So here we are in the top of the ninth and we are for sure not seeing Papelbon tonight.
Oh, no, in fact, we're seeing paper planes float down through the echoing empty rows of the Rogers Centre or whatever it is they're calling Skydome these days...the Sox have pounded the Jays into submission, and the soothing tones of Remy and Orsillo are lulling us to sleep on a cool Tuesday night after the first real warm day of the year. Ahhh. It is well and truly baseball season. These are the moments we get weepy about in February.
But that was just the dust settling after at least two games' worth of craziness, including an offensive explosion of atomic proportions by the Sox in the early innings, and a rude greeting for Beckett in the form of a homer and a double by the first two Blue Jays he faced. The homer was on the first pitch of the game! And Dustin Pedroia hit a three-run jimmy-jack while Manny went one for five! And Kevin Youkilis got drilled in the knee by some big gangly dork reliever after going 3 for 3, and then they booed Hinske! Even though he was traded! I'm exhausted and I just watched it.
Beckett, however, is far from exhausted. He threw just 89 pitches tonight in seven innings and was still sitting and chewing gum languidly in the dugout, staring out at the field with only his right warmup jacket sleeve on, when Tito came over to give him the news he was done.
By the time the Sox were plating the ninth run, I think it would have been a little crass to send Beckett out there, even if it would've gotten him a complete game. For what? He didn't have a shutout, let alone a no-hitter or perfect game going. There are actually guys in the bullpen they want to get work. God forbid he catch his spike again or get hurt somehow going out there to pitch a needless inning in May.
Tito even took his hand to tell him all this, and kept patting him on the shoulder while Joshie sat there, limp and expressionless. He'd shaken his head no a few times just after Tito came over, but as the conversation went on Beckett clearly stopped listening and waited for Tito to get out of his face.
Then he spit out the gum, expertly withdrew and flipped open a small packet of dip, shrugged, tucked the plug in his lip and resumed chewing. When in doubt, Joshie chews.
The NESN camera sat there a few more moments before cutting away, and right before they cut to another shot Beckett's right hand balled itself into a fist, the only motion in the otherwise static shot.
So he's pissed. Pissed and victorious, which is pretty much the best-case scenario as far as I'm concerned. Personally I think Tito did it on purpose--why not pull him now when he's barely tired and let him save all the extra rage and fury and unused fist-pumps for the next
I hope he's throwing through walls by his next start. I hope he has to start chewing on nails, just to get the right resistance. Bring on the angry Beckett to challenge the Babe.
P.S. Joshie definitely just said loudly into a reporter's microphone, "I could give a fuck how many home runs I give up..." although of course on the actual broadcast after "could" there was about a three-second beep. Fortunately for those out in TV-land, he also leaned in a little, the better to make his lips clearly readable in the camera shot as he said it. Ultra-professional, dude.
P. P. S. I also just ran across this post. I...there are no words.