Originally posted on Extra Pine Tar  |  Last updated 7/31/12

The MLB trade deadline passed and the Red Sox will be holding on to arguably the most hated athlete in Boston, Josh Beckett. There was speculation that Beckett may be traded to either Texas or Atlanta yesterday, but Globe writer Nick Cafardo reported yesterday that Sox G.M. Ben Cherington decided not to move the struggling pitcher.

Now, for all those members of “Red Sox Nation” who don’t like Josh Beckett – keeping him may end up being a good idea. Lets forget about all the beer and fried chicken and golfgate. With the amount of money he is due per year through 2014 (15.75 million), you’re just not going to get anything of value in return. Yes, I’m looking at you, Bret Lillebridge

That being said, The Sox are “stuck” with a pitcher that has a pretty damn good resume.

I’ve always been a Josh Beckett fan dating back to his days with Florida and even through his struggles in Boston. I’ve debated with friends why the Sox should keep him. I’ve  even eaten at Popeyes Chicken to see what all the fuss was about and to be honest with you, if I had a Popeyes Chicken across from my work – like there is at Fenway – I’d have a bunch of points on my rewards card too.

Regardless, Beckett’s numbers speak for themselves.

He’s a three time All Star who picked up a World Series MVP in 2003 with the Marlins and an ALCS MVP in 2007 with Boston. In 2007 Beckett came in second place for the Cy Young to C.C. Sabathia.

Can you guess who came in third place in the Cy Young voting in 2007? No? Well it was Beckett’s drinking buddy and fellow Popeye’s rewards club member, John Lackey.

But forget that fat lard for a second and focus on the fact that Beckett has two rings and a career ERA of 3.87. Oh, and in 2011, his ERA was 2.89, 5th best in the American League.

Yeah, I know this year Beckett’s numbers are not All Star worthy. He’s got an ERA of 4.57 and a record of 5-9. In his defense, pitchers can’t always control wins and losses. Felix Doubront is 10-5 and his ERA is 4.37, just two tenths of a run better than Beckett, but he’s constantly praised.

But that’s the the thing, Josh Beckett isn’t Felix Doubront. He’s a lot better than that and what Josh Beckett needs to do is go out and pitch like the Cy Young caliber pitcher he is.

The season lies in Beckett’s and John Lester’s hands. If they can put together good starts and stay hot, the Sox have a shot at making the post season. If they can’t pitch well consistently from here on out, there’s no chance they make the playoffs.

Going in to tonight the Sox have won three in a row. Lets hope the Sox can continue the recent success off Verlander at Fenway, but ore importantly – lets hope Josh Beckett can remember to pitch like, well, Josh Beckett.


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