UPDATE: An explanation from Francona makes this sound far less troublesome than it first appeared:
Adrian Beltre had an MRI on his sore left hamstring and manager Terry Francona said the preliminary findings were “pretty good” but decided to hold him out of the starting lineup against the Texas Rangers on Thursday night at Fenway Park. Francona replaced Beltre with Bill Hall at third base for Thursday’s four-game series opener.
“I wasn’t real comfortable playing him tonight,” Francona said. “Hopefully, he’ll go out move around, maybe be available to pinch-hit, play [Friday], that would be, for me, best case. I just think with the travel, I just didn’t have a real good feeling running him out there. Just knowing the way he plays, I didn’t want him hurting himself.”
4:25 P.M.: To review: Adrian Beltre tweaked his hamstring in Sunday’s game and was touch and go for the All-Star Game. He went to Anaheim, though, and played in the game. Then he came back to Boston and had an MRI on the hammy this morning. The result: Beltre is out of today’s game.
Hurm. I know the All-Star Game counts and everything, but if he’s not well enough to go in a game that counts in the AL East standings, what was he doing playing in Anaheim on Tuesday?
It’s hard to parse who was wrong and who was right in the whole Jacoby Ellsbury broken ribs diagnosis thing, but if Ellsbury was right there, and if Beltre was too hurt to play in the All-Star Game but did anyway, how long until we’re justified in comparing the Red Sox’ handling of injuries to that of the Mets?
Too many unknowns for that now, however. And besides: maybe Beltre wasn’t really hurt until yesterday. I mean, those airport TCBY lines can be treacherous, so perhaps he was injured while connecting in Chicago?