Boston Red Sox players visiting San Quentin stressed the importance of communication, practice, and learning how to face adverse situations on the field.
“Communication is the number one thing in anything that you do. If you don’t have communication as a team, every thing crumbles,” pitcher Rich Hill said in an interview.
World Series winner Josh Beckett discussed dealing with adversity. “I think a lot of it is slowing it down and not making emotionally based decisions,” he said. “Slowing the game down, and working with sports psychologists.”
John Lackey urged the San Quentin Giants and Athletics to fine-tune their skills. “It’s all about repetition; the more you do something, the better you get at it. It takes a lot of years of practice,” Lackey said.
Beckett won the 2003 World Series MVP award with the Florida Marlins. He won the 2007 American League Championship Series MVP award with the Red Sox, going on to defeat the Colorado Rockies in the World Series.
Beckett’s career statistics includes a 129-88 win-loss record, a 3.87 earned-run average and 1,686 strikeouts through July 6, 2012.
Beckett and the Red Sox agreed to a four-year, $68 million contract extension on April 5, 2010.
The Anaheim Angels drafted Lackey in 1999. In his first season in the majors, he contributed to the franchise’s first World Series title in 2002 against the San Francisco Giants. Lackey is only the second rookie in World Series history to start and win a Game 7. His ERA led the American League in 2007 and he made the All-Star team for the first time. Lackey signed a five-year contract worth $82.5 million on Dec. 16, 2009.
Hill’s pitching record is 23-20 with a 4.66 ERA and 381 strikeouts through July 4, 2012.
When Hill was with the Cubs, catcher Michael Barrett described Hill’s curveball as “so electric that the first couple of times I caught him, I had a tendency to come up on the curve because it bites so much. You just don’t see a left-handed curveball like that anymore. When he’s good, it doesn’t hang, and it’s nearly unhittable.”
The Red Sox signed Hill to a minor-league contract last December.
The Boston Red Sox head physical therapist as well as pitcher, Mark Melancon, also visited San Quentin.
–Journalism Guild Chair JulianGlenn Padgett contributed to this story-