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Beckett on leaving Boston: 'It was time to move on'

By Scott Miller | Senior Baseball Columnist

LOS ANGELES -- It's going to take a long while before things are normal in Boston again, whatever normal is these days, but ex-Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett said upon arrival here Saturday that it was time for the divorce.

"Fair or unfair, that's the way things are sometimes," Beckett said after the Dodgers' 8-2 win over Miami on Saturday night. "For me, yeah, I think it was time to move on and start a new chapter.

"I wish the guys the best. I was there seven years, and I made some great friendships with them and with the front office."

Beckett could come up with no reasons why, only that it was time.

"I don't know," Beckett said. "I just think it was time, for both sides.

"I don't have a reason."

Adrian Gonzalez, who homered in his first at-bat with the Dodgers, seemed a little dazed by everything. And given the whirlwind events of the past 48 hours, it probably was to be expected.

"I'm happy to be here," said Gonzalez, a Southern California native. "Not that I'm excited to be out of Boston, or that I wanted to be out of Boston. I'm just happy to be here."

Though his time in Boston was short (less than two years) compared with that of Beckett (this was his seventh season there), and though he was never the lightning rod that Beckett was, Gonzalez does not leave with a completely clear conscience, either.

That was clear in a cryptic comment he made about regrets.

"We all make decisions we regret later," Gonzalez said. "I don't regret any moment of being there. ..."

Pressed later on the word "regret", the first baseman said, "I'm not going to get into specifics. We all live our lives and we all do things we wish we could take back at times."

Though he did not specify, he mentioned "one thing" in particular. That appeared to be a reference to the infamous text message that reportedly was sent from his cell phone to ownership requesting a "clear the air" meeting between the players and ownership regarding manager Bobby Valentine.

"Last year, everybody was telling me to take more of a leadership role at the end of the year," Gonzalez said. "This year, I tried to be more outspoken, and whenever you say certain things and do certain things, sometimes they fire back the wrong way.

"Everything I ever did was for the sake of winning, and I think everybody over there in that clubhouse knows it. The way things were spinned, looking back, maybe there were a couple of things, well, I shouldn't say a couple of things ... one thing I should not have done."

Gonzalez, Beckett and Punto awoke in Saturday morning in Boston, raced cross-country on a private plane and, by Saturday evening, were dressed in Dodgers uniforms.

How surprised were they?

"I'd say, 36 hours ago, I never even thought of this," Gonzalez said. "I never expected it.

"When they put me on waivers, I never thought anything of it. When the Dodgers claimed me, I never thought anything. But when I was taken out of the lineup. ..."

That's the moment when wild rumor melted into cold facts.

"All of the rumors started floating around, but when out front office started talking to us, it was like, man, this is for real," Beckett said. "They were getting close, but at times on TV, they make it seem closer than it was. But [Friday], after Gonzo got pulled ..."

After that, it was adios, Boston. Some 24 hours later, they were employed on the West Coast.

"It was tough leaving Boston," Beckett said. "I was there seven years. I had some awesome times.

"But I'm looking forward to a new chapter, and wearing blue."

 
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