Josh Beckett Will Open Fenway Park
This morning, Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine announced that Jon Lester would be his opening day starter on April 5 in Detroit. Ok, not a big surprise, nothing to see here, moving on. He also announced that Josh Beckett will start the Red Sox’s home opener on April 13 at Fenway. Now this is fun! In case you’ve forgotten (I’ve got a feeling you’ve not forgotten), Beckett was villain number 1 from last year’s September collapse. Lester and others may also have been downing beers and chowing on fried chicken too, but Beckett came to be known as the ring leader. He also monumentally sucked down the stretch last season, just maybe because all that fried chicken and beer had turned him into a tub of lard. Perhaps worst of all, whereas Lester owned up to his misdeeds this off-season, Beckett showed a distinct lack of contrition, carping instead (at least at first) about a clubhouse snitch ratting him out.
Aside from being an affront to First Lady Michelle Obama’s efforts to combat the national obesity epidemic, Beckett’s really just been an affront to all the good folks who help pay his salary by shelling out bucketfuls of their hard-earned dollars to watch him pitch.
So, as far as I can tell, that makes the Red Sox’s first six games of the season before they come home to Fenway very important (at least from a morale perspective). If they start out like last year and come home 1-5 or 2-4 (not out of the realm of possibility, since they’ll be playing the very good Detroit Tigers and the pretty competitive Toronto Blue Jays), it could get ugly. I mean, I’m talking an epic rain of boos on Josh Beckett’s head when he’s introduced as the day’s starting pitcher. I doubt the Fenway faithful will have much patience if he struggles, either.
Hopefully, that’s not the case. Hopefully, the Red Sox will arrive at Fenway with a shiny 6-0 record. But just in case, it might be wise for Mr. Beckett to invest in a pair of ear plugs.