Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Sports

Beckett says he's culpable in debacle

FORT MYERS — With a temper that can run hotter than one of his fastballs, Josh Beckett has never hesitated to let it be known when someone has piqued his anger.

The Red Sox ace now appears to be mad at himself, saying he had "lapses in judgment" last season during Boston's historic September collapse.

Beckett held himself accountable, for his struggles on the field and his actions in the clubhouse, on Sunday as pitchers and catchers reported to spring training while still managing to keep things on his own terms.

"I'm not saying we didn't make mistakes because we did make mistakes in the clubhouse," Beckett said. "The biggest mistake I made was not pitching well against Baltimore. I was prepared to pitch every time I went out there. I just didn't execute pitches when I needed to."

The right-hander went 13-7 with a 2.89 ERA, but like the rest of the Red Sox, a sparkling first five months were spoiled by a dreadful finish. He gave up 12 earned runs in his last two starts, and the Red Sox went 7-20 in September and were overtaken by the Rays for the AL wild card.

The Boston Globe then reported that some starting pitchers, including Beckett, Jon Lester and John Lackey, spent off days drinking beer and eating fried chicken in the clubhouse rather than supporting their team from the dugout, painting a picture of a team in disarray.

"I'm upset with myself for the lapses in judgment," Beckett said. "There's also some ill feelings toward some people."

He declined to specify whom he was talking about, but the implication was he was upset with the anonymous sources who spoke to the Globe.

Beckett said he never missed a workout and was prepared to pitch every time he took the mound. He did admit to adding a few pounds during the season.

"I put on a little bit of weight," he said. "I don't have a reason for it. But it happened."

Lester also held himself accountable, saying "it's not something I'm proud of" and vowing be a better teammate.

"I think we both know that we need to do a better job and be on the field and be around these guys more," Lester said of himself and Beckett. "Instill in these young guys that we do work hard and we do take this seriously and that we care. That's the biggest thing is we do care."

POSEY ON MEND: Giants catcher Buster Posey had his first bullpen and batting practice sessions since a season-ending leg injury last year. The 2010 NL rookie of the year and former Florida State standout tore three ligaments in his left ankle and broke a bone in his lower leg in a home-plate collision with the Marlins' Scott Cousins on May 25.

BURNETT DEAL: A trade sending right-hander A.J. Burnett from the Yankees to the Pirates for two prospects was completed when Burnett passed his physical.

CAMERON RETIRES: Three-time Gold Glove centerfielder Mike Cameron, 39, told the Nationals that he is retiring after a 17-season career. He finishes his career with a .249 average, a .338 on-base percentage and a .444 slugging percentage in 1,955 games, along with 297 steals in 380 attempts (78.2 percent).

ANGELS: First baseman Kendrys Morales was cleared to run outdoors, the next step in his recovery from a broken ankle that sidelined him last season.

CARDINALS: The team and All-Star catcher Yadier Molina, 29, put negotiations for a long-term contract on hold.

GIANTS: Right-hander Ryan Vogelsong, 34, an All-Star last season, strained his back this month while lifting weights and said he will miss at least the first 10 days of spring workouts.

PHILLIES: Right-hander Kyle Kendrick agreed to a two-year, $7.5 million contract. Kendrick, 27, went 8-6 with a 3.22 ERA in 34 games, 15 starts, last season.

REDS: Right-hander Brett Tomko, 38, who started his 14-year career with Cincinnati, signed a minor-league deal and was invited to spring training.

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