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Jon Lester speaks on Red Sox accusations

Posted on: October 17, 2011 11:51 am
Edited on: October 18, 2011 7:07 am

By Evan Brunell

One of the Red Sox players accused of drinking beer in the clubhouse has come out and admitted such.

"It was the wrong thing to do," Jon Lester told the Boston Globe, saying he was one of the players to drink beer in the clubhouse this season -- but never on a day he pitched, and far less often than has been suggested.

"It was a ninth-inning rally beer," he said, shades of A.J. Pierzynski's own explanation for drinking while on the job with the White Sox. "We probably ordered chicken from Popeye's like once a month. That happened. But that's not the reason we lost."

"Most of the times, it was one beer, a beer," Lester added. "It was like having a Coke in terms of how it affected you. I know how it looks to people and it probably looks bad. But we weren't up there just drinking and eating and nobody played video games. We watched the game."

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Lester says the reason the Red Sox lost was because "we just played bad baseball as a team in September. We stunk. To be honest, we were doing the same things all season when we had the best record in baseball."

However, by the same token, the lefty also admits that the occurrence was a bad habit and he should have been on the bench more. How can he say, then, that drinking beer and secluding himself in the clubhouse had no impact on the club's fortunes? It's a pretty vague statement to make, but isn't it possible the loss of solidarity and gelling of the team -- which outgoing manager Terry Francona cited as a problem -- contributed to September's downfall?

"Are there things I regret? Sure there are," he added. "But nothing happened that had me unprepared to pitch. I don't blame people for wanting answers because we had a hell of a team and we lost. You can't have a team that gets paid like we get paid and loses and not expect people to want answers."

Speaking of Francona, Lester admitted that it was time for a change.

"I love Tito and he did a great job for us when he was here. On a personal level I was more than grateful for what he did for me and my family," he said. "But there comes a time when your authority is no longer there. You kind of run your course. People who knew how Tito was and we pushed the envelope with it. We never had rules, we never had that iron-fist mentality. If you screwed up, he called you on it. That was how it worked.

"I never say guys [were] purposely breaking rules or doing the wrong thing in front of him and rubbing it in his face. But this particular team probably needed more structure."

Lester didn't feel comfortable speaking for the others accused in the fiasco, such as Josh Beckett and Jon Lackey and others, but felt he had to speak out in light of all the stories.

"We're not bad people and we're not a bad group of guys," he said.

Lester spoke at length with the Globe, also touching on the issue of player conditioning and the accusation that players allowed themselves to get out of shape.

"It's probably because of how we eat," he said of why pitchers gain weight as the season progresses. "We have some crazy hours with the travel and you get in at 4 a.m. and you get room service or something quick. But unless your body fat is going up 10 percent or something like that, you don't have a problem.

"I've heard what people are saying in Boston. I can tell you that guys were in the weight room. Guys were doing their shoulder [exercises] and guys were prepared to pitch. If we win a few more games in September and make the playoffs, none of this comes out. But we didn't and that's on us as a team and on me personally. I take a lot of the blame for this, a lot."

As part of the solution, Lester thinks high-character players are needed, citing Alex Cora, Eric Hinske and Sean Casey as previous influencers.

"We need that good veteran presence," he said. "If you have somebody like that, it makes everybody better. Everybody is accountable and we have plenty of people to look up to. That's not the problem. But we have a lot of guys who are kind of middle-aged in terms of their careers. Sometimes you need veteran guys who know their roles and can reach out to everybody."

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Since: Sep 30, 2008
Posted on: October 18, 2011 1:42 pm

Jon Lester speaks on Red Sox accusations

Next year Lenny Dykstra has agreed to be the club house manager.

Since: Oct 7, 2011
Posted on: October 18, 2011 1:29 pm

Jon Lester speaks on Red Sox accusations

Will we see breathalizers during warm-ups? Maybe toe-heal walk after stretches, this is dumb! I can remember Jim Leyland smoking in the dugout during games. They won the World Series doing the same thing and nothing was wrong with them then, lose a couple games and its the source of the problem..get real

Since: Jan 9, 2009
Posted on: October 18, 2011 1:02 pm

Jon Lester speaks on Red Sox accusations

Lester doesn't address the real problem:  the fact these guys weren't on the bench supporting their team during the collapse. 

Since: Jun 22, 2009
Posted on: October 18, 2011 1:01 pm

Jon Lester speaks on Red Sox accusations

I hate the Yankees, Red Sox, Phillies, and all that is fuel in baseball for the neverending east coast bias.  That said, I can't believe this is a story.  These guys were obviously slacking just a bit, but to pin the woes of the team on this is ludicrous.  In the NL, the Cards caught the Braves.  It might just be the result of good and bad fortune, not anything that needs to be pinned on anyone in particular.  Don't worry Sox fans, your team will get a new GM that will want to make a big splash, and you'll buy yourself a playoff team for next year.  Promise.

Since: Apr 22, 2009
Posted on: October 18, 2011 12:58 pm

Jon Lester speaks on Red Sox accusations

What about the 7th inninng stretch beer, the 3 up three down beer inning.  That is called the 6 PACK workout, 6 beers and your done!  I guess these men cannot be treated as men.  RED SOX you are LOSERS!

Since: Apr 26, 2007
Posted on: October 18, 2011 12:50 pm

Jon Lester speaks on Red Sox accusations

Aah, I remember getting pulled over by a cop and telling him I had one beer. Sure I did, just like the Red Sox players. Gained weight as the season progresses? Because of our crazy hours and travel times? Wow, Lester, how many more excuses can you come up with? I thought most athletes lost weight as the season goes on. Unless they get the "munchies" or do some 'roids. Boston has need high class characters since their first World Series. Look at the "role models" they have had....Millar the Mouth, Manny the two time offender, Big Papi the steroid user, Papelbum, Munchies Beckett, Overpaid and Overhyped Carl Crawford. The C on Varitek's uniform stood for Class.

Since: Dec 30, 2006
Posted on: October 18, 2011 12:39 pm

Jon Lester speaks on Red Sox accusations

ALCHYSOX, he didn't compare soda to beer....  he said it is like having a coke in what 1 beer does to you.  For guys like that that go to the bar after work and drink often, 1 beer does nothing to them.  Some of you guys are like the media taking what a guy says and making it into something completely different.  This is good that he came out and said what he had to say.  Is everyone going to believe it???  No...  Maybe they had more, maybe they didn't, what we do know is that at least Lester is willing to step up and clear the air....  He is right, that Red Sox team had no respect for Francona....  It was time for a change.  There is so much talent on that team and all they need is a leader to step up and make guys accountable..  I think Francona did a great job there, but certain teams and certain guys need a different kind of discipline.  When you are dealing with as many millionaires that the Red Sox have, you have to figure out something.  Hopefully management can figure it out and get the right guy in there....  Everyone needs to move on and stop idolizing these guys....  Who cares what they do..  Watch the game, have a good time and move on with your life....  

Since: Oct 17, 2011
Posted on: October 18, 2011 11:41 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Oct 2, 2006
Posted on: October 18, 2011 11:36 am

Jon Lester speaks on Red Sox accusations

You loser...  your pitiful Yankees got to go all the way to the playoffs so they could underachieve once again and get dropped in 5 games by a team that was rocked by the Rangers.   I can see how all Yankee fans are so proud...

Since: Nov 6, 2007
Posted on: October 18, 2011 11:21 am

Jon Lester speaks on Red Sox accusations

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