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The most Boston sports paragraph ever written

Aug 1, 2012, 8:51 AM EDT

Detroit Tigers v Boston Red Sox Getty Images

It comes from Dan Shaughnessy, natch, about Josh Beckett leaving last night’s game with an injury:

He has been a World Series hero for Boston. He was an American League All-Star as recently as last season when he had a stellar ERA of 2.89.

Now he is a local sports pariah, loathed more than LeBron James, Albert Haynesworth, and the Sedin twins. He is the poster boy for chicken and beer, the man who got Tito fired, and the guy who plays 18 holes when he’s too hurt to take his turn in the rotation. He’s the stubborn Texan who’ll never give us the satisfaction of an explanation. He is a guy who gets booed when he comes out of a game with an injury.

I realize people hate Josh Beckett, but that passage says way more about the fans and media of that town than it says of the player in question. Players can’t just play, there. They must either be conquering heroes or miserable, despicable goats, and nothing in between satisfies.

  1. joechianese - Aug 1, 2012 at 8:59 AM

    Wrong! This guy is just a bad guy and much like Manny Ramirez that can only be tolerated if your playing well. This guy has an attitude problem and was the poster child for their collapse last year. You could be more wrong about this. This article is so off base you have me, a Yankees fan, defending Red Sox fans! Don’t ever write again.

    • dmccloskey10 - Aug 1, 2012 at 9:09 AM

      This is the most Boston sports comment ever written by a Yankees fan.

    • CJ - Aug 1, 2012 at 9:43 AM

      This is the only Boston sports comment ever written by a Yankees fan.

      • Old Gator - Aug 1, 2012 at 10:01 AM

        Dan Shaughnessy has fleas.

  2. townballblog - Aug 1, 2012 at 9:05 AM

    Don’t ever read again!

  3. Cyn - Aug 1, 2012 at 9:10 AM

    I’m a Boston sports fan who knows plenty of Boston sports fans who think both that booing the guy last night was asinine and who are baffled by the absolute hate Beckett gets from so many. Sadly, in this case I do blame the media. With the whole chicken and beer story last year they focused on one guy when there were others involved and the sports radio/internet idiots fed right into all the stories the likes of Shaughnessy were telling us.They believed the stories about Beckett and ignored the fact that others, like the baffling beloved Jon Lester, were as involved and complicit in whatever the hell went down.

    The team deserved to be taken to task for the September they had last year but the pound of flesh so many are demanding of Josh Beckett is embarrassing.

    • Utley's Hair - Aug 1, 2012 at 10:16 AM

      This is the first time anybody was sad to blame the media.

      • gloccamorra - Aug 1, 2012 at 10:37 AM

        He isn’t sad about the Boston media, he’s sad that so many Boston fans allow themselves to be manipulated by the Boston media. If you really want to know what the Boston sports media is all about, read everything Ted Williams ever said about it. I can give you a quick precis, though: After he retired, Williams ran into a Boston sports columnist at an off-season baseball function. He met the guy with the greeting, “Hiya, fathead!” The columnist wrote afterward, “That was the nicest thing Ted Williams ever said to me.”

    • paperlions - Aug 1, 2012 at 10:59 AM

      No, the Boston sport media doesn’t help….but one of the reasons the Boston sports media is like it is…is because the Boston sports FANS react like they do. If media in other towns write the crap they write in Boston, the response wouldn’t be the same, and likely would be very negative toward the media….whereas in Boston, many “fans” eat that stuff up and fan flames to conflagration levels.

      In other words, the synergism between the Boston sports media and the fans create the extant atmosphere….it isn’t just one or the other.

      • bigleagues - Aug 1, 2012 at 11:17 AM

        YEAH dude!

        Good work paperlions . . . and I disagree with Craig, but I think he was just doing what the Boston media does anyway because he knows guys like me eventually bite and spend half the afternoon commenting a responding :-)

    • homelanddefense - Aug 1, 2012 at 11:17 AM

      the biggest difference between Lester and Beckett is that Lester took accountability after the events of last Spetember. He admitted mistakes were made, and generally seems to care that his performance has sucked this year.

      On the flip side Beckett has mentioned multiple times that he doesnt care what the fans think, refuses to admit to last years mistakes, and spent most of spring training trying to find “the rat” who outed them last September. Oh and he also was too hurt to pitch for a week but was cool with playing 18 holes, and was angered that he was asked about it because “he only gets 18 off days a year”.

  4. frenchysplatediscipline - Aug 1, 2012 at 9:11 AM

    As someone who has no rooting interest for that team, I think the fans and writers and Boston can be deplorable at times.

    That being said, it’s not like they are picking on an all around good guy here. Beckett doesn’t do himself any favors with the way he treats the media and the way he handles certain situations.

    If anything, this is one of those situations where its a match made in heaven. Or somewhere…

  5. brohancruyff - Aug 1, 2012 at 9:13 AM

    Why do we, as a nation, stand idly by as Dan Shaughnessy continues to have a job at a major newspaper? RISE UP, PEOPLE

    • henryd3rd - Aug 1, 2012 at 3:45 PM

      Did anyone every tell the folks in Boston that the Globe is owned by the New York Times? Well you either have to buy the paper of pay for the online edition to read Shaughnessy. If folks hate the man so much why do people pay to read that man’s column? I’m just sayin!

      • 18thstreet - Aug 3, 2012 at 7:08 PM

        The Times sold its share and no longer owns the Globe.

  6. 100loves - Aug 1, 2012 at 9:13 AM

    As a Sox fan, I’m embarrassed by how our fans sometimes react. Booing an injury qualifies. That being said, I don’t think the fans are being ‘too hard’ on Beckett because he is doing everything the media points out. We care, and respond (albeit a little too much) to effort and attitude. If you’re dogging it, Boston fans will notice and react.

  7. townballblog - Aug 1, 2012 at 9:22 AM

    It is the absolute truth – the vast majority of the media in Boston are incredibly intolerable.

    I’ve mentioned before that sports-talk radio in Boston is, to put it plainly, immature. They’re not reporters, they simply vilify sports figures because it’s easier and cheaper than actual in-depth analysis.

    As much as it saddens me to say this… part of the blame lies with the fans. They seem to only be satisfied when the team wins, or worse, when they resemble a Greek tragedy.

  8. thekidjdk - Aug 1, 2012 at 9:22 AM

    This article is pretty far from the truth. Sounds like this Craig guy is making judgement calls and has only a tiny bit of evidence. Beckett basically came out and said baseball isnt as important to him anymore. I totally understand family comes first but, no matter what town you’re in you’re gonna get killed for that. There are plenty of players in Boston that fans enjoy who simply just play there. This analysis is pretty much a knee jerk reaction to an article written by a Boston sports writer who actually is notorious for being very negative.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Aug 1, 2012 at 1:24 PM

      a tiny bit of evidence.

      A tiny bit of evidence that CHB is a terrible writer, and is the epitome of what’s wrong with the Boston sports media? If there were a treasure hunt for worst article ever written by CHB, what are the odds that 20 people could come back with 20 different articles, all within 2-3 minutes? Vegas wouldn’t even give odds it’d be too easy.

  9. deathmonkey41 - Aug 1, 2012 at 9:25 AM

    Dammit- now I want Fried Chicken and beer again. Can we please stop mentioning that????

    • Utley's Hair - Aug 1, 2012 at 10:18 AM

      deathmonkey41 is going on a fried chicken and beer run!!!!

      • byjiminy - Aug 1, 2012 at 10:47 AM

        Double dammit! I managed to get past the first reference, but you bringing it up a second time finally got me!


        (In Homer Simpson voice)

      • monoxidechild011 - Aug 1, 2012 at 11:15 AM

        popeye’s fried chicken and a 40 oz of mickey’s…..jaaaammm.

  10. sasa7 - Aug 1, 2012 at 9:31 AM

    Every player in the ML is accountable to us. What fans forget is that we pay a King’s ransome to watch these guys play. The players are not allowed to be human with the salaries that they are awarded on our backs. I have every right to call any player to the carpet. The average working person earns $42,000 a year- damn right I can criticize the millionaire for playing the fool. Rise up and wise up!

    • skeleteeth - Aug 1, 2012 at 9:59 AM

      Yeah uh, it’s not your station in life that requires you to go see grown men play baseball. This isn’t tithing. You have every bit the same right to choose to hand over your money as they do to sign the contracts.

    • brohancruyff - Aug 1, 2012 at 10:14 AM

      I suppose you have the right to be a jerk, but that doesn’t make it good, nor does it mean I don’t also have the right to call you a jerk.

  11. realgone2 - Aug 1, 2012 at 9:33 AM

    Beckett acts like a jerk. So it’s no surprise that the fans/media would tend to jump on him more than another player.

    • paperlions - Aug 1, 2012 at 11:15 AM

      In other words, Beckett doesn’t act like the fans/media would like him to act, therefore, he is a jerk.

      Just because you act like someone owes you something, doesn’t mean it is true.

      • realgone2 - Aug 1, 2012 at 11:51 AM

        Yes he doesn’t act like the fans or media want him to so of course they will get on his case.

      • homelanddefense - Aug 1, 2012 at 3:10 PM

        Has nothing to do with acting the way you want him to act. Its more about his lack of accountability and the fact that most people feel (including team sources) that he has poisoned the clubhouse and killed the pitching staff.

        Its easy to criticize when you dont live in New England and hear all the stuff the players do and say. I HATE the Boston media, I think they are too negative all the time. But at the same time they are spot on with Beckett.

  12. h2otown66 - Aug 1, 2012 at 9:38 AM

    I hate you for reminding me that Dan Shaughnessy still exists.

    • henryd3rd - Aug 1, 2012 at 3:50 PM

      As I Yankee fan I love Dan Shaughnessy. He reminds me of Howard Cosell and just tells it like it is. You either love him or hate him

  13. tfbuckfutter - Aug 1, 2012 at 10:15 AM

    I think playing in Boston wears on people who are emotionally fragile….whether its having an arrogant hard candy shell (Beckett) or rampant alcoholism (Lowe) or just being completely incompetent over paid and useless (Lackey, Drew, Offerman)…..But sooner or later, if you can’t handle the pressure of playing in Boston, your performance is going to suffer, and then the media will spew venom, and the fans will turn, and your performance won’t rebound.

    Look at Trot Nixon. He was a very good player, but then he went and had a career year and when he couldn’t match it, and started getting injured, I wouldn’t say people hated him, but they definitely started dogging him.

    Luckily Beckett’s ego allowed him to rebound from a pretty craptacular first season there….but I don’t know if he’s tough enough to rebound from all the pressure at this point.

  14. Jack Marshall - Aug 1, 2012 at 10:17 AM

    Dan Shaughnessy is an utter jerk, and most Boston fans know it. My guess is that the booing fans were disproportionately made up of the minority who don’t.

  15. leeeroooyjeeenkiiins - Aug 1, 2012 at 10:19 AM

    Dan Shaughnessy, now why does that name sound so familiar…?

    Oh right,

  16. futbolhistorian - Aug 1, 2012 at 10:33 AM

    Josh Beckett has reaped what he has sowed.

    • jimeejohnson - Aug 1, 2012 at 1:39 PM

      You don’t plant chicken or beer, yet he reaped those!

  17. kacapaco - Aug 1, 2012 at 10:40 AM

    As a Bostonian, I am ashamed of some brat six fans who are making players life miserable…Jacoby is extending his contract after they called his ‘fragile’ after suffering multiple rib fractures; Big Papi is tired of fans complaints for every loss; Lester is itching to run away; Clay was fumed for after unfair criticism for attending charity fund rising with bleeding gut… I mean, grow up you brats.

  18. theawesomersfranchise - Aug 1, 2012 at 10:41 AM

    Boston and Beckett are perfect for each other

  19. vallewho - Aug 1, 2012 at 10:44 AM

    Beckett always wanted to be Clemens

    • henryd3rd - Aug 1, 2012 at 3:54 PM

      He seems to have succeeded in being his idol. Universally reviled

  20. turdfurgerson68 - Aug 1, 2012 at 10:51 AM

    Outside of that utter moron in NYC, Mike Francessa, the Boston sports media are the worst in the country hands down.

    I’ve never seen a collective group that interjects negativity into EVERYTHING just to get a juicer story…and Dan Shaughnessy is the worst offender of them all.

    • tfbuckfutter - Aug 1, 2012 at 10:55 AM

      I approve of your name.

  21. Kevin Gillman - Aug 1, 2012 at 10:57 AM

    Dan is a complete idiot, comparing Josh Beckett to Lebron James. At least Josh didn’t make a grand plan to leave town like Lebron did in 2007, then broadcast it all over the world 3 years later on ESPN. All Josh did was drink beer and eat some chicken, oh and possibly fake injuries.

  22. dizzydave29 - Aug 1, 2012 at 11:04 AM

    Everyone knows Beckett doesn’t give a rats ass this year. I also understand why the fans are booing. Its about the lack of work ethic and attitude that Beckett has displayed this season, on top of the fact that he isn’t performing well. You have to understand, that when supporting a team with one of the top 5 highest payrolls in all of Major League Baseball; expectations are constantly high for the franchise. Beckett not caring is a proverbial slap in the face to Red Sox Nation. Fans in Red Sox Nation are still shelling out the dough to support this team night in and night out for “memberships”, tickets, cable service, apparel, MLB Extra Innings packages/mlbtv to watch the team. Its natural that when you invest so much time and money into something, that naturally you get emotionally attached to whatever you are doing. When someone you are directly/indirectly supporting/investing in is making bad waves, you begin to dislike the person, i.e. Mr. Josh Beckett.

  23. sheriffpeyton18 - Aug 1, 2012 at 11:22 AM

    Another reason to hate the BoSucks!!

  24. sheriffpeyton18 - Aug 1, 2012 at 11:25 AM

    Another reason to hate the BoSucks!

    • jimeejohnson - Aug 1, 2012 at 1:40 PM

      Ain’t no time to hate. Barely time to wait.

  25. dayno66 - Aug 1, 2012 at 11:33 AM

    Last paragraph is incredibly stupid. Beckett is a jerk and people in Boston view him as a jerk. How does that setup the “conquering hero” or goat dynamic? If you’re going to do social commentary make sure you’re not an idiot first.

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