Boston Red Sox right-hander Josh Beckett was embroiled in another controversy Wednesday, when it was reported he was playing golf a day after the team announced he would miss his upcoming start with a sore latissimus muscle.
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According to 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beckett was playing golf last Thursday. A day earlier, Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said Beckett would miss his Saturday start for precautionary reasons because he was experiencing tightness in the muscle.
Speaking on WEEI radio Wednesday, Valentine said he was aware of the report but was yet to speak to Beckett about the situation.
"Golf is as much a part of the pitching culture as a curveball, I know that for sure," Valentine said.
"I don’t know if he was out at a charity match, just putting, or if he was whaling away and felt that might have loosened things up. I have no idea what the situation actually is, so it’s hard for me to comment on it.
"If that was the case [that he played golf and drove the ball], I would say that was less than the best thing to do on that day off."
Beckett, came under fire last season when it emerged he and other Red Sox starting pitchers were drinking beer in the clubhouse during games.
On Thursday, Valentine downplayed the incident, saying, ”I’ve never seen a pitcher get hurt playing golf.”
Valentine said Beckett was scratched from a start last week with stiffness, but he didn’t consider that to be an injury and wasn’t bothered by Beckett golfing on his off day.
Valentine, speaking before the Red Sox opened a homestand against the Indians, said he understands the frustration the fans feel toward Beckett and the whole team in general. He said the Red Sox haven’t given the fans any reason to get past the bad feelings of the slide that ended last season, and knocked Boston out of playoff contention in the final game.