If only it were possible for Toronto’s Shea Hillenbrand and Boston’s Josh Beckett to kill each other. Until then, we’ll have to settle for the rhetoric. From the Toronto Star :

It seems that Shea Hillenbrand and Josh Beckett have differences that go beyond the fact that the Toronto DH is an animal lover while the Boston Red Sox pitcher enjoys hunting four-legged creatures for sport.

Hillenbrand (above) isn’t pleased that Beckett called him out after Tuesday’s game for starting to head to first base after a 3-1 pitch on which the plate umpire delayed his strike call.

Beckett said something to reporters about “playing the game right” while Hillenbrand responded to the quote with an expletive in what one Boston reporter called a “war of words.”

“How many walks do you see me draw in a season?” Hillenbrand said yesterday. “I mean, you saw how long it took (the umpire) to call it a strike.

“I’ve played this game for a long time and no one has ever questioned my ability to play it right.”

When another reporter approached Hillenbrand, he said, “I’ve only got one answer to any question about Beckett: (expletive) him!

“The only person he made look bad is himself. I’m not concerned about it.”

I can’t believe Hillenbrand isn’t intimidated by Beckett’s goatee or scary blisters.