On the mound, obviously, but off it, too.
Beckett is famous for a few things: Brilliance in the playoffs, blisters and an unabashed brusqueness with the media. He speaks softly but carries a big curveball. He’s one of those people who doesn’t say much, but when he does choose to say something, you better listen up because it’s bound to be good. Josh Beckett is the king of the one-liners, otherwise known as the lifeblood of Word Around Here.
Beckett struggled mightily on the mound throughout August. After submitting three months of lights-out pitching, he underwent a complete identity morph and became the Beckett of 2006 — the one who gave up 9,000 home runs every game and looked completely out of place in the big, bad world otherwise known as the American League.
On Saturday night, though, the Beckett of 2007 returned — at least until the rain came and sent him packing for the clubhouse after five innings of four-hit, one-run ball.
He got the win, but that does not mean he sacrificed his unique brand of humor for the postgame news conference.
Only Josh Beckett could command the Word Around Here leadoff spot during a week when Rodney Harrison unleashed a completely unprovoked verbal sucker punch on the entire Oakland Raiders franchise.
"As Curt Schilling would say, ‘It's the only time you can throw five innings without feeling like you kissed your sister.’"
–Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett after throwing five innings and earning the win in Saturday’s rain-shortened affair
"He's going from a first-class organization to one of the worst in the NFL. You have the head coach fighting the assistant coaches, the owner involved in the day-to-day operations, guys who don't believe in the quarterback. … Tom Brady to JaMarcus Russell? Come on. Is that something to look forward to? Why would he be excited?"
–Former Patriots safety Rodney Harrison, in Pro Football Weekly, on Richard Seymour’s desire to play in Oakland
"I'm sure that at the time, [fans] were like, 'Why is she and Jimmy Fallon on the field? Get off!' But we thought to just bring that moment into the film because it is a love letter to the city."
–Actress Drew Barrymore, to NESN’s Heidi Watney, on fans’ reactions to her and Jimmy Fallon filming Fever Pitch as the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004
"First of all, I was blindsided by this whole event. When you get blindsided, you should take a moment to gather your thoughts. I have a lot of personal issues more pressing than football."
–Former Patriots defensive end Richard Seymour, in the Boston Herald, on his late arrival to Oakland after being traded
"I'm sorry I won against Melanie today. I know many of you guys wanted her to win, but hopefully, I won many of you guys' hearts, and you'll be cheering for me in my next match."
—Caroline Wozniacki, on CNN.com, after defeating 17-year-old American Melanie Oudin in the U.S. Open
"I communicated with him. I didn't call him. I heard back. I texted him. That's his favorite thing. I've got to get into that young stuff."
–Dodgers manager and former Yankees skipper Joe Torre, in the New York Daily News, on congratulating Derek Jeter after he became the Yankees’ all-time hit leader
"You know, Dan, we're Southerners. We lost that war, right? We're looking for prestige. [Laughs.] Joe doesn't need any prestige. He won the dad-gum war."
–Florida State head football coach Bobby Bowden, on Dan Patrick’s radio show, on whether he’s talked with Joe Paterno about having to vacate 14 wins. With 369 career wins, Bowden now is 16 behind Paterno for most victories in college football history.
"He probably looked like a combination of Don Drysdale, Warren Spahn and Sandy Koufax when he got an 8-0 lead. He kept pitching."
–Orioles manager Dave Trembley, in The Boston Globe, on Clay Buchholz, who threw seven shutout innings against Baltimore on Wednesday
"That was pretty neat. After the last out was made, I came over to him and said, ‘Hey, that was pretty cool, huh?’"
–Red Sox pitcher Michael Bowden, who was called up to Boston in tandem with catcher Dusty Brown. The two worked together for two innings on Tuesday.
“[Rafael] Nadal was right there. I had to. I had a few drinks. In my country, kissing another man is no big deal.”
–U.S. Open spectator Noam Aorta on running onto the court and kissing Nadal after his win over Gael Monfils. Aorta was subsequently arrested.
"I was crushed. It felt like you had taken my heart, thrown it around and stepped on it. That hurt more than the hit by pitch itself. I was really very much looking forward to the next three weeks. I wanted to keep putting it out there, tying to do the best I could. Now I have to wait another year."
—Rays first baseman Carlos Pena, on ESPN.com, after taking a 95-mph pitch to the hand and breaking two fingers
“I think this is the best sign of the times of the past week: A group of about 20 NFL writers was in a conference room at NFL headquarters on Park Avenue in Manhattan Thursday — me among the bunch — and Roger Goodell announced that Michael Vick would be eligible to play after the second week of the season. There was a slight pause, and then Goodell said: ‘Yes. So you can go ahead and Tweet that.' And I believe eight of us thumbed out the news to America.”
–Sports Illustrated’s Peter King
“Seems like she’s even faster than what she was before. I was thinking that maybe I should have a baby and then I’ll come back faster.’’
—Serena Williams, in The New York Times, after losing to Kim Clijsters in the semifinals at the U.S. Open
"Every time I come to the plate, my goal is to be a tough out. When you're in a race, it's always interesting. When you get to the ballpark, you know you're playing for something."
–Red Sox catcher/first baseman Victor Martinez, in the Globe
"There's a few things. I'm not going to get into specifics. There's some personal things, and I just felt the change was the best thing for everybody involved.”
–Sharks winger Dany Heatley, in the Edmonton Sun, after being traded from the Senators to the Sharks on Saturday
"Believe me, because that day will come. Sooner or later, that day will come. Because I'm not going to retire. They will have to fire me. Everybody in this game, sooner or later they're gone. That's part of the game."
–White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, on ESPN.com, on his job security
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