Big League Stew - MLB

Forget Daisuke Matsuzaka and his weird mullet. The Boston Herald caused plenty of stir among Red Sox fans upon publishing this photo of an apparently supersized  Josh Beckett in yesterday's editions.

But before anyone could really get the David Wells and Bobby Jenks comparisons rolling, the paper's "Inside Track" column allowed that there might be a bit of an optical illusion working against Beckett here:

Beckett, working out at the Sox' Minor League complex yesterday, looks like he spent the winter eating barbecue and drinking beer down there in South Texas.

But calm down, Red Sox Nation. Our Florida spies say that Josh hasn't gone Schilling, circa spring 2007, and he isn't actually as flabby as this photo makes him look.

From a distance, I don't think we can definitively rule one way or the other. But I will be down in Florida in a few weeks and if this whole thing isn't cleared up by then, I promise I'll bring those fat calipers the gym teachers used to terrorize the chubby kids in the 4th grade fitness evaluations. Oh yes, one way or the other, we'll get to the bottom of this.

• Belly bulge belies buffing up by Beckett / Inside Track
• Fashion Police: Spring pitchers / Red Sox Report Center Field
• Pitchers and catchers reported / With Leather

Matt Stone/Boston Herald

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