FORT MYERS, Fla.

With a temper that can run hotter than one of his overpowering fastballs, Josh Beckett has never hesitated to let it be known when someone has piqued his anger.

The irascible Red Sox ace now appears to be mad at himself, saying he had “lapses in judgment” last season during Boston’s historic September collapse.

Beckett held himself accountable — for his struggles on the field and his actions in the clubhouse — on Sunday as pitchers and catchers reported to spring training, while still managing to keep things on his own terms.

“I’m not saying we didn’t make mistakes because we did make mistakes in the clubhouse,” Beckett said. “The biggest mistake I made was not pitching well against Baltimore. I was prepared to pitch every time I went out there. I just didn’t execute pitches when I needed to.”

The right-hander went 13-7 with a 2.89 ERA last year, but like the rest of the Red Sox, a sparkling first five months of the season were spoiled by a disastrous finish. He gave up 12 earned runs in his last two starts and the Red Sox went 7-20 in September to fall out of their prime position for the AL wild card.

Missing the playoffs was only the beginning. The Boston Globe then reported that some of the starting pitchers, including Beckett, Jon Lester and John Lackey, spent their off days drinking beer and eating fried chicken in the clubhouse rather than supporting their team from the dugout, painting a picture of a divided team in disarray.

“I’m upset with myself for the lapses in judgment,” Beckett said. “There’s also some ill feelings toward some people.”

He declined to specify who he was talking about, but the implication was he was upset with the anonymous sources who broke the code by speaking about what happens in the privacy of the clubhouse.

Beckett said he never missed a workout and was prepared to pitch every time he took the mound. But he did admit to adding a few pounds by the time the season ended.

“I put on a little bit of weight,” he said. “I don’t have a reason for it. But it happened. I’m looking forward to going forward from here.”

Lester also held himself accountable, saying “it’s not something I’m proud of” and vowing be a better teammate and spend more time in the dugout this season.

“I think we both know that we need to do a better job and be on the field and be around these guys more,” Lester said of himself and Beckett. “Instill in these young guys that we do work hard and we do take this seriously and that we care. That’s the biggest thing is we do care.

The Red Sox have a new GM in Ben Cherington, a new manager in Bobby Valentine and a shiny new spring training facility, JetBlue Park, complete with a replica of the Green Monster in left field.


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