As if the fallout from the Boston Red Sox collapse that ended the season wasn’t bad enough, now another report has made Boston’s clubhouse look like an absolute joke.
Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester admitted Monday that he and other pitchers had “an occasional beer” in the clubhouse during days when they weren’t pitching. But on Tuesday several Red Sox employees were cited in a report by WHDH-TV in Boston that claimed that Lester, Josh Beckett and John Lackey drank beer in the dugout during games.
The sources claim the trio would leave the dugout around the sixth inning, head back to the clubhouse, fill cups with beer, then come back to the dugout and drink. According to the sources, Beckett was the instigator, but Lester and Lackey were willing participants.
ESPNBoston.com contacted another employee on Tuesday who said he had heard complaints about that kind of behavior in 2010, but never witnessed it last year or this year personally. He added that such a revelation wouldn’t surprise him.
When Lester spoke on Monday he painted a much different picture. The lefty said that occasionally he and some of the other pitchers would enjoy “a ninth-inning rally beer.”
Lester has called the media firestorm over the past few weeks a “witch hunt” and seemed angry at the accusations.
The Red Sox blew a nine-game lead in the wild card race in September and the fallout has been serious. Manger Terry Francona and general manager Theo Epstein are now gone and several players could be on their way out in what could be a huge shakeup this winter.
UPDATE: The Boston Red Sox have issued statements refuting the report that players were drinking in the dugout during games.
Lester, Lackey and Beckett have all denied the allegations, while Francona also said he’s never seen anyone drinking in the dugout in his 32 years in professional baseball.
To their credit, Lackey and Beckett both have said they did things they shouldn’t have this season, but they seem adamant that they didn’t ever drink in the dugout.