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Joshua Patrick Beckett (born May 15, 1980) is a Major League Baseball right-handed starting pitcher for the Boston Red Sox. During his career in the playoffs, he won the 2003 World Series MVP Award with the Florida Marlins, receiving the 2007 ALCS MVP award with the Red Sox, and has a career postseason ERA of 1.73.
Florida Marlins career (2001-2005)
A native of Spring, Texas, Beckett was discovered by Florida Marlins scout Bob Laurie (who was responsible for discovering Jason Stokes as well). Beckett had signed a letter of intent to play with the Texas A&M Aggies but went pro. His early years in the majors were impressive, but injuries (most frequently blister problems) limited him to only 99 starts (102 appearances) from 2002 to 2005.
Beckett's first career start was in Florida with the Marlins on September 4th, 2001. Beckett looked dominating in pitching six innings of 1 hit shutout baseball against the Chicago Cubs and Sammy Sosa. This was one of four starts Beckett was to make in 2001 going 2-2 though posting an ERA of 1.50.
Beckett achieved fame in the Template:By postseason by winning the World Series MVP Award with two great performances on only three days' rest. Teamed up with star catcher Iván Rodríguez, he helped the Marlins win the World Series over the favored Yankees, 4 games to 2.
Boston Red Sox career (2006-present)
In a deal that was made official on Thanksgiving Day, 2005, Beckett was traded to the Red Sox along with third baseman Mike Lowell and relief pitcher Guillermo Mota for minor league prospects shortstop Hanley Ramírez and pitchers Aníbal Sánchez, Jesús Delgado and Harvey García. Beckett and Lowell, along with fellow players Carlos Delgado, Luis Castillo, Paul Lo Duca, Guillermo Mota, Alex Gonzalez, are the most prominent among a list of veterans the Marlins traded in what was organizationally termed a market correction. The Marlins drastically trimmed their payroll, possibly in preparation for a future relocation of the franchise out of Florida.
Josh Beckett became the first Red Sox pitcher to hit a home run in 35 years — since the advent of the designated hitter rule — when he took Phillies' pitcher Brett Myers deep during an interleague game on May 20, 2006. On July 18, 2006, Beckett signed a three-year, $30 million contract extension with a $10 million club option for 2010. Beckett completed his first season with the Boston Red Sox with a record of 16-11 and a 5.01 ERA. In 204.2 IP, he gave up 191 hits and struck out 158 batters while walking 74. Beckett allowed 36 home runs, tied for second most in the majors.
At the start of the 2007 season, Beckett adjusted to throwing more breaking pitches and fewer fastballs. At the same time, he learned to locate his pitches rather than simply get strikes by power. He reduced his walks and home runs allowed by nearly half, contributing to his success in 2007. Beckett became one of six Boston Red Sox pitchers in history to win their first 7 starts. George Winter and Mickey Harris both won their first 7 starts in a particular season, and Babe Ruth, Dave Ferriss and Roger Moret all won their first 8 starts in a particular season. After a strong first half, posting a 12-2 record with a 3.44 ERA, he was selected to the American League team in the 2007 MLB All-Star Game. Beckett earned the victory in the game after pitching two innings, giving up only one hit, and striking out two. Beckett became the first pitcher to win 20 games in a season since 2005 following a victory against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays on September 21. At the end of the season, Beckett compiled a record of 20-7, with a 3.27 ERA, 194 strikeouts, a 1.14 WHIP, and only 40 walks and 17 home runs allowed. He was the only 20 game winner in the 2007 season and the only pitcher since 2005 to have a 20 win season. Beckett set career-bests in wins, ERA, strikeouts, WHIP, and also allowed a career-low amount of walks. Beckett's 2-0 record and 1.93 ERA against the Cleveland Indians in the ALCS earned him the 2007 ALCS MVP Award. Beckett started and won the first game of the 2007 World Series against the Colorado Rockies, pitching 7 innings, allowing 1 run on 6 hits, and striking out 9 batters. Boston would go on to sweep the Rockies in the series.
Beckett is typically called a power pitcher. While many power pitchers evolve into finesse pitchers later in their careers, it has recently been noted that Beckett has already started to rely more on finesse pitching, but still possesses top-level velocity. His four-seam fastball ranges from 92-98 mph, and Beckett imparts heavy tailing action to move it through the zone. He complements this with a two-seam fastball (91-94 mph) a deceptive changeup that tails in at 82-86 mph, and an absolute hammer curveball (73-79 mph). Beckett generally frustrates hitters by painting the corners and changing speeds, which has separated him from other hard throwing pitchers. Beckett's ability to combine some of the best raw stuff in the league with his level of pitchibility has allowed him to become one of the best pitchers of recent years.
Beckett has been linked to model/sportcaster Leeann Tweeden, country singer Danielle Peck and Whitney Hayes, the younger sister of his personal trainer Randon Hayes. On October 18, 2007, Peck was invited by the Cleveland Indians to sing the National Anthem prior to game-5 of the American League Championship Series between the Red Sox and Indians. Beckett was the starting pitcher in that game, and some Red Sox fans theorized that her invitation was an attempt by the Indians organization to distract Beckett. The Indians denied this claim. It did not seem to affect Beckett, as he beat the Indians with eight innings pitched, five hits, one walk, one earned run, and eleven strikeouts. In a postgame interview with Beckett, when asked if he was affected by Peck's presence, Beckett replied "I don't get paid to make those fuckin' decisions...She's a friend of mine. It doesn't bother me at all. Thanks for flyin' one of my friends to the game so she could watch it for free." Beckett was also linked at one time to actress Alyssa Milano but she has stated in her baseball blog that she and Beckett never dated..
Beckett has become good friends with NASCAR driver Jamie McMurray since meeting him during spring training in Florida in 2007. John W. Henry of the Fenway Sports Group co-owns Roush Fenway Racing for whom McMurray drives.
Beckett resides in San Antonio and is a fan of the San Antonio Spurs. He is also a fan of the Texas A&M Aggies, often being seen at Texas A&M football games. He also frequents his self proclaimed favorite restaurant in San Antonio, StoneWerks Big Rock Grille.
Beckett can be seen in the front row in the audience in Chappelle's Show Season 2 Episode 5, along with good friend and former Florida Marlins teammate Dontrelle Willis, to celebrate their 2003 World Series Championship.
- Florida Marlins all-time roster
- Boston Red Sox all-time roster
- List of Major League Baseball wins champions
- ^ The Official Site of Major League Baseball: News: Marlins deal Lo Duca to Mets
- ^ ESPN - Red Sox sign righty Beckett to three-year extension - MLB
- ^ Beckett's next game uncertain after missing start with back spasms - MLB - Yahoo! Sports
- ^ Red Sox pitcher Beckett hunts for big game in fall - USATODAY.com
- ^ Head games? Tonight's anthem singer is Beckett's ex - cleveland.com
- ^ http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21371547/
- ^ YouTube - World Series Champion Josh Beckett responds to reporter
- ^ *touch* 'em all: An Open Letter To All Sports Journalists
- ^ Red Sox Pitcher Josh Beckett Enjoys San Antonio
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