FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Red Sox starter Josh Beckett, in a lengthy interview with WEEI.com, said that he was distracted in the final month of last season while contemplating the imminent birth of his first child, but he won't apologize for that fact.

"I'm not going apologize for being distracted," Beckett said. "It's not going to happen."

Indeed, Beckett -- coming off a year in which he went 13-7 with a career-best 2.89 ERA -- said that as much as he cares about his profession as a pitcher, his family does come before baseball at this point in his life.

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The spring training house is different, as are its surroundings. This rental is much bigger than the rest of Josh Beckett's previous six spring training homes since the pitcher's arrival with the Red Sox.



FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Speaking publicly to the Boston media for the first time since Detroit's Justin Verlander narrowly edged him out for the 2011 American League MVP, Jacoby Ellsbury said Sunday that he admits he was a little disappointed that the best year of his career so far didn't result in winning the award. 

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- While the Red Sox were in Day 2 of full-squad workouts on Sunday, just 40 minutes to the north in Port Charlotte, Rays manager Joe Maddon fired the first real salvo of training camp, announcing why he plans to still allow beer in the clubhouse.

"We're not the Boston Red Sox," Maddon said, according to the Tampa Bay Times. 

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Jacoby Ellsbury and the Red Sox did not engage in conversation about a long-term deal this offseason, coming off a year in which he was the runner-up in the AL MVP race while hitting .321 with a .376 OBP, .552 slugging mark, .928 OPS, 32 homers, 39 steals and 105 RBI. Instead, he and the Sox avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $8.05 million deal for 2012.

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- A day after Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine told his team that there would be no alcohol in the clubhouse or on plane trips returning to Boston from road games, starting pitcher Josh Beckett told WEEI.com that the decision was of little consequence to him.

"I don't get paid to make those decisions," said Beckett in the JetBlue Park home clubhouse Sunday afternoon. "It doesn't matter to me."

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Red Sox CEO/President Larry Lucchino said that, one year removed from fielding a team that was viewed as the consensus odds-on favorite to win the World Series, he was ready to embrace the fact that the Sox are now viewed with widespread skepticism. He suggested that the Sox are ready to embrace underdog status.

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Because last year ended with humiliation, this year has begun with humility.



FORT MYERS, Fla. -- When reached by phone, Red Sox shortstop Mike Aviles confirmed that the rumor spread on Twitter by an account named "@MikeAviles3," that he had been traded to the Tampa Bay Rays, wasn't true and he has no affiliation with the account.

"That's not me," he said of the Twitter account. "No, I haven't been traded."

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Before heading out to the batting cage to take 30 swings, Carl Crawford sat down with John Henry to hear an apology from the Red Sox principal owner about remarks he made last October, indicating he never wanted to sign Crawford.  

"It went extemely well," Crawford said of their meeting that lasted over 10 minutes. "He was apologetic and I accepted his apology and we both agreed to just move and go from there."