EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

April 1, 2007

Beckett chills: Boston's ace-in-waiting has discovered a comfort zone following difficult 2006 season

(Continued)





"I had a lot of different things going on, with my parents going through a divorce last year and things like that. It was just one of those deals that nobody knew anything about because I didn't want people to make excuses for me. I'm not the type of person who might say, 'Things could have been different if this would have happened.' That's not my personality and my dad didn't raise me like that, to use those deals as crutches.



"I pretty much stayed to myself last year. This year, I'm in an unbelievable place, and I have great people around me who love me, my family, my friends."



Beckett's inner circle includes two childhood buddies who are assisting him in his day-to-day life - Randon Hayes, his personal trainer, and Jason Oberle, his financial adviser. Wherever the pitcher is, at least one of them is usually within earshot.



Along with his parents, they are his support system.



Does he ever want to add a wife to the group?



"Sure."



How about kids?



"Yeah."



Life has a focus right now for Beckett. Starting a family for a person so dedicated to his career might be too far off the beaten track at this time.



"I'm getting closer to that, I just have to find the right one," he explained. "I'm kind of a selfish guy right now. It's one of those deals where I have to be honest with whoever comes into my life and tell her who I am."



...



Beckett is finally comfortable with himself, that much is evident watching him weave in out of the various groups within the locker room. It is a security that might have been launched by the three-year, $30 million extension he signed with Boston last July.



Some have told him he should have held out for more, especially the way the pitching market is exploding. He has another view.



"Forty-seven million dollars."



That's how much he estimates he will have made by the time he turns 30 years-old, and in his eyes that's more than enough.



"I worked really hard and I don't believe there is anybody in baseball who is overpaid. At the same time, I don't think anyone, like me, who takes a contract when they are young to financially set themselves, is underpaid," he said.



"I don't believe in that. If you want to sign a contract then you should honor that contract. Everybody is saying, 'Well, if you waited until the end of this year. ... Well, if frogs had wings they wouldn't bump their butts when they hop.



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