Q-and-A with Beckett, Gonzalez
August, 26, 2012
By Ramona Shelburne, ESPNLosAngeles.com
Here's what Josh Beckett had to say about joining the Dodgers.
"It's a very competitive group. They're very loose in the clubhouse. I saw that today. The dugout was really fun.
"I told my dad that today, 'Who doesn't want to go to Hollywood and play baseball?' I felt the same way about Boston. Who doesn't want to go to Boston and play baseball?
"This is a new chapter and I'm looking forward to it."
Q: Is this an opportunity to show what you're about again?
A: I don't really think I had that bad of a year last year. My last couple of starts weren't where I needed them to be. But I had a pretty good year last year and that's pretty much what I'm focused on. I'm not trying to get back to 2004 or 2003. I'm just worried about getting my mechanics straight and pitching like I did last year.
Q: What's happened this year?
A: Balls are up and balls are getting hit hard. Even the ground balls are hit hard. There's things that we look at, you can say yes, part of it's that [mechanics]. There's some exterior distractions that make it difficult. There was just a lot of stuff.
Q: Why didn't things work last year and this year?
A: We were very talented. We should've played better. That's what I told Ben Cherington. I don't think he wants to trade away everybody. I just think we made it impossible for him not to do that by not playing well and I'm as big a part of that as anybody. I know that that's not what they wanted to do. They wanted Adrian to stay and they wanted me to stay. They wanted Nick to stay and they wanted Carl to stay. But we just didn't do our jobs.
Q: Was criticism of you fair?
A: Fair or not fair, I'm over that.
Q: What about Carl Crawford?
A: I think he's going to be great. He didn't get off to the start he wanted to last year and that made it very difficult for him. But I know, competing against him, you're talking about one of the top 10 players, he's as athletic as anybody.
Q: Changes you need to make?
A: No. I'm going to try and be the same guy that I've always been. I don't think that that's ever changed. You go and try to do your job and that's about it.
A: I tried to control the things I could control. Some things aren't in your control. It's unfortunate the way it happened. Ben and John Henry, they put up. They did what they were supposed to do as owners and GMs. Ultimately it came down to the on-field performances and we didn't do our jobs. That's what forced their hand.
Q: Perception of the Dodgers?
A: I like to be on this side. I'm on the same side as all of this. It's awesome. I like being where I'm at.
Q: People say you're not a good guy?
A: Ask some more people. Ask some different people. Ask the people that are around me.
Q: Need to fix mechanics?
A: I need to get some timing. Get back on top of the ball.
Q: How much do you have left?
A: I don't think there's a gauge. I feel good. I'm healthy and at least when you're healthy you can work on things.
Q: Lifestyle change?
A: I'm from Texas. I'm used to wide open spaces. I've been in downtown Boston in a condo, I don't have a yard. So I think my family and I are looking forward to experiencing baseball like that as well.
Here's what Gonzalez had to say.
A: Last year everybody was telling me about taking more of a leadership role at the end of the year. This year I tried to be a little more outspoken. But whenever you say certain things or do certain things, they can fire back the wrong way.
Everything I ever did was for the sake of winning and I think everybody in the clubhouse knows that. The way things were spun is unfortunate, but I guess, looking back, there are a couple things; well, one thing, that I shouldn't have done.
Q: Is that the text message?
A: I don't want to talk about that.
Q: How good is it to talk about baseball?
A: That's all I ever wanted to talk about.
Q: What part of this are you most excited about?
A: The pennant race, Dodgertown, Hollywood, everything that comes with it.
Q: Why didn't it work in Boston?
A: It was working pretty well until September and then, when the hitters hit, we gave up runs; and when the pitchers pitched, we didn't hit. I don't know. It kind of went on from there. We made a lot of errors. We've said it all along, the players have, we just didn't play good baseball.
Then all these other things came out. They were zero reason why we lost. But then this year we just couldn't put it together.
Q: Do you think Boston was the right fit for you?
A: I succeeded for the time I was there. I don't see why I couldn't have continued on.