Beckett: I'm ready to return Wednesday

Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett said Tuesday morning his back felt better and he would be ready to make his scheduled start Wednesday. In fact, he said he would have been able to pitch Tuesday night if the team wanted him to.

Beckett, who called in to Boston radio station WAAF on Tuesday morning (listen to the interview HERE) to promote his Beckett Bowl event on Aug. 20, said the back spasm that caused him to leave his July 31 start early and miss his next start was the product of a combination of factors.

“We traveled late in from New York (two nights before) and I didn't sleep particularly well, had a lot of anxiety and stress things going on, exterior distractions,” Beckett told WAAF. “I don’t think that a lot of it was great for my back. And going out and pitching on that mound, it was very wet, and my back just locked up on me."

Beckett said the anxiety was caused, at least in part, by the trade rumors that surrounded him at the time. There were reports that the Red Sox were trying to trade him before the July 31 deadline.

“I think just this past week was different for me. There were rumors, apparently not being brought up by the Red Sox,” Beckett said. “I was hearing from everybody that none of this was true, they assured me of that, but I still had to answer questions about it. It was very confusing, and that’s where I think the anxiety comes in. Not so much stress, but more anxiety than anything because you’re not real sure how things are going."

Beckett’s relationship with the media has been rocky and, at times, confrontational. He was asked Tuesday whether he feels like he is misunderstood by the media and fans.

“I’m just me. I don’t pay too much mind when people have their opinions about it,” Beckett said. "I’m not going to change. I think sometimes that’s kind of what the media outlets want you to do here. They want you to be who they want you to be instead of just who you are.”

On the notion that the Sox are like a dysfunctional family, Beckett insisted “it’s the exact opposite,” suggesting it is the media that creates that perception.

“They want the perception to be something and that’s what they’re going to write,” Beckett told WAAF.