October 18, 2011

WHDH-TV Reports Beckett, Lester, Lackey Drank Beer In Dugout During Games. All Three Players Say Story Is "Completely False", "Not True".

Joe Amorosino, WHDH-TV, NBC Boston:
Josh Beckett, Jon Lester and John Lackey drank beer in the Red Sox dugout during games, according to two Red Sox employees who witnessed the drinking on multiple occasions at Fenway Park.

On nights when they were not pitching, Beckett, Lester and Lackey would exit the dugout as early as the 6th inning, walk back to the clubhouse, and fill cups with Bud Light beer. They would then return to the dugout with cups of beer and drink while watching the game. It didn't make a difference whether the Red Sox were winning or losing at the time and the practice became more frequent later in the 2011 season. 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."
Peter Abraham says the Globe "has confirmed the report via a team source".
The Red Sox released a statement at 11 PM with denials from all three players, and former manager Terry Francona.

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.
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.
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.
In 32 years of professional baseball, I have never seen someone drinking beer in the dugout.
Gordon Edes, ESPNBoston:
A Red Sox employee who was contacted by ESPNBoston.com on Tuesday evening to react to the latest story said he had heard complaints about players drinking in the dugout during the 2010 season but did not personally witness it either that season or in 2011. He added, however, that it would not come as a surprise to him if it were true.

Another Red Sox staffer who was in the dugout during every game said he never saw Beckett, Lackey or Lester drinking in the dugout, nor had he heard anything about that happening.
In an interview with the Globe's Peter Abraham, Jason Varitek said reports of a dysfunctional clubhouse were "grossly exaggerated".

I didn't agree with that [Francona's comments about not being able to reach players]. I believed that this team, regardless, pulled for each other and those things have been so grossly distorted. It's just baffling that you can feel that way. ...

That's Tito's personal opinion and based on what was going on with him personally and maybe how he related to the team. ... But I didn't see him change. We lost because we played poorly and we had some health issues and we probably taxed the bullpen too much. ... We didn't lose because of some issue in the clubhouse. That's a lot of crap.


allan said...

Hey, so now the pitchers WERE in the dugout!

No problem.

allan said...

Some of the DirtDog subheads are amusing:

The Nation's Biggest Disappointment: Their Beer of Choice Was Bud Light

No Worries, John Henry Swears There Was a 'Dugout Rally' Two Beer Limit

Waiting for Mike Giardi Source To Tell Us Sox Were Brewing Beer in the Dugout

tim said...

Tim (local floozy from the Joy of Sox interweblog) reports that Beckett/Lester/Lackey routinely ordered prostitutes while on the mound pitching in order to have a gang bang with Tito's wife while drinking 151 proof rum from the bottle/pouring it in Epstein's gas tank.

Well, its no WONDER why they collapsed in September!

tim said...

If it was bud light, I don't see what the problem is.

Kathryn said...

Interesting note: "and based on what was going on with him personally" is now OUT of the Globe article.

Original quote:
"That's Tito's personal opinion and based on what was going on with him personally and maybe how he related to the team.

New quote:
"That's Tito's personal opinion ... and maybe how he related to the team.

allan said...

Still in this ESPN report.

Wonder why the Globe edited it.

allan said...

It's time to replace "Sweet Caroline".

Maxwell Horse said...

It's interesting that (1) this is the first time we've heard anything from Beckett. (For some reason I found this amusing. I picture him like a little kid pretending the madness back in Boston isn't even on his radar. He can't hear any of it. Trying to make people think he's been in a duck blind since the end of the season, cut off from civilization, all stoic, all above responding to the indignities. Until finally this dugout story pushes him into breaking his ruse. "Oh, you are SUCH a liar!")

(2) Is this not the first time that a specific story was flat-out refuted by people from the organization, much less from more than one person?

allan said...

SoSHer E5Yaz:
After all that's come out the past couple of weeks, when anonymous sources drop a bomb like this, you would think that Ch. 7 ... and then Abraham, who "confirmed" it with his sources in Extra Bases ... had a responsibility to attempt to get the denial from the pitchers before running with this tip.
Neither Ch. 7 or Abraham did, which speaks to the mob mentality of wanting to pile on, instead of presenting a balanced report.


Tom DePlonty said...

It's time to replace "Sweet Caroline".

First good laugh I've had over this stuff. Thanks!

Gareth said...

If they were drinking Bud Light then I think it's technically accurate to say that no one drank beer in the dugout...!

Amy said...

I know I may be looking at this through my own personal bias, but I read Tek's comments as saying that he did not think Francona had changed in terms of his approach to the team, but that perhaps Francona felt differently about it for his own personal reasons. I did not at all see this as throwing Tito under the bus, but rather saying it was poor playing, not poor management or poor conditioning or overeating or beer that caused the problems.

Of course, that doesn't explain why the team suddenly wasn't playing well. But I did not read Tek's comments as attacking anyone, including Francona. Perhaps his tone of voice would indicate otherwise.

allan said...

Quotes from Varitek radio interview this morning.

skb said...

This whole article is terribly misleading. Bud Light is not "beer."

Nick Sincere said...

re: Tom DePlonty

Are you kidding? This situation is comedy gold! Check out some of the recent Soxaholix or today's Surviving Grady. I mean, I come to JoS first thing everyday for reasoned commentary and a little schadenfreude now and again, but you can find posts and such that will make you spit your "beer" all over the screen if you're not careful.

allan said...

-The Padres have internally discussed the possibility of acquiring starting pitcher John Lackey from the Red Sox, if the Red Sox agree to eat most of Lackey’s contract. Lackey formerly pitched for Bud Black when the Padres manager was the Angels' pitching coach.

Amy said...

Why do I think that if the Sox actually send Lackey elsewhere that a year from now we will all be saying, "Why can't we get a pitcher like that?"

(And yet, even if we do, it would still be a relief not to watch that jerk pitch next season for the Red Sox.)

9casey said...

Does Popeye's deliver?

Tom DePlonty said...

Just wanted to call out this post by SoSH'er PrometheusWakefield, which makes a lot of sense to me.