New Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine expects to speak soon with righthander Josh Beckett and left fielder Carl Crawford, two of the biggest scapegoats in the club’s September collapse. Valentine told MLB Network Radio that an “eyeball-to-eyeball” meeting with Beckett is imminent.

Josh, I’d like to thank you for taking the time to meet with me face-to-face. I know your time is precious, especially during the holidays. So it means a lot.


I’d also like to thank you for the gift you sent last week.

No worries.

I was particularly impressed by the thought that went into it.

You don’t say.

I mean, whereas others might settle for simply sending an Edible Arrangement, you took the time to assemble that very unique spring-loaded device that was primed to launch what I’d imagine to be nothing short of fifty or sixty razor-sharp ninja stars the moment the box was opened. All I kept thinking as they went whizzing past my head, scoring chunks of my flesh and crashing through windows in my kitchen, was, “This is a guy who pays attention to detail.” I like that in my starting pitchers.

I thought it important for you to see what I bring to the table.

Message received. Also, that homemade advent calendar you sent along, the one that revealed, upon the opening of each window, photos of myself and several loved ones marked with an “X” and slathered in what I assumed to be some sort of animal blood…?


Let’s just say you don’t see that sort of craftsmanship anymore.

The holiday season, coupled with the excitement of a new manager, turned me into a whirligig of emotion. I just tried to channel it into something festive and creative. From the heart.

I was warmed. Lastly, the holiday greeting voicemail you left. The one in which you said… let me check my notes so I get this right… that you look forward to wrapping your hands around my throat so tightly that the last thing I see before I drift into unconsciousness is the bitter sting of hatred being projected from your eyes into the deepest part of my soul.

Oh yes. That one.

I took that as a harbinger of the sort of bonding we’d be doing not just through the holidays but really the entire 2012 baseball season.

I do like to leave some things open to interpretation.

Excellent. Well, I’m glad we had the time to get together and finally clear the air.

You and me both. I feel oddly relieved.

As do I. And I trust the blade that you’ve so stealthily slipped between my ribs during this conversation has been dipped in some sort of poison or animal tranquilizer that will require immediate attention from my primary care physician?

Not sure I’d wait that long. You may want to check with the Fenway medical staff on your way out of the the park.

Will do. Happy New Year, Josh.

And many more, Coach.