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October 16, 2007

Josh Beckett


Q. There was a lot of talk leading up to tonight, people wondering if maybe you'd pitch this game on three days' rest. How did you feel about it? Were you happy with Tito's decision to kind of stick with the rotation as is?
JOSH BECKETT: You know, we wouldn't be where we're at without Tim Wakefield. He won 16 or 17 games for us. I think in that aspect he deserves to start tonight. Obviously I don't get paid to make those decisions, and I definitely support Terry Francona, Tito Francona, whatever you want to call him. Support all of his decisions. Just like he backs us up, we back him up.

Q. This is the most number of innings you've pitched in a while, and deeper into the calendar than you've pitched for a while. How do you feel physically and how beneficial might an extra day of rest be for you at this point?
JOSH BECKETT: Well, I think, I mean, I'm definitely capable of going out there and pitching every five days. I think that the program that some of our guys have put together for us really allows us to do that. You know, you can't really get in and start moving things around after you've already started that five-day program. So for me, you know, I don't know that it's going to do me a lot of good, but it's always nice.

Q. As a power guy, I'm wondering, when you look at guys like Paul Byrd or Tim Wakefield, do you ever wonder what it would be like to have that kind of stuff and to survive and to pitch well and have a long career, what that might be like, how different it would be for you?
JOSH BECKETT: Yeah, I mean, I've talked to a lot of other guys that are similar to me about Wakey and what he's done for such a long time, how mentally tough you've got to be to go out there, because some days you just don't have it. I know it's the same way for him; some days he just doesn't have the feel for that knuckleball. To be able to withstand days like that is probably twice as tough on him because he doesn't have anything else to rely on other than that.
He's a fierce competitor, and he competes his ass off.

Q. It's been a long season, 169th game, I think, tonight. Just how much do you welcome an off-day? And is there anything you do special on an off-day before you pitch?
JOSH BECKETT: No. Generally the day before I pitch is not an off-day for me. I need to get out and get moving and do kind of my normal stuff the day before I pitch. If I just laid in bed all day, I think I'd wake up the next day and be pretty stiff.

Q. If you were asked to pitch tonight, could you have done it physically?
JOSH BECKETT: I don't get paid to make those decisions. I already said that. Tim Wakefield deserves to start tonight, and that's why he's starting.

Q. There's been some comparisons made between what you went through last year and what Daisuke has gone through this year making some adjustments. Have you seen that, that some of the trouble that he's been through this year is similar to what you went through last year?
JOSH BECKETT: Yeah, I mean, I see some of the same stuff. You know, you have to make a lot more adjustments here, whether you're coming from the National League to the American League. I've obviously never played in Japan, but I would assume that you still have to make some adjustments. Pitching in the American League East and pitching to some of these teams out of our division, you have to learn how to make adjustments, because great hitters, that's what they do, they make adjustments while they're at bat, from pitch to pitch, and you have to feel the defense, what they're trying to do.

Q. Could you talk about playing for Terry/Tito Francona? He's got a reputation as kind of a player's manager. Is that accurate?
JOSH BECKETT: Yeah, he just kind of lets us go out there and play. He makes decisions when he needs to make decisions. He's great.
Like I said, he's always got your back. If you tell him -- one of our guys comes in and says, Tito, I was safe, he's going to go argue for you because he believes in us and he believes what we're telling him.

Q. Daisuke seemed to take last night pretty hard immediately after the game. Even with the language barrier and those type of things, what can you guys do as teammates to kind of help him and explain what that's been like when you've pitched a lot of games and know the feeling? Is there anything you guys can do to help him?
JOSH BECKETT: Like I said, you make the decision that you're going to have to make adjustments. We back Daisuke. We still believe every time he goes out there that we're going to win. It doesn't have anything to do with the money that they're paying him or anything like that, it's just that we believe in him because we know he's trying. He's really giving it all. It's frustrating to sit there and watch that happen, but I mean, if you look at it, the only thing he did bad yesterday was he threw too many pitches in a short period of time, gave up four runs. But somehow he fights through seven innings, it looks a little bit different.

Q. Some players don't particularly like to be in a pressure situation or a real focal-point situation. You've had some opportunities before where you've done that. How do you view those type of opportunities?
JOSH BECKETT: I don't view them any differently than I would my fifth start of the season. You've got to execute pitches. You have to execute more pitches now, because I keep saying this, but everybody is locked in this time of year. Not too many people playing middle of October that aren't doing some things right. I'll just go out and try and do what I've been doing all year.

Q. Not in the sense of looking ahead or anything, but simply as a baseball fan, can you just talk about a little bit what Colorado has done in the National League, just as a fan watching what they've done, what that's like.
JOSH BECKETT: It's pretty exciting. I looked at that stadium last night, you know, I remember back about four years ago when I played in a game there, and it was sleeting and snowing, and I think there was about 1,100 people in the stands, and now that place is completely full.
I think it's great for that city. I have a couple buddies on that team, and I'm definitely happy for those guys. It's exciting for them to be able to reel off that many wins and get to where they're at.

Q. What's the difference in your attitude now when you have a reputation as somebody that's pretty formidable in big games in the postseason as opposed to your first time through when you were in this situation?
JOSH BECKETT: I don't know. Like I said, I'm more focused on what I need to do, and that's why I keep going back to it, but execute pitches. It's kind of like a party in 2003. It was fun, it was a bunch of young guys, and we were just out having fun, just happened to beat the hell out of whoever we were playing every day that year.

Q. What about facing a team two times in seven days, which you usually wouldn't do unless you've got a back-to-back series. What sort of challenges does that present to you, and how does it change the dynamics of what they do, seeing you so close to your last start?
JOSH BECKETT: It goes back to what we were talking about, you've just got to make adjustments. I think that that's what I've done so well this year is I make adjustments within at-bats. It's all about making adjustments and executing your game plan. Those adjustments come pitch by pitch, and you make them and you do well. If you don't, then you pitch like shit.

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