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February 14, 2013

Beckett's imprint still on this franchise

Consider it the gift that keeps on giving.

Thank you, Josh Beckett.

Here we are three days into the new year (we always start the new year when pitchers and catchers start creating that thwacking! sound in Florida) and the Boston Red Sox are about as easy to embrace as a porcupine.

Three injured pitchers — Clay Buchholz (hamstring), Felix Doubront (elbow) and Craig Breslow (shoulder) — have already had to stop throwing. Majority owner John Henry told reporters to blame him for the Red Sox woes the last two years and then went on to imply he did nothing wrong.

The team’s “alleged” top RBI guy going forward, David Ortiz, is not only still limping around from his injured Achilles’ last July but he is blaming the disaster on former manager Bobby Valentine.

But none of those semi-alarming stories are the worst development out of Fort Myers.

The worst, by far, is that “alleged” ace Jon Lester never got the Red Sox Marketing memo. You know the one I’m referring to, the one that says “We’re sorry.”

To be honest, I expected Lester’s mea culpa in Fort Myers. Instead, it was exactly what we got last year ... zero repentance.

Lester would have us believe that he is an ace because he showed for work for each of his 33 starts. He was OK with what transpired last year (205 innings pitched, 9-14 record, 4.87 ERA).

Can you imagine the maniacal Red Sox duo, Roger Clemens or Pedro Martinez, sending a similar message after such a disappointing performance?

I’m guessing Lester is telling a white lie. He just doesn’t want to let any of us know that he knows he underachieved last year.

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

Despite the addition of about six feel-good-nice-guys-all-smiles-love-baseball players, some of whom seem like they are perfect fits here, the cloud of negativity hovering over this franchise is as gray and billowy as ever.

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