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Josh Beckett hears boos from the Fenway Park crowd as he leaves game with back spasms

Jul 31, 2012, 9:02 PM EDT

Detroit Tigers v Boston Red Sox Getty Images

It’s not often that you hear a player booed in his home stadium while leaving the field with an injury.

But that just happened at Boston’s Fenway Park.

According to Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe, Red Sox right-hander Josh Beckett was removed in the third inning of his start Tuesday night against the Tigers after feeling discomfort in his lower back and was showered with boos from the home crowd despite allowing just one run on two walks and a hit.

Beckett was shopped by the Boston front office in recent weeks, but his expensive contract and inconsistent numbers kept anything from happening. Including Tuesday’s results, the 32-year-old has posted a 4.54 ERA, 1.27 WHIP and 84/31 K/BB ratio in 111 innings (18 starts) this season. He’s owed $15.75 million in 2013 and another $15.75 million in 2014.

The Red Sox entered play Tuesday with a 52-51 record, ranking fourth in the American League East.


UPDATE, 9:04 PM: Tim Britton of the Providence Journal says Beckett was diagnosed with back spasms.

  1. lostsok - Jul 31, 2012 at 9:05 PM

    Amazing how quickly Red Sox fans went from desperate and lovable to spoiled and unlovable. Wonder if that would happen to Cub fans.

    • theawesomersfranchise - Jul 31, 2012 at 9:21 PM

      Amen on that, and on the same topic, ever have to listen to a Steeler or Penguin fan? Not sure I want to see the Pirates become winners for any prolonged period of time lets just say that.

      • hockeyflow33 - Jul 31, 2012 at 11:24 PM

        you’re safe

    • willclarkgameface - Jul 31, 2012 at 10:58 PM

      If the Cubs win it will be what you saw in Boston post 2004 times 100. Wrigleyville, already a nightmare for the city, will be an enormous shit hole of “hardcore” Cubs fans that were there all along.

      Just stay loveable losers Cubs. It’s not worth it. Your fan base already sucks. Don’t make it worse.

    • bigleagues - Jul 31, 2012 at 11:29 PM

      WEAK comment and I don’t care how many people agreed with you.

      Spoiled and unlovable because . . .

      . . . fans booed the highest paid pitcher on the team who everyone knows is the biggest black hole in that clubhouse?

      . . . back spasm is just the latest ticky tack injury which generally occur because of a lack of conditioning and/or preparation and/or poor diet?

      . . . a guy who was scratched earlier this year with a tight lat, only to go golfing the next day?

      . . . a guy who constantly deflects criticism by saying he won’t respond, but then responds . . . in some of the most subtlety self-aggrandizing ways imaginable, while insulting anyone who dare call him out on his BS?

      . . . a self-professed leader who never seems to claim responsibility for anything that goes wrong?

      Hey, maybe you’re right. Maybe we turned into spoiled and unlovable. Forgive us for celebrating the success that eluded so many fans for so long.

      But none of that has anything to do with booing a boor who has earned his unwelcome status in Boston.

      • sj39 - Aug 1, 2012 at 7:54 AM

        Success? Your “success” was fueled by PEDs. Without them the Sox would still just be the Cubs of the AL.

      • bigleagues - Aug 1, 2012 at 10:35 AM


        I wouldn’t even know where to begin addressing the ignorance of your comments.

        So I’ll take it for an ill-fated attempt at making a joke. I chuckled.

  2. Old Gator - Jul 31, 2012 at 9:05 PM

    Beanbag fans are going downhill with their team. Ah well.

  3. xpensivewinos - Jul 31, 2012 at 9:10 PM

    Beckett has proven that he’s not the kind of guy to evaluate what he’s done and look objectively at what would cause fans in his own ballpark to boo him.

    He’s brought that all on himself……..he’s the only one who apparently doesn’t know it. You have to be pretty reviled to get booed in your own ballpark when you’re hurt. Yikes.

    …………and cue up the tee-time jokes in 3, 2, 1…….

    • phillyphever - Jul 31, 2012 at 9:45 PM


  4. rockthered1286 - Jul 31, 2012 at 9:18 PM

    At least they didn’t cheer when he went out with an injury (see Boller,Kyle)

  5. hammyofdoom - Jul 31, 2012 at 9:20 PM

    Being a sox fan I have to say that the majority of sox fans are spoiled entitled little brats who really are annoying to talk with. They talk about the team like we havent had the luck of experiencing two world series in the past 8 years when my grandparents didnt see one in their first 70ish years on this planet. Beckett has a 4.5 ERA and while that isnt great that certainly isnt booable, and the fact that he left hurt made this even more of a classless act. These are the same fans that cheered on Julio fucking Lugo in 2007 to try and get him out of his horrible slump, yet now just 5 years later they’re booing a Josh beckett due to him leaving hurt. It also doesnt help that the media in our area basically writes anything that they can about the starting pitching to make them look like cartoon villains. Josh Beckett never cares, Jon lester hates boston and Clay Buchholz is evil for getting a GI bleed and going to a charity benefit.

    The team may not be the best on the field right now, but the fans and the media are making it almost unbearable to watch. Ugh.

    • yahmule - Jul 31, 2012 at 9:29 PM

      No point in taunting Red Sox fans when one of their own can state the case against them this eloquently.

      • hammyofdoom - Jul 31, 2012 at 9:38 PM

        Unfortunately its true. I watched a bunch of sox fans in their early 20s talk about how they thought we would now watch the Red Sox that our parents grew up watching and were constantly being dissapointed by. I wanted to vomit with rage

    • hockeyflow33 - Jul 31, 2012 at 11:26 PM

      this team has made themselves unbearable to watch. a 4.5 era is horrendous for a supposed top of the rotation guy. he seems to be the only one who doesn’t realize that he never plays hurt

  6. taxed00 - Jul 31, 2012 at 9:21 PM

    Poor behaviour by the fans. What a quick change from when he was praised for having Bobby’s back while getting thrown out of the last game at Yankee Stadium

  7. mendenhallfumblemachine - Jul 31, 2012 at 9:29 PM

    I am a steelers fan and there are idiots like that in ever fanbase. It’s just the number is larger the larger the fanbase is, and while some have more idiots then others( Pitt and Philly included with Boston ) it’s not that suprising with how popular those teams are.

  8. notoriousbri - Jul 31, 2012 at 9:36 PM

    Imagine if this happened in philly … people get shot in California at games but philly crowds are the worst

    • ramblingphilliesfan - Jul 31, 2012 at 9:40 PM

      How original.

  9. psuravens19 - Jul 31, 2012 at 9:47 PM

    I hate Josh Beckett and Red Sox fans… they are both getting what they deserve.

  10. xmatt0926x - Jul 31, 2012 at 9:48 PM

    Does anyone ever notice that whenever one of these stories comes up it seems everyone can name a different fanbase that became “spoiled” or “arrogant” when their team had a run of success? Can we just accept that this is likely what will happen when any of our teams become successful? Maybe it’s just human nature? If a team like the Nats or the Pirates have a sustained run of success, will a good amount of their fans not start to feel entitled and become obnoxious here and there? Phillies fans were bad. The Mets fans were brutal when they were good. Hell, they’re still awful just in the 2 or 3 weeks each year when they actually think they might have a decent team.

    • hammyofdoom - Jul 31, 2012 at 9:51 PM

      Well to me its not just a sports fan thing, its a people in general thing. People become so spoiled so quickly that seeing a group of 40,000 (or a large group thereof) do something like this that it really reminds me why I dislike people. Its the same thing as people being miserable and complaining about their jobs when they make 25 bucks an hour while people are losing their jobs left and right, or when I had a hard time getting school loans I had a girl complain to me how her parents could only afford to pay for one year of school outright for her. Its just all negativity that isnt earned and drives me up a wall

  11. Jack Marshall - Jul 31, 2012 at 9:55 PM

    Beckett is supposed to be the ace, but is inconsistent, fragile, and along with Lester, the primary reason the Red Sox are still at .500 even with all the injuries. He shouldn’t be booed, but you can’t blame the fans for being sick of his disappointing act. I know I am.

  12. j0esixpack - Jul 31, 2012 at 10:03 PM

    “Josh Beckett hears boos from the Fenway Park crowd as he leaves game with back spasms”

    Wow… So apparently they announced the medical diagnosis at Fenway and then everyone booed Beckett?

    That’s some pretty fast dissemination of medical information through the crowd.

    Or do you think it’s possible that maybe not everyone in the stadium was privy to the diagnosis, just thought they saw Beckett hit hard early and often in a game for the umpteenth time in a row and, at the risk of hurting his feelings, decided to let him know they didn’t find that acceptable?

    Given the headline here I’m assuming it’s the former and not the latter.

    • hammyofdoom - Jul 31, 2012 at 10:06 PM

      Beckett had coasted through 2 innings in about 22 pitches, and it was obvious watching the game on mute that something was wrong. He was pitching to a particular rhythm and it was slowing (in a non Josh Beckett like manner) and something was obviously up. He had thrown 40 pitches and hadnt really been hit hard, if the fans couldnt tell something was up than they were plain ignorant

    • hockeyflow33 - Jul 31, 2012 at 11:28 PM

      no, we’re just sick of his bs here

  13. gotampabay52 - Jul 31, 2012 at 10:05 PM

    I bet if you look at a video of whom was booing its all ages, yet I agree the younger Boston fans suck. They are so narrow mind forces us to hate that team

  14. kacapaco - Jul 31, 2012 at 10:07 PM

    Get real Boston! You boo your own injured player? Are you guys serious? You are looking like brat.

  15. teaspoon1731 - Jul 31, 2012 at 10:14 PM

    I grew up in New England, but live in New York now. No matter how awful the Sox were, I have never been ashamed to call myself a Sox fan. But since ’07, since we became a nation of entitled whiny bitter little bitches who’ll turn on our favorite players over nothing, I feel shame. My only hope is that this season’s struggles following last season’s collapse will finally shake those assholes loose and we can go back to being proud supportive fans.

    • hockeyflow33 - Jul 31, 2012 at 11:29 PM

      the fact that you used the term “nation” and are surprised that we turn on guys who give a half-ass effort means you have no clue what you’re talking about

      • teaspoon1731 - Jul 31, 2012 at 11:37 PM

        If he had gone out serving up ham, got shelled, then started crying about his back, I could understand booing him. But a guy with known back issues having his back seize up on a cool raining night, I don’t call that a half-ass effort.

      • hockeyflow33 - Aug 1, 2012 at 3:40 PM

        if he wasn’t carrying around that gut maybe his back wouldn’t be so over-worked

      • teaspoon1731 - Aug 1, 2012 at 4:52 PM

        I don’t see a gut. He wears a very baggy uniform, but I don’t see a gut.

      • bigleagues - Aug 1, 2012 at 1:03 AM

        A cool night would be in the upper 40’s.

        Mid-60’s to low 70’s hardly qualifies on the injury risk meter.

        And even if your claim had some legit merit, Beckett’s need only look above his belt line to identify one of the main culprits in his inability to stay healthy and reliable . . . especially with his ‘known back issues’. Beckett is one of the most poorly conditioned players on the team. At some point, if he has any pride in what he does . . . he looks over at Big Papi and says I need to do what he did and be better prepared. But I don’t think that will ever happen at this point.

    • bigleagues - Aug 1, 2012 at 12:54 AM

      Teaspoon . . . way to ‘feed the monster’. In this case the monster being all of the non-Red Sox fans.

      “since ’07, since we became a nation of entitled whiny bitter little bitches who’ll turn on our favorite players over nothing”

      Let’s get it straight – Red Sox fans are a legion or a fanbase or some other suitable name for a group . . . but any self-respecting true died-in-the-wool Red Sox fan from 2004 or prior eschewed the vernacular after the Fenway Sports Group claimed it as their own, started charging for and printing membership cards, and decided to hold a dopey half-baked election for “President of Red Sox Nation”. Oh, and it was never “Red Sox Nation” until Luchhino got his grimey little fingers involved. It was simply “The Nation”. Now every team in baseball has claimed that it’s fanbase is “XYZ Nation”.

      OK, that aside . . . please just come clean and admit it . . . at best you were a fair weather fan prior to 2004, and suddenly became a passionate and engaged fan in September or October 2004.

      1) Red Sox fans booing Red Sox players is not a new Fenway phenomena from 2007 on.

      2) Was Beckett leaving this Start tonight in the 3rd Inning, really nothing? If you think that, you haven’t been paying attention.

      And, 3) if you think Beckett being booed over his latest in a long list of blisters, tweaked muscles, spasms, postponed starts, etc . . . especially in light of the last 12 months, is somehow unjustified, unwarranted or being a poor fanbase, then really, truthfully, this is no longer the team for you, because you just aren’t paying attention.

      The Orioles would love to have you.

      • teaspoon1731 - Aug 1, 2012 at 6:34 AM

        I’m sorry if I’d rather have a pitcher leave when he obviously wasn’t feeling right (did you watch the game at all???) then have him keep going out there, getting hit around, and leaving the Sox with a 6 run deficit to combat. I never said it was nothing that he left. His ailing back has been a huge concern all season.

        I’m not saying the Fenway faithful have never booed their own players, but I do know that prior to 2007, most Sox fans I met were good people. Now most fans I come across are half-witted angry bunch of nimrods who know next to nothing about the team other than what the circus of the media tells them to think.

        And for the record, unless you know the man personally, you can’t judge his heart, his character or his conditioning. The blisters and the back issues existed prior to Beckett coming to Boston (go ahead and use the google, I’ll wait). Who’s not paying attention now?

      • rockthered1286 - Aug 1, 2012 at 7:57 AM

        “And, 3) if you think Beckett being booed over his latest in a long list of blisters, tweaked muscles, spasms, postponed starts, etc . . . especially in light of the last 12 months, is somehow unjustified, unwarranted or being a poor fanbase, then really, truthfully, this is no longer the team for you, because you just aren’t paying attention.

        The Orioles would love to have you.”

        So I need to hear your justification here, because this seems to be nothing more than a weak shot at the O’s, most likely stemming from last years pathetic collapse at the hands of the O’s, effectively removing the BoSox from the playoffs, followed promptly by all hell breaking loose (see Francona, Epstein, beer in the clubhouse, Bobby V commentary on his own players, etc.)

        But please, justify why this would put you into the O’s fanbase. While you can call us fairweather all you’d like, I’m pretty sure you’re basis of opinion would stem from attendance at the games and nothing more. Are tickets cheap? Yea sure, on Friday nights, but they sit right at the league average for a seat, and what do you truly expect fans to do after the umpteenth losing season? (see Pirates and Cubbies) TV ratings have not dropped, and if you were to ever come to Baltimore and catch our sports talk radio, there’s no lack of O’s talk, whether it be negative or positive, and for the most part it’s year round. HOWEVER, the one glaring difference here? You will never catch an O’s fan booing a player for performance like the BoSox did with Beckett. Perfect example: Mark Reynolds. Dude is weak. His defense is non-existent and he’d be likely to lead a T-ball league in K’s. Occassionally he gets a clutch hit, and he gets cheers but when he goes through nasty hitless tears or adds an E to his league high total? Never gets booed. Maybe the random fan in the stands, but not collectively by the entire fan base. A BETTER example which is more comparable to Beckett: Brian Roberts. B-Rob was one of, if not THE best 2B in the AL prior to his concussion issues. He came back for a cup of coffee in 2011, then went back out for the season, then came back 2 times this year and back out again. The general sentiment around town? What a shame he’s so injury riddled or else he’d be a huge help to this team. Not once have I heard anyone say ‘what a bum, we wasted money and time on this guy who clearly gets hurt too much and sucks.’ That’s not what a fanbase is for. The fanbase is there to pump your team up, not tear them down for a bad performance. If Beckett was as bad as the BoSox fans make him out to be, they would have dealt him no matter what yesterday, not passed up on the offer from Texas (or anyone else we’re no hearing about). And if those 2 examples aren’t enough, I could go into Arrieta, Matusz, Chris Davis every other month, Tommy H(unte)R….

        Alas, Beckett will come back, the BoSox fans will see him pitch a gem, and the sentiment will be “we love Beckett! I never thought he was a bum, he just needed a kick in the ass to get him on track.” as the roller coaster of emotion continues with the BoSox fan base…

        Also have to ask: did you really suggest the RedSox were the team who essentially patented the “_____ nation” phrase? THAT I need to see some justification other than “It’s a fact.”

      • bigleagues - Aug 1, 2012 at 9:52 AM

        Typically I don’t get into exchanges with casual, part-time, fair weather fans like yourself, because honestly it’s far more of a waste of time than I usually engage in here on HBT.

        However, I’m making somewhat of an exception here because there’s nothing worse than a fairweather fan who pontificates from an ivory tower in chastising and characterizing his/her fellow fans in a negative fashion.

        I’ll agree with one legit point you made about the media circus and how easily fans are influenced by it. But mass media has that level of influence across the spectrum. The average person by-and-large puts a level of trust in the media they consume and often regurgitate what they hear without giving it a second thought.

        Anyway, if I chose to, I could eviscerate your post point-by-point but for now I’ll take the efficient route and just state the following:

        For the record . . .

        I do have some personal experience with Beckett and thus do have some insight to “judge his heart, his character or his conditioning”.

      • bigleagues - Aug 1, 2012 at 10:03 AM


        Honestly, I didn’t finish reading your post. I got the point in the first few sentences.

        It’s all in fun and it’s commonly called “teasing”. Here’s how defines teasing:

        to irritate or provoke with persistent petty distractions, trifling raillery, or other annoyance, often in sport.

        I have teased Orioles fans for most of my life. Just like I have teased and razzed Spankees, BJ’s, and Spays fans.

        And never has it been more fun to poke at the O’s than now . . . as they begin to enjoy some long overdue successes thanks, of course, to an accomplished former Red Sox GM and an ex-Yankees Manager.

      • bigleagues - Aug 1, 2012 at 10:22 AM


        As for “The Nation” – I can only relay the experience I have had as a Die-Hard Red Sox fan for 35+ years, as someone who has lived in NE nearly my entire life, watched probably 80% of televised games going back into the 80’s, from reading about the team virtually on a daily basis – even through the Winter, my interaction with fellow fans over all that time and my time spent working in professional baseball and attending Winter Meetings marketing and promotions seminars . . .

        Going back at least into the mid-90’s the Red Sox fan base was often referred to as “The Nation” – a reference to the unique regional identity of New England and the fact that the Red Sox fan base mirrored that geographic area (save for Southwestern Connecticut, of course).

        If I had to guess I’d say it likely originated in Shaughnessy, Ryan or McDonough’s column.

        In any event, sometime after the Henry ownership group came aboard, and I believe either during or just after the 2004 season, the Red Sox announced they were issuing membership cards for “Red Sox Nation” which ended the hip fun in-joke of referring to oneself as a member of ‘The Nation’.

        Since the Red Sox overstepped their authority in co-opting and monetizing something the fans used uniquely among themselves – it has spread like wild fire throughout pro and collegiate sports. And if I had to guess, it proliferated after someone from the Red Sox made a presentation on the success of their new fan club at a Winter Meetings.

      • bigleagues - Aug 1, 2012 at 10:27 AM


        Yep, it was a Globe columnist . . . but it wasn’t Shaughnessy, Ryan or McDonough . . . it was a guy named Nathan Cobb. And it was done in a 1986 column about the split allegiances of Red Sox, Yankees and Mets fans in Connecticut.

  16. ras1tafari - Jul 31, 2012 at 10:21 PM

    I’m sorry, did the headline read “red sox fans fire bomb an orphanage”? It is our god given right to boo as fans. If you are whining about this, you’ve never been to Fenway. These folks probably bought tickets months ago, drove all the way in to Boston to pay $30 to park, and f$*king Josh Beckett can’t get thru 3 innings. What do you Want from these people? Polite claps while they watch $500 go up in smoke?

    • teaspoon1731 - Jul 31, 2012 at 10:30 PM

      Well, since Beckett has been shaky to say the least, him leaving the game early almost promises that they’ll actually get their money’s worth.

  17. markfrednubble - Jul 31, 2012 at 10:57 PM

    This discussion should be about the player, not the fans. To ridicule fans for booing an injured player is to assume the player cannot be faulted for his injury — which is why such booing would be plainly unfair in almost all circumstances.

    But not this one. Beckett has managed to turn Hall of Fame talent into an underachieving career filled with constant maladies that serve as excuses for his failures. I’m sure some of his injuries are just bad luck and no one’s fault, but come on. A big strapping guy with a thick body and a smooth motion, who gets hurt that often? A year ago he was the #1 starter on a team with the best record in baseball at the end of August. By all accounts (which have never been refuted) he then LED his fellow starting pitchers by examples of laziness, clubhouse partying during games and dreadfully bad performances into the worst September collapse in baseball history. He gained 20 pounds during the course of that regular season and couldn’t have gotten minor leaguers out in his most important outings of the year.

    And this year he’s just taken that September example and continued it. With Beckett there is always a sore back or shoulder or blisters or the flu to explain a poor performance. He got extra rest before his first start after the all-star break, came out gave up his usual first-inning runs and we were told he was felling lousy because of the medicine he took that day.

    So if you want to just completely let Beckett off the hook for his latest physical breakdown, then feel free to think the fans were cruel brats tonight. But I think if you follow the Red Sox closely, chances are you know better. The fans who booed him tonight, undoubtedly wincing from the news that no other team would trade for Beckett before this afternoon’s deadline, were being quite reasonable. It’s not that we assume Beckett doesn’t have back spasms or whatever, it’s that we assume the reason is his lack of dedication to fitness and preparation that is the main cause. This man has exhausted the patience of a lot of very loyal fans.

  18. xpensivewinos - Jul 31, 2012 at 11:00 PM

    You reap what you sow. Beckett has earned this all by himself.

    This is about Red Sox fans letting Beckett know what they think about him. He’s thumbed his nose to the fans with his F-you attitude and there’s the payback.

    To think fans would have booed anyone else on that team (other than Lackey and/or Valentine) is ridiculous. Does Pedroia get booed when he gets hurt, how about Ellsbury or Ortiz? They’ve had about 1,000 guys get hurt this year and who else got booed? No one.

    This is a Beckett issue, end of story.

  19. sheriffpeyton18 - Jul 31, 2012 at 11:07 PM

    BoSucks strike again!!!

  20. willclarkgameface - Jul 31, 2012 at 11:42 PM

    Let’s just have honest conversation for one moment: Fuck you Josh Beckett.

    You’re a lazy fucking prick that doesn’t give a SHIT about anyone else but yourself and you’ve not only let the others on the 40 man roster down, you’ve managed to get a manager railroaded out of town all the while leading your team to the worst collapse in the history of the franchise.

    Nice work dickhead.

    We can go on and on about how he’s been blessed with a gift and how most people don’t ever get to experience half of what this guy has done in his career, but it all doesn’t matter. He makes watching baseball a fucking chore because he’s just downright fucked up.

    He’s a fat ass yet he’s delicate.
    He can pitch, but he’ll need some fake injury to get some time off.
    You know he only gets 18 days off per year.
    2003 and 2007 were enough and now he just wants to collect his cash.

    He irritates the shit out of me and I can’t stand him. Lucchino loves him and won’t even try to get rid of him. He may clear waivers next month, but do you think they are going to bend over backwards to get him out of town? No fucking way.

    In review, fuck you Josh Beckett.


  21. elchief157 - Aug 1, 2012 at 5:42 AM

    This guy should get an endorsement for a beer company and a fast food place that sells chicken

  22. freeagentsignee - Aug 2, 2012 at 11:01 PM

    This year, Mets fans booed Bay when he left with an injury!
    Two very disrespectful fan base reactions!

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