There’s a thin line between “intense” and “total jerk” and Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett, he of the chronic blister problems that plagued his Marlins tenure, seems like exactly the kind of person who’d love to discuss the subject with you. From the Boston Herald’s Karen Guregian.

Josh Beckett growled yesterday at the first reporter inquiring about a blister on the middle finger of his pitching hand.

œI don™t have (an expletive) blister, Beckett said. œLook at my (expletive) finger.

Beckett displayed his right hand, which revealed no redness, swelling or roughness on the finger in question. It looked pretty normal upon the quick check, which is good news given the pitcher™s history of blister problems that have landed him on the disabled list.

The reason for all the agitation and concern was the result of NESN cameras catching pitching coach Al Nipper and Sox assistant trainer Mike Reinold examining Beckett™s hand after the seventh inning of Monday night™s 11-1 victory over Baltimore.

œI™m pissed. I really am. This is (expletive) stupid, said Beckett, who was upset about all the speculation on TV, as well as a newspaper report calling the back into question. œMy dad calls me. He thinks I™m lying to him. That™s it. I™m done talking to you guys for the year.

Beckett then stormed away as a group of reporters headed toward his locker. About 15 minutes later, he emerged from the trainer™s room with a large wrap around his lower back.

Later, a much calmer Beckett spoke. He once again rebuffed the notion of a blister problem.

œEverything™s fine,said Beckett, who improved to 5-1 with the win. œI look at it every inning. It just happened to be one of those innings where I walked in there, and they™re all standing around asking me about my back, and I™m looking at my finger.