|After losing to Rockies, Josh Beckett takes on LA Times columnist T.J. Simers||08.28.12 at 1:20 am ET|
DENVER — Following his Dodgers debut — in which he allowed three runs over 5 2/3 innings — Josh Beckett met with the media in the visitors’ clubhouse. The former Red Sox pitcher noted that he regretted missing on a few key pitches, and that he was “the second-best pitcher out there,” praising Colorado starter Jeff Francis.
Beckett reiterated that he enjoyed his new teammates, and lamented the fact Colorado leadoff hitter Tyler Colvin took the righty’s second pitch in a Dodgers uniform over the left field wall.
But the real entertainment came with the back-and-forth with Los Angeles Times columnist T.J. Simers. The following is the portion of the six-minute question and answer in which Simers executes his trademark pointed line of questioning (to listen to the entire interview, click here).
Did you ever think the ball would ever come down that first batter you faced?
“I figured it would eventually. Yeah, I figured it would.”
What did you think at that moment, Dodgers debut, second pitch and …
“I thought I made a pretty [expletive] pitch. That’s what I was thinking.”
That’s your choice of words?
Were you nervous?
“No more than normal. I’m always nervous on start day.”
With rookies shouldn’t it be easier to pitch against them?
“If you make pitches, yeah.”
After giving up so many runs in the last three games did you feel like this was progress?
“I felt like I made some pitches when I needed to and didn’t make some when I needed to.”
How’s that different than normal?
“You try and make the majority of them.”
I don’t understand your answer to my question. How’s that different from how you normally pitch?
“You’re going to have four or five pitches every game that you have to make and if you make the majority of them you usually pitch good.”
So four or five pitches every start, swings on those four or five pitches, is that what you’re saying?
“No, you’re going to have situations where you have to make those pitches.”
So we’re talking triple and you have to make pitches to the next hitter at that point?
“No, I was talking about actually two of the pitches in that last inning, the same ones I keep referring to.”
What about that guy after the triple?
“I was trying to throw a fastball in and I didn’t get it in that far. That was one of the pitches.”
I’m trying to understand your mindset as you’re out there, a new Dodger, and the guy kills the ball off you like that.
“It happens. It’s the big leagues.”
Yeah, but it’s not supposed to. This is the Rockies and you’re supposed to be a dynamo. It’s not supposed to start like that.
“No, it’s not. I didn’t draw it up that way. It just happened. I had it going differently in my head.”
Did you? How did you have it happen?
“A weak ground ball would have been nice.”
So when the ball is leaving the park as quickly as it did, did you …
“Oh, he hit it too high. It didn’t even leave that fast.”
That’s true. Good point. He killed that ball.
That didn’t do anything to you?
What did you learn about this team today, besides the fact they can’t score?
“They can score. I’ve seen them score. Since I’ve been here they’ve scored.”
“No. How about the day before that? That’s 10 runs in three days. That’s not too bad.”
Against the Marlins and Rockies?
“Sure. It’s the big leagues. That’s what happens in the big leagues. I have to pitch better.”
Do you feel like this can be your type of team?
“I’ve been here for two days, I can’t answer that. I’m very happy to be here.”
Are you on your best behavior now?
This is what we’re always going to get?
So I can play this tape to you over again and again over the course of time?
And it will still work?
That’s a promise?
“I don’t promise anything.”
Then my tape is no good then.
“I can’t believe you’re using that tape [recorder] anyway.”
I’m 61 years old, that’s the only tape I know how to use. I never figured out those [digital recorders]. You promised me if I didn’t win the game it would be a better column that it would be a better column and how I’m struggling a little bit. Shouldn’t you pick up a chair and throw it or something or do something? Because these guy have filled me in what you were like in Boston.
“Yeah, I threw a lot of chairs at them.”
Here are some other non-Simers-induced answers:
• “Second-best pitcher out there. Jeff kept us off-balance and made some pitches when he needed to.”
• “The last pitch I made and then the hit that [Jonathan] Herrera got that inning those were the two that I really would like to take back, with the exception of the second one of the game. Jeff did a good job tonight and then their offense kind of got to us at the end.”
- “I’ve only been here a couple of days. I’m still trying to feel things out. Moving forward you get more and more comfortable.”
• “You still have to make pitches. When you make pitches you get outs anywhere, it doesn’t matter where you’re playing.”
• “I thought [catcher A.J. Ellis] did a really good job. He’s never even played catch with me, so for him to go out there and do that I felt like he did a really good job.”
• “I actually felt like I had pretty good location on the ball.”
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