Ben Zobrist of the Tampa Bay Rays rounds the bases after hitting a two-run against Jon Lester of the Boston Red Sox in the first inning at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
8 Total Updates since October 15, 2011
over 1 year ago Article 1 commentContinue
over 1 year ago Update 0 comments
Jon Lester recently confirmed reports that he, Josh Beckett and John Lackey occasionally drank beer in the Red Sox's clubhouse during games, saying the trio would sometimes drink a "ninth-inning rally beer" on days they weren't pitching. In hindsight, he said, "it was the wrong thing to do," but denied it had any effect on the pitching staff's struggles down the stretch.
On Tuesday, a new round of allegations were lobbed at Boston's embattled pitching staff, claiming Beckett, Lester and Lackey did not confine their in-game drinking to the clubhouse but instead poured cans of Bud Light into cups which they took back to the dugout. WHDH-TV, Boston's NBC affiliate, cites two unnamed Red Sox employees who claim this would happen as early as the sixth inning, regardless of whether the Red Sox were winning or losing. From WHDH-TV's website:
One Red Sox employee said Beckett, Lester and Lackey appeared "bored on nights they weren't pitching and this is how they entertained themselves."
Another Red Sox employee described the routine like this: "Beckett would come down the stairs from the dugout, walking through the corridor to the clubhouse and say ‘it's about that time'. Becket was the instigator but Lester and Lackey were right behind him.
It was blatant and hard not to notice what was going on with all three guys leaving at once."
The Red Sox deny this ever happened, issuing the following statements Tuesday evening from the accused pitchers as well as former manager Terry Francona and current president/CEO Larry Luchino:
JON LESTER: "The accusation that we were drinking in the dugout during games is completely false. Anonymous sources are continuing to provide exaggerated and, in this case, inaccurate information to the media.
JOSH BECKETT: "I cannot let this allegation go without response; enough is enough. I admit that I made mistakes along the way this season, but this has gone too far. To say that we drank in the dugout during the game is not true."
JOHN LACKEY: "There are things that went on this season that shouldn't have happened, but this latest rumor is not true, and I felt that it was important to try to stop this from going any further."
TERRY FRANCONA: "In 32 years of professional baseball, I have never seen someone drinking beer in the dugout."
PRESIDENT/CEO LARRY LUCCHINO ON BEHALF OF THE BOSTON RED SOX: "Tonight our organization has heard directly from Jon, Josh, John, and former manager Terry Francona. Each has assured us that the allegation that surfaced today about drinking in the dugout during games in 2011 is false, and we accept their statements as honest and factual.
"As we continue our internal examination to fully understand what went wrong in September, 2011, we appreciate these strong and clear statements from our players.
"It is time to look forward and move forward, rather than allow a reckless, unsubstantiated accusation from 'anonymous sources' to mislead the public."
As frustrating as it may be for players to defend themselves from anonymous sources, any lower-level team employee publicly standing by these allegations would certainly put his or her job at risk -- not to mention risk being unofficially blackballed from working for any other MLB team.
On the other hand, the intense media scrutiny surrounding this situation has given any disgruntled team employee who's ever felt slighted or unappreciated by the players a chance to get even, with readers having no way to gauge the trustworthiness of the claims. Simply put, it's impossible to know who's telling the truth and who's lying, so either enjoy the soap opera or tune it out.
over 1 year ago Commentary 3 commentsContinue
over 1 year ago Update 0 comments
Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester admitted today that he drank beer in the clubhouse during games this season and that, “it was the wrong thing to do.” But he was adamant that such behavior was not to blame for the team’s September collapse.
Lester said the drinking was confined to starting pitchers who weren’t in the game that day. “It was a ninth-inning rally beer,” he said. “We probably ordered chicken from Popeye’s like once a month. That happened. But that’s not the reason we lost.”
Lester added that the team “probably needed more structure” but did not blame manager Terry Francona for the collapse. He said he “didn’t have permission” to speak for John Lackey or Josh Beckett or any of the other players named in the previous Globe article, but felt he needed to because:
“Consider us a unit when it comes to these accusations,” he said. “We either fall together or rise above it all together whether they like it or not. Things got magnified because we lost and sources started telling people what happened, which has me upset because if you’re going to say something, be a man to put your name to it. But we’re not bad people and we’re not a bad group of guys.”
The Pete Abraham article ends with the somewhat ominous words “more to come”. (Hoping that doesn’t mean more Popeye’s chicken. Greasy!)
over 1 year ago Article 5 comments
Red Sox principal owner John Henry has come out and said that he opposed the Carl Crawford signing, and that it was the front office's decision.