Josh Beckett was suspended for 6 games today for allegedly throwing a head-high pitch at the Angels' Bobby Abreu. Bob Watson, who handed out today's suspensions on behalf of MLB, said that Beckett will also be fined an undisclosed amount of money. The severity of the discipline was due to "aggressive actions after the pitch that incited the bench-clearing incidient," according to Watson.
What a load of horse-crap.
Beckett went on record after the game by saying that the pitch was unintentional and a result of the late timeout by the umpire.
"I've never hit anybody in the head, and it's not really on my list of stuff to accomplish. But people can think what they want to think," Beckett said after Sunday's game. "I know Bobby Abreu. He knows I'm not trying to hit him in the head. Obviously, there's been a lot of emotion in this series with them -- not only facing us, but obviously the tragedy that all of them went through."
I have no reason not to believe Josh Beckett, and it's easy to imagine how a pitcher could lose command due to a late timeout. ESPN reported that Beckett was in the middle of his throwing motion when the timeout was granted by the umpire.
After the wild pitch, there was jawing from all sides. At this time it's not known who said what to whom, but perhaps that factored into the decision. In all, this isn't a major blow to the Red Sox. Josh Beckett will miss only one start, assuming the suspension is not reduced upon appeal.
Angels hitting coach Mickey Hatcher was suspended one game and fined. Manager Mike Scioscia and players Torii Hunter and Justin Speier were fined, but not suspended.