Sunday, October 5, 2008

Bloggers on Beckett

With the Red Sox going into the playoffs, the city is abuzz with talk of a third championship in the last five seasons. Before the playoffs began, the Sox got a dose of bad news when it was announced that Josh Beckett, last year's playoff here, would miss his opening start against the Angels with a strained oblique. Since baseball makes up a large part of the city's fabric, I thought it would be a good idea to take a look at what Boston area bloggers had to say about the news.

The Joy of Sox (Authority:122)

Like most of Boston, the folks over at The Joy of Sox weren't too thrilled with the news. They used a portion of a Steve Buckley piece, which compared it to the loss of another athlete who may be familiar to some of the people around the city:

The Red Sox could be facing a Tom Brady-like blow to their postseason plans. Just as the Patriots are trying to make it work this season without the injured Brady as their quarterback, the Red Sox could be going into the playoffs without Josh Beckett as the ace of their pitching staff.

Obviously, Beckett and Brady are both equally important to their teams, but I'm going to say the Sox are worse off without Beckett than the Pats are without Brady. Why you ask? Well, because Beckett's never done this. I guess Tommy can replace Heath Ledger if they make a Brokeback Mountain sequel.

Media Nation (Authority:174)

Arguably the finest blogger in the entire city, Dan Kennedy also took the news with a very unoptimistic point of view. He writes:

Now Steve Buckley of the Boston Herald reports that Josh Beckett might be out
with an oblique injury. I don't want to say stick a fork in them. But you might
as well keep one handy.

If I were the Red Sox fan, I'd hold the same view. Beckett is one of the greatest postseason pitchers of this generation (probably because he's from Houston) and if the Sox have to face the Angels without him, things won't be good.

Red Sox Monster (Authority:170)

Unlike many Bostonian bloggers, Dan Lamothe of Red Sox monster decided to leave his glass half full
when it came to deciding whether or not an injured Beckett meant postseason doom
for the local nine:

Bottom line: If Jon Lester and Daisuke Matsuzaka both pitch
great, it's possible the Sox could knock off the Angels. But they'd be the
underdogs for sure, and it's tough to picture them advancing beyond the American
League Championship Series.

Sure, he still acknowledged it'd be tough for the team to advance, but he didn't ignore the fact that the Sox still have some very capable pitchers behind him. Lamothe's optimism seems like a rare commodity around here, and frankly, I kind of like it. Sports teams in this town are all great (well, the Bruins are mediocre), so complaining about them or worrying about them should be illegal.

Toeing the Rubber (Authority:47)

Another Boston blog, another positive blogger. Maybe all of my preconceived notions of Boston sports fans are just plain wrong. They aren't, but still. This blog is taking the news with a complete grain of salt:

I refuse to get all freaked out about Josh Beckett’s oblique. It’ll suck if he
can’t pitch, but Tito says he can, so we’ll deal with it if/when it comes up. I’m not letting Steve Freaking Buckley control my emotions right now.

I’m still way too happy that Jonathan Van Every and Devern Hansack had the huge hands in beating the Yankees last night. The guys get to go on the trip to Anaheim on a high note and that’s what makes me happy.

I guess that's one way of dealing with the news.

The House That Dewey Built (Authority:15)

We couldn't wrap this post up without one more negative Bostonian point of view. Jimmy, from The House That Dewey Built, said this:

Look, the Sox made it to the postseason mainly on the strength of guys like Josh Beckett, Mike Lowell, and J.D. Drew, and all three are gigantic question marks. The players we have filling in for these guys (Paul Byrd, Alex Cora / Sean
, Mark Kotsay) are enormous drop-offs in talent. You’re essentially factoring out three guys with game-breaking ability, and their understudies are players who you’d be happy with if they miraculously managed to give you league-average play.

Actually, he's probably right. Although, Paul Byrd is a fine talent. You can read about it in his book. What the hell is Paul Byrd doing with a book?

There you have it. People are understandably freaked out about this injury. Hey Boston fans: SHUT UP. You have 8 million championships (could have been 8 million and one...cough...Pats), so if you lose out on one more, everything will be OK. I promise.
Photo (cc) by PhreddieH3 and republished here under a Creative Commons license.

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