Red Sox starter Josh Beckett, who was pulled from Tuesday's starter after 2 2/3 innings when he experienced back spasms in part due to a slippery mound, said that while the injury forced him out of his team's 4-1 win over the Tigers, it was not as severe as the back injury he suffered in similiar circumstances in New York in 2010.
In 2010, Beckett ended up missing more than two months after his landing foot slipped on the Yankee Stadium mound. This time, the right-hander said, was not comparable. The starter had retired each of the first eight batters he faced before an infield single with two outs in the third. While pitching out of the stretch for the first time of the game, his back "locked up" on Tuesday to the point where he could no longer command the ball, resulting in a hit batter and then two straight walks, including one to force in a run.
At that juncture, Beckett signaled for the Red Sox training staff to come to the mound. The determination was made to remove him from the game.
"I've had this before," Beckett said, alluding to his 2010 injury. "It's been worse. [But] it wasn't getting any better. I obviously couldn't throw a strike. ... New York was kind of like one of those deals where I felt it on one pitch. This wasn't that severe. Like I said, it kept getting worse and I couldn't throw a strike."
As the right-hander walked off the mound at Fenway Park, his home crowd booed his egress from the field.
"You always notice," Beckett, now 5-9 with a 4.54 ERA, said of the crowd reaction. "It is what it is."
Manager Bobby Valentine -- who referred to is starter as being day-to-day -- suggested that the fans who gave Beckett that response were likely unaware of the conditions that precipitated his command struggles and then exit.
"I don’t think he deserved a boo at all," said Valentine. "Those who were booing will probably take it back today when they figure out what the situation was."
That was merely the second uncomfortable situation of the day for Beckett, who also acknowledged that the trade rumors swirling around him had registered on his radar.
"I've never been through it. It was definitely something different for me," he said. "[But] I mean I definitely had three hours to calm my mind [before the start]."
Beckett, however, said that he was never approached by the front office about a trade scenario to determine if he would waive his 10-5 (10 years of major league service, five with one team) rights to veto a trade. That being the case, he portrayed the rumors of his availability as being inaccurate portrayals of reality.
"I think everybody, you know there was a lot of guys in here that's name was attached that some people didn't think were going anywhere," said Beckett. "I think a lot of times people try to throw as many things up against the wall as they can and then one sticks and they look like a genius."
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