for a second and focus on the fact that Beckett has two rings and a career ERA of 3.88. Oh, and in 2011, his ERA was 2.89, fifth-best in the American League.
Yes, I know this year Beckett’s numbers are not All Star worthy. He’s got an ERA of 4.57 and a record of 5-9. In his defense, pitchers can’t always control wins and losses. Felix Doubront is 10-5 and his ERA is 4.37, just two tenths of a run better than Beckett, but he’s constantly praised.
But that’s the the thing, Josh Beckett isn’t Felix Doubront. He’s a lot better than that and what Josh Beckett simply needs to do is go out and pitch like the Cy Young caliber pitcher that he is.
The season lies in Beckett’s and Jon Lester’s hands. If they can put together a few good starts and then stay hot, the Sox have a shot at making the postseason. If they can’t pitch well consistently from here on out, there’s no chance at playing in October.
Ed. Note: This article was written before Beckett got hurt.