Sunday, August 26, 2012
Gonzalez, Beckett discuss Boston exit
By Ramona Shelburne, ESPNLosAngeles.com
LOS ANGELES -- Josh Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez and Nick Punto may have had little time to pack before boarding a plane from Boston to Los Angeles early Saturday morning, but before the former Boston Red Sox could begin the next chapters of their careers as members of the Los Angeles Dodgers, there was quite a bit of baggage to deal with.
"I had an awesome time in Boston. I had some tough times. There are some great people there," Beckett said. "For me, I think it was time to move on and start this new chapter."
Asked why it was time, Beckett said: "I don't know. I think it was time for both sides. I don't really have a reason."
There are, of course, plenty of reasons why Beckett (5-11, 5.23 ERA) and the Red Sox might part on sour terms.
But when pressed for specifics, Beckett seemed willing to assume quite a bit of the blame for the Red Sox historic collapse last September and his own struggles this season.
"We were very talented. We should've played better," Beckett said. "That's what I told [Red Sox GM] 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 [Crawford] to stay. But we just didn't do our jobs."
Beckett's only admissions about the turmoil that has plagued the Red Sox clubhouse the last two seasons were just vague allusions like: "There are some exterior distractions that make it difficult. There was just a lot of stuff."
For his part, Gonzalez said he too leaves Boston with some regrets.
Without directly admitting he was speaking about the text message that was reportedly sent from his phone to Boston ownership expressing dissatisfaction with Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine, Gonzalez said he has regrets about several things in his Red Sox tenure.
"Last year everybody was telling me about taking more of a leadership role at the end of the year," Gonzalez said. "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."
Asked why the Red Sox underachieved so badly, Gonzalez said: "It was working pretty well until [last] 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."
Gonzalez wore a black T-shirt with Mickey Mouse on the front to his introductory news conference after the Dodgers' 8-2 win over the Miami Marlins on Saturday.
It was a silly choice, but it wasn't exactly a coincidence.
"When we heard about [the trade] we didn't have a lot of time to pack," he said. "But when I saw this shirt I figured there couldn't really be a better shirt to wear."