Am I on crack or drugs or is Josh Beckett already being written into tales where he was, without any question, the greatest pitcher to ever live?
Take this Tim Brown article at Yahoo. I have nothing against Tim Brown other than the fact that he shares a name with a despicable Notre Dame wide receiver and he never says anything interesting, but how about this quote when discussing Johan Santana being on the market:
Johan Santana, everyone.
"You want to be able to line up against Josh Beckett," one American League personnel man said Wednesday afternoon, "and think you have a chance to win the game."
Josh Beckett had a really good season. He was outstanding, and he undoubtedly carried Boston for periods of time, and was the one no doubt about it, go-to guy on the staff. He was a true ace.
He also wasn't any better than Cy Young winner C.C. Sabathia or John Lackey (who continues to be the Rodney Dangerfield of AL starters), not to mention Fausto Carmona and our own delightful Erik Bedard.
There were five starters in the American League this year that were a hair or two better than the pack:
GS IP W L K ERA WHIP Adj. ERA+
J Beckett, BOS 30 200.2 20 7 194 3.27 1.14 145
E Bedard, BAL 28 182 13 5 221 3.16 1.09 146
F Carmona, CLE 32 215 19 8 137 3.06 1.21 151
C Sabathia, CLE 34 241 19 7 209 3.21 1.14 143
J Lackey, LAA 33 224 19 9 179 3.01 1.21 151
Does that one stupid win really mean that much to some people? 20 wins! 20 wins!
I also get that he was exceptional in the postseason. I know why Sox fans and many in the media are in love with Beckett right now. And he deserves that.
You want to line up against Josh Beckett and feel like maybe you can win? Just maybe?
There are four guys in the AL -- two on one team, the team that Boston beat in the ALCS -- that had a season that stacks up to Beckett's. He didn't suddenly become a best day version of Pedro Martinez.
Maybe it's that goatee, his ridiculous hemp and puka shell necklaces, his general American Eagle-ness, or just the logo on his cap, but I can't damned stand Josh Beckett. Still, again, I get the hubbub -- he had a great season and a greater postseason. But let's not make the fella out to be peerless. Or even on level with Johan Santana, who just had a down season that was pretty remarkable in its own right.