Major League Baseball read the actions and peered into the mind of Boston ace Josh Beckett before drawing some of its ownconclusions: He's an aggressor, an agitator and a headhunter.
Or so says MLB's vice president for discipline, Bob Watson, who suspended Beckett six games on Tuesday for throwing a pitch near the head of the Angels' Bobby Abreu that preceded a benches-clearing, onfield argument in Anaheim on Sunday.
Further, Beckett's punishment comes for "aggressive actions" after the pitch, which appeared to include jawing with Abreu and Angels manager Mike Scioscia.
Angels hitting coach Mickey Hatcher was also suspended for today's game and fined. Scioscia, along with players Torii Hunter and Justin Speier, also were fined. No other Red Sox personnel were penalized.
A "shocked" Beckett has appealed the suspension and he wouldn't serve it until he gets a hearing. There, you can expect a Supreme Court-worthy argument about intent from the Red Sox and the MLBPA. Beckett didn't actually hit anybody and the situation never turned into a brawl.
The MLB will likely counter by saying he, and it, "could have."
With this suspension, Watson is saying that Beckett either wanted to hit Abreu and start a fight — or at least didn't care if that's what happened.
Abreu told reporters he didn't know if Beckett was throwing at his head or not but added, "It doesn't look good." Scioscia called Beckett's actions "as flagrant as anything I've seen in this game." Beckett denied throwing at Abreu but had the audacity to use the death of Nick Adenhart to explain why the Angels might be feeling edgy.
"Obviously, there's a lot of emotion in this series," Beckett said. "Not only facing us, but the tragedy."
Oh, the Angels LOVED hearing that.
"Don't use Nick," Hunter said of the Adenhart, who was killed last week in a car crash. "I don't know if everybody has eyes on us, [thinking] we're not emotionally stable, but that was blatant. We'd have been out there no matter what."
Note the "34" etched into the mound behind Beckett. He's right about Adenhart being on the Angels' collective mind, but he's also using it to explain away his potentially dangerous pitch and big mouth. Watch for yourself.