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.”
Matt Williams was voted the National League Manager of the Year on November 11, 2014, receiving 18 of 30 first-place votes from Baseball Writers Association of America members.
Today the Nationals fired him following a season full of disappointment, reports of clubhouse discontent, and Jonathan Papelbon choking Bryce Harper in the dugout.
Williams went 179-145 (.552) in two seasons in Washington, which is an excellent winning percentage, but when you take over a stacked team the expectations are extremely high and there was seemingly nothing anyone could point to about his actual managing that suggested he was doing a good job.
His in-game tactics and particularly his rigid bullpen usage patterns infuriated fans. His dealings with the local media became increasingly antagonistic. And even setting aside two players literally fighting in the dugout there’s ample evidence that Williams lost the clubhouse a long time ago.
Williams was far from the only thing wrong with the Nationals this season and he’s hardly the primary person to blame for their disappointing record, but it’s also hard to make a strong case for his sticking around–meaningless, beat writer-voted award or not–and general manager Mike Rizzo predictably acted quickly to move on.
Now we’ll see who gets to take the next crack at managing the Nationals to play up to expectations.
Dan Haren, who said two months ago that he was leaning toward retiring after the season, reiterated those plans following the Cubs’ regular season finale Sunday.
At age 34 he started 32 games for the Marlins and Cubs with a 3.60 ERA and 132/38 K/BB ratio in 187 innings, so Haren would have no problem finding work and a solid paycheck for 2016.
However, he’s not expected to part of the Cubs’ playoff roster and told Jesse Rogers of ESPN Chicago:
That was it for me. If I have to pitch in the postseason, I’ll be ready for sure. Happy the way the last few starts have gone. Being able to contribute to this amazing team. I’m just thankful to be a part of it. If I don’t pitch in the postseason, that’s it. It’s been fun. Hopefully there’s a lot more games to go. … If my name is called, I’ll be ready.
Injuries has lessened Haren’s overall effectiveness in recent years, but he’s remained a solid mid-rotation starter and has pitched 13 seasons in the big leagues with a 3.75 ERA in 2,419 innings. He made three All-Star teams and earned more than $80 million.