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Friday’s Morning Mashup: Ailing Dodgers pitcher Josh Beckett ‘concerned’ about future

05.31.13 at 7:56 am ET

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MLB: Red Sox at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. (NESN, MLB Network; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Tigers at Orioles, 7 p.m. (MLB NEtwork)
MLB: White Sox at Athletics, 10 p.m. (WGN)


‘™¦ Dodgers pitcher Josh Beckett acknowledged feeling uncertainty about his future after experiencing numbness in the fingers on his right hand over the last 4-5 weeks. The 33-year-old right-hander, who was placed on the disabled list on May 15 with a groin injury, had an MRI that will be reviewed by a nerve specialist in Dallas on Monday.

“Any time something like that happens to your arm or you start losing feeling and stuff ‘€¦ you think about [never pitching again] for sure,” Beckett said, via the Los Angeles Times. “I don’t really want to think like that right now. I want to think about figuring out a way to deal with this.”

Added Beckett: “I’m concerned. I’ve never dealt with anything like this for this amount of time. We’ll just have to see what happens there.”

Beckett, traded from the Red Sox to Los Angeles last August, is 0-5 with a 5.19 ERA in eight starts this season. He’s in the third year of a four-year, $68 million contract.

The Dodgers are 22-30 and in last place in the National League West, 7 1/2 games behind the first-place Diamondbacks.

‘™¦ Jets coach Rex Ryan said it’s too early to tell who’s leading the competition to be the team’s starting quarterback, but Mark Sanchez made it clear what he thinks after Thursday’s practice.

“I’m planning in playing,” Sanchez said, as reported by the New York Daily News. “I’m planning on starting.”

Ryan did acknowledge that Sanchez appears to have regained his confidence after a turnover-prone 2012 season.

“I think he’s done a nice job this offseason,” Ryan said. “I think he’s in great shape. Is he more accurate with the football? I’m not sure what the numbers will say, I really don’t know.”

Meanwhile, second-round draft pick Geno Smith said he would not be disappointed if he’s not starting the opening game Sept. 8 against the Buccaneers.

“Not at all,” he said. “The coaches are going to choose who they feel is best for the team. It’s not my job to really worry about that.

“It wouldn’t hurt my confidence, it just means I need to continue to work hard. It’s going to take time.”

‘™¦ The Clippers’ decision to fire coach Vinny Del Negro last week reportedly was done to appeal to free agent guard Chris Paul, with owner Donald Sterling admitting, “This is a players’ league, and, unfortunately, if you want to win, you have to make the players happy.”

It might have backfired, as Paul reportedly is upset with the team for allowing his name to be linked to the story.

“He’s angry right now and his anger is directed toward the Clippers organization,” a source told ESPN. “Chris is a man of principle and if he feels like you’ve gone against his principles, it will affect how he feels about you. He’s very agitated that his name has been put out there as the reason for Vinny’s firing. He had nothing to do with it.”

The Clippers are said to be considering Byron Scott, Jeff Van Gundy, Alvin Gentry, Nate McMillan, George Karl and Brian Shaw for their vacancy.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On May 31, 1984, Celtics guard Gerald Henderson stole a crosscourt pass and hit a layup with 13 seconds remaining to tie Game 2 of the NBA finals against the Lakers. The Celtics went on to win the game in overtime and win the series in seven games. Which Laker threw the fateful pass?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “That’s what I came here for, to be able to compete for a championship each and every year. I’m one step away from doing it once again. It’s not promised. It’s not promised at all. I made a tough decision. Obviously, I think we all know the story. I envisioned something that was bigger as far as a team … and we’ve got an opportunity as a team, once again, for the third year straight to make a trip to the NBA finals.” — LeBron James, after leading the Heat to a 90-79 victory over the Pacers in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals

STAT OF THE DAY: 5 — Stolen bases for Jacoby Ellsbury in the Red Sox’ 9-2 rout of the Phillies on Thursday, a team record

‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): During Thursday’s Game 5 of the Heat-Pacers series, Miami’s Chris Anderson and Indiana’s Tyler Hansbrough have a confrontation.


SOOTHING SOUNDS: Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary was born on this day in 1938.

Read More: Chris Paul, Geno Smith, Josh Beckett, Mark Sanchez