Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Josh Beckett approached recently-fired Red Sox strength and conditioning coach David Page this past season to voice concerns about his own weight, Page told WEEI Friday.
"He did express some concerns himself," Page said of Beckett. "In fact, he brought it up to me and the other members of our training staff, that he felt he was getting a little sideways, so to speak, with his weight. I don't think it was something that was just noticed by us. I certainly think he felt the same way."
Page said one player texted him to take responsibility for the coach's dismissal.
Said Page: "He texted me and said, 'I feel this is all my fault."
By the end of the season, Page said there were four Red Sox players who did not maintain optimal shape. To push the players, Page would sometimes approach the front office about a player's slipping conditioning.
"There were a couple of times when someone from the front office or the uniformed coaches would come to me and say something, but for the most part, it was me going to them saying, 'Hey, I'm having trouble reaching this guy. Can you give me some backup here? Let's try to use my words and your voice and see what happens."
Asked whether he felt that backup was there, Page responded, "I would say it's been a lot better in the past."
The Red Sox did not fire Page immediately after the season, which he said hurt his potential to find another job.
"Kind of shocking, the fact that they waited this long. I know they had some bigger fish to fry with the whole Theo situation, Tito and all that stuff, but the far that they waited 33, 34 days from the end of the season to do it, it led me to believe things weren't going to change. It really kind of limited my opportunities to move on with another team, so it was very surprising."
Asked whether he felt he was made a scapegoat for the team's collapse, Page responded, "Yeah, I think you could probably say that."