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The most Boston sports paragraph ever written

Aug 1, 2012, 8:51 AM EDT

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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. sabatimus - Aug 1, 2012 at 12:13 PM

    Natch, exactly. The media crapstorm that goes around and around in Boston makes for a very high-pressure situation for the wrong reasons. David Ortiz could (and has) tell you a thing or two about Boston media. Ted Williams hated it.

    I don’t hate Beckett, I just find him annoying for two primary reasons: this crap season he’s having, and the fact that it takes him EONS to throw the damn ball, sometimes after stepping off the rubber twice or more before throwing a pitch.

    But Shaughnessy, as usual, loves to draw attention to himself with needless hyperbole and garbage. Is there any way we can extradite him to, say, the Arctic?

    • ajcardsfan - Aug 1, 2012 at 2:22 PM

      Polar Bears are already struggling up there, they don’t need his hot gas melting their ice any quicker than it already is

    • 1972wasalongtimeago - Aug 1, 2012 at 3:09 PM

      Lebron James is busy playing basketball for his country, with class and dignity, at the highest level; and has shown incredible restraint in the face of overwhelming misguided venom from a nation full of self-hating, losers.

      What in the world should he be “loathed” for? For being an excellent player? For exercising his Free Agency rights? No city (other than maybe NY) signs more free agents from their original small market teams than Boston. The only reason they had Josh Beckett in the first place was that the Marlins couldn’t afford him!

      Shaughnessy is a tool. And if Boston fans truly “loathe” LeBron James, they’re tools too.

      • imodan - Aug 6, 2012 at 11:07 AM

        ” No city (other than maybe NY) signs more free agents from their original small market teams than Boston.”

        Ever hear about the Phillies, Mets, White Sox, Rangers, Angels to name a few? If you have a problem with Boston being a big money team then maybe your fan base should support your team by attending games, filling seats, buying concessions, team jerseys, etc. You’re jealous so stop with the whining like a little baby. That goes for Craig too. Boston fans expect 100% effort from men being paid millions to play a game. We see B.S. effort we call Bull Shit on the player. Beckett has given us B.S. effort and attitude. He gets what he deserves. All that being said Shank is a tool, ;)

  2. drewzducks - Aug 1, 2012 at 12:19 PM

    Great moments in Boston sports history…appox 15 years ago Shank walks into The Fours after a Celtics playoff game and the crowd almost in unison starts chanting “Shaughnessy Sucks”.

  3. vette7274 - Aug 1, 2012 at 12:27 PM

    When players make as much money a they do, fans expect them to perform.

    • drron4168 - Aug 1, 2012 at 6:43 PM

      Seriously…What is that about. Great Baseball players make money. Don’t like it, tough. Last time I checked it was John Henry who paid them, not you. If you want a Tampa Bay situation…then root for them. See how many championships they have won.

      Becket is not getting younger, and he might be at the end of the rainbow. But give the guy a break. If it wasn’t for Becket you would all be crying about the curse of the great Bambino and watching the Yankees with more hatred than ever before. Beer and Chicken…a scape goat for what really happened…Too many Chiefs and not enough Indians.

      Red Sox fans are great fans, but they need to get a grip. You ran Tito, Epstein, and Youk out of town with your whining about winning, and soon it might be Becket, Crawford, Ellsbury, and Valentine. So take a deep breath, and realize that we don’t have to act like Yankee fans, who expect to win a Championship every year.

    • 18thstreet - Aug 3, 2012 at 7:05 PM

      I don’t think anyone by Will Middlebrooks ran Youkilis out of town.

      Youk got standing ovations upon his return to Fenway.

  4. sjsharks66 - Aug 1, 2012 at 12:46 PM

    Loathed more than the Sedin twins? In boston? Lol this guy must be pretty bad.

    • sabatimus - Aug 1, 2012 at 4:10 PM

      This right here is just one of many, many reasons why Shaughnessy is full of shit.

  5. jimeejohnson - Aug 1, 2012 at 1:33 PM

    Red Sox Nation is pissed at Beckett because he chose fried chicken and cheap beer over lobstah rolls and Sam Adams Boston Lager. Makes sense to me. Whadya mean, “no”?

  6. mornelithe - Aug 1, 2012 at 2:33 PM

    Not sure I totally agree with you Craig, sure last night the fans boo’d for the wrong reasons, but Beckett hasn’t exactly done anything to endear himself to the fans since last seasons collapse (to say nothing of showing the capacity for off/on years), has he? While Shaughnessy and a great deal of other Boston reporters have contributed greatly to player hate…has Beckett really been living up to the expectations his salary would bring? I don’t honestly see how you can make that claim.

    Yes, his ERA was 2.89 last year…just think how amazing his ERA would’ve been had he not given up 14 runs in 4 starts in September, and 16 runs in 6 starts in August. So far this year? 16 runs in April, 14 runs in May, 8 runs in June (3 starts), and 18 runs in July. He’s started 18 games this year, and has given up 6 fewer runs than he did in 30 starts last year (62-56 ER), and has an amazing 5-9 record and 4.54 ERA to show for it.

    The _fact_ of the matter is, by this time last year, Beckett was 9-4, and let us not forget that the year before that, he had a stellar 6-6 Record w/ a 5.78 ERA over 21 starts. Do I think the Boston media can take things too far sometimes? Sure…. Did the fans react poorly, to a situation they didn’t quite understand? Sure… But, I think the times where Beckett is given the benefit of the doubt are far far in the past. But he can’t live off of his 2007 20 win season forever (his only, 20 win season)…not if you’re an active pitcher making 15.75m a year.

  7. henryd3rd - Aug 1, 2012 at 4:00 PM

    Sox fans better get used to seeing Beckett on the mound because he’s signed through 2114. You can thank Theo for that gem of a contract and let’s not forget Lackey’s signed through 2114 as well.

    • sabatimus - Aug 1, 2012 at 4:11 PM

      Wow, the average life expectancy just jumped astronomically.

  8. anxovies - Aug 2, 2012 at 9:41 PM

    As a Yankee fan I vote for miserable, despicable goat.

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