They are two of Boston's best arms and they took their team to the top of the baseball mountain in 2007. Josh Beckett and Curt Schilling are two of the key parts of the Boston Red Sox rotation. Beckett and Schilling have yet to take the mound in spring training and are more than likely not to go to Japan when the defending World Champions take on Oakland in Toyko March 25-26. Beckett is suffering from back problems that have plagued him all spring. Red Sox manager Terry Francona said that Beckett was still stiff and sore after stretching and exercising Tuesday.

Schilling's problem goes much further. The man with the bloody sock has a bum shoulder that may keep him off Major League mounds until at best the All Star break, where hopefully they may be ahead of their hated rivals, New York.

The team is making the right move in leaving these two home. I've flown on an airplane with a bad back and I can testify that it's as much fun as a root canal. At the same time, if Beckett and Schilling have public appearances in Japan, they should at least honor them. After all, there's a lot of yen that's been spent and from what I hear, both games have been sold out.

It's only two of 162. If they split the two games, they've lost nothing. If they sweep, they send a message to the rest of the American League that they are still kings of the mountain.

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