MLB notes: Beckett can't pitch so he golfs instead

Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Josh Beckett looks toward the dugout after loading the bases in the...

Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Josh Beckett looks toward the dugout after loading the bases in the seventh inning against the Chicago White Sox during their MLB baseball game in Chicago, Illinois, April 29, 2012. (REUTERS)

QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 7:58 PM ET

Josh Beckett wasn't healthy enough to pitch, but apparently the tightness is his right latissimus muscle wasn't enough to keep him off the golf course.

Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine announced last Wednesday that Beckett would miss his next start the following Saturday -- a precautionary move because of the muscle strain.

On Thursday -- two days before the scratched start -- Beckett was seen golfing with teammate Clay Buchholz at a Boston-area course.

"I haven't gotten to Josh about that yet," Valentine said Wednesday on Boston radio. "I'm trying to sort out my feelings. Golf is as much a part of the pitching culture as the curveball, I know that for sure.

"(But) I would say that was less than the best thing to do on that day off."

Beckett had been bothered by the injury for about a week and tried to pitch through it in his previous game. He wasn't available for comment Wednesday because he had left Kansas City ahead of his teammates to prepare for his return to the starting lineup Thursday at Fenway Park.

CLOT AN OBSTACLE FOR RIVERA

A blood clot in his right calf caused the delay Monday in a date being set for surgery on Mariano Rivera's right knee.

The New York Yankees closer said Wednesday that doctors put him on blood thinners instead and said he was a couple of weeks away from being able to undergo the season-ending operation on the torn anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus.

Maybe it is a blessing ... I was more concerned with the blood clot than the knee," said Rivera, 42, who was hurt last Thursday while shagging flies in the outfield during batting practice.

As for coming back for another season, Rivera said: "I will do whatever it takes, but if the leg doesn't come back strong the way I want to, that's the Lord saying He doesn't want me to come back. If it's my call, I don't want to leave the game the way it happened."

HAMILTON'S FUTURE IN THE AIR

A four-homer game Tuesday night by Josh Hamilton immediately had baseball people buzzing about the outfielder's contract status with the Texas Rangers.

Hamilton, 31, can become a free agent after this season and told MLB.com he has "no clue" about contract talks with Texas.

"I'm not stressed out about it, and I'm not letting it be a distraction," he said. "I just want to keep playing good and putting up good numbers."

ROYALS PROSPECT GETS CALL

The Royals recalled prospect Johnny Giavotella from triple-A Omaha on Wednesday with plans to platoon him against left-handed pitching while Yuniesky Betancourt recovers from a sprained ankle.

Giavotella, 24, was hitting .331 at triple-A this season and .338 in 2011. He was expected to see playing time at second base and designated hitter, with Chris Getz playing second against right-handers.

The Royals placed pitcher Jonathan Sanchez on the 15-day disabled list because of tendinitis in his left biceps. The ailment has limited the left-hander's effectiveness -- he is 1-2 with a 6.75 earned-run average this season.

BRIEFLY

Boston Red Sox public address announcer Carl Beane died in a one-car crash Wednesday in central Massachusetts. He was 59. Beane had been an announcer at Fenway Park since 2003 ... The Philadelphia Phillies activated pitcher Cliff Lee from the 15-day disabled list Wednesday, hours before he was scheduled to make the start against the New York Mets. Lee had been sidelined with a strained left oblique. The Phillies optioned right-hander Michael Schwimer to triple-A Lehigh Valley ... Chicago White Sox left-hander Chris Sale will have an MRI on his sore pitching elbow. Sale, who is 3-1 with a 2.81 ERA this season, was named the team's closer Friday ... Pitcher Dontrelle Willis has dropped his grievance against the Baltimore Orioles, after the team relented and allowed him to be a starter rather than a reliever. Willis left the Orioles' triple-A farm team two weeks ago after a disagreement over his role.


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