Josh Beckett: “I don’t want to be part of a reality show”

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Josh Beckett spoke to Rob Bradford of WEEI.com and responded to the recent groundswell of criticism from fans and media members regarding his performance and golfing habits.

The full interview is definitely worth reading, but here’s a particularly interesting excerpt about all the drama:

I don’t want to be part of a reality show. If I wanted to be part of a reality show I would move to LA. That’s not what I’m here for. I’m here to win baseball games and we’re not doing a good job of that. Am I part of the solution or am I part of the problem? I want to part of the solution, not part of the problem. It seems like everybody wants to just create problems for us because we have a really good group of guys and we all get along but that’s not how it’s perceived. …

It sucks because it seems nobody else wants you here except for your teammates. What are supposed to do? What am I supposed to do? Am I supposed to go home and pout and take that home with me. That ain’t happening. That’s not me. … I thought I made it pretty clear yesterday that my off-time isn’t anybody’s business. If it keeps me from doing what I need to do, then it becomes the Boston Red Sox business, but it didn’t keep me from that.

Beckett finished the interview by saying: “I would do nothing to jeopardize my team or myself.”

Jorge Soler diagnosed with strained oblique, Opening Day in doubt

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Royals outfielder Jorge Soler has been diagnosed with a strained oblique, making it likely that he begins the regular season on the disabled list, Rustin Dodd of The Kansas City Star reports.

The Royals acquired Soler from the Cubs in December in exchange for reliever Wade Davis. Over parts of three seasons with the Cubs, Soler hit .258/.328/.434 with 27 home runs and 98 RBI in 765 plate appearances.

When he’s healthy, Soler is expected to find himself in the Royals’ lineup as a right fielder and occasionally as a designated hitter.

Report: Cardinals, Yadier Molina making “major progress” on contract extension

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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Cardinals and catcher Yadier Molina are making “major progress” on a contract extension. Molina told the team he won’t discuss an extension during the season, hence the rapid progress.

Molina is entering the last guaranteed year of a five-year, $75 million contract signed in March 2012. He and the Cardinals hold a mutual option worth $15 million with a $2 million buyout for the 2018 season. The new extension would presumably cover at least the 2018-19 seasons and likely ’20 as well.

Molina is 34 years old but is still among the most productive catchers in baseball. Last season, he hit .307/.360/.427 with 38 doubles, 58 RBI, and 56 runs scored in 581 plate appearances. Though he has lost a step or two with age, Molina is still well-regarded for his defense. The Cardinals also value his ability to handle the pitching staff.