Josh Beckett entered the Red Sox clubhouse yesterday at 3:40 p.m., appearing loose as can be.

He sported a T-shirt, sunglasses and cargo shorts, and carried a couple of bags. He made small talk with teammates, joked about his ejection the night before in New York, and carried on as if it were a completely normal day.

Except creeping on the periphery was a group of reporters hoping to ask him the questions that made this day anything but normal. Beckett looked up casually.